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Apps and Web tools in effect: Enlight

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Apps and Web tools in effect: Enlight

AKRON (June 9, 2015) — Remember when cell phones could only make phone calls? Mobile technology has made many leaps and bounds since then, and a popular use for the modern day smartphone is the camera.

Many smartphones have integrated cameras that rival the quality delivered by point-and-shoot cameras, but they also include one giant advantage: apps! With the rise of Instagram, the ability to edit and add filters to photos has become almost as important as taking the actual photo. After trying out a lot of apps that go beyond Instagram’s in-app editing features, Enlight stood out to me the most and has since been my favorite photo editing app.

Being able to do all the enhancements to your photos in one spot before posting them online is a powerful thing. This also lessens the need for downloading a variety of apps that each perform different tasks, sucking up valuable storage space. The best feature of Enlight is that it has ALL the features. It gives you the ability to crop, adjust, add filters and add text and borders, to name a few. The in-app menu provides a well-outlined workflow for making enhancements to the photo you have selected.

The app includes various selectable presets, and users can determine how much these presets affect an image simply by sliding to the left and right. In the “Image” menu, there are presets available for fine tuning things such as color saturation, contrast, brightness, exposure, levels and many more. Under “Filter,” there are multiple color and black-and-white-filters to choose from. These also can be fine-tuned and allow users to add things like vignettes, light leaks and borders.

The app also includes a “Tools” menu, which allows you to blend photos together, reshape them (like the Apple Photo Booth effects), add a blur effect and create focal points in your images. The “Artistic” and “Brushes” menus provide several fun options to make your photos look like oil paintings or draw over them with various brush effects. A “Text” menu lets you create a text overlay with various fonts and decals.

Before and after Enlight
Photo edited with Enlight (top) and the original photo (bottom).

Enlight ties it all together in the “Finalize” menu with the options to add frames or borders and help make your images fit the Instagram 1:1 ratio by filling the vacant space with designs and color to make it a square image file. This menu also includes a collage option, which is a great tool for social media posts and eliminates the need for other collage apps.

The app is available on iOS only and can be had for $4.99 on the app store.  I have tried other photo editing apps, and there are many great free options such as SnapseedAdobe Photoshop ExpressPhoto Editor by Aviary and the popular 99 cent Afterlight.

What makes Enlight worth it to me is its flexibility. It is useful for the person who just wants to make a few quick enhancements to the photos they took, but it also allows photography aficionados to get extremely technical and make detailed adjustments. Extra tools such as the text overlay, image mixing and its collage feature make it redundant to hold onto common photo apps focusing solely on these features, such as OverDiana Photo, and Pic Stitch.

The filters in Enlight also seem to give off an organic feel, which I previously came to expect from the Analog Film app. If you purchase a few of these—not to mention any expansions—Enlight includes those features and even more at a better price. Overall it is a great way to make all the edits you need to your photos with a user-friendly workflow before posting them on your social networks.

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To reach Mark — mmccarron@crain.com.

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