The question gets asked a lot but almost never gets answered: How do you edit a photo without using your PC? This is a biggie for a lot of people who get dark photos from their camera and then have to go back to their PC to fix it up. Well, those days are over. There are two freeware apps that I want to briefly discuss that will let you edit photos directly on your phone and they’re actually pretty powerful and easy to use.
Let’s start with UltraG which is a full powered photo editor. Let me show you what the image started as (which I intentionally took in a dark setting with no flash just to show you how good this software is)
OK, the next two steps I took was to change the resolution to fit our screen size (and it does permit you to lock the aspect ration so you don’t get distorted images) and then I used an automatic adjustment called "Auto Light Power" that automatically brightens up the photo without oversaturating it. The resolution was done to decrease the size of the file (since I really don’t need a huge file) and a smaller file can be manipulated quicker but of course, there’s nothing stopping you from leaving the resolution alone. This is all for demonstration purposes, but it also gives you a great side by side so you can see how good it is at brightening up the photo.
Now let’s get to a few other automatic adjustments (each starting from the image that was brightened). Each of these are just examples and they can be manipulated as you desire (like the hue can be any shade you want or ‘monotone’ can be adjusted to be sepia, etc). In most of these I intentionally over did it to exaggerate the tweak so you can see what can be done but the app lets you pick gradients. So in photo order I increased the brightness, automatically corrected the contrast, modified the hue, switched to monotone, made the image a moziac, oversaturated it and then I used the brush to change the eye color manually after selecting the pipet to pick the color (the image name matches the action):
Again, these are all just sample and it’s literally just the tip of the iceberg. This app has a lot of available automatic adjustments far beyond what I showed in the photos and there are manual adjustments that you can tweak as well. As you use the adjustments there is a preview pane so you can see the impact it is having. But as you can see, you can entirely modify the original image to your liking. You’re not about to trade in PhotoShop for this but considering you’re on a phone it’s very impressive. The image at the very top of the posting is a sample of the applications interface and it doesn’t take long to get used to it.
The direct link for the UltraG download is here. Simply unzip the file and move the entire folder onto your phone (or you can unzip it on your phone). There is no installation. You just run UltraG.exe from the unzipped folder to start the app (and you can make a shortcut in Windows/Start Menu/Programs if you want a shortcut in your programs directory).
The one thing that UltraG is not good for is adding text to a photo (unless you just use the brush to manually do it). Well for those of you that remember the good ole days of Microsoft Paint why not relive those days on your phone with PDACraft Paint. It’s almost an exact porting and this works for simple edits including inserting text. Here’s a shot showing a few modifications all at once where I added text, drew a straight line in color, selected and moved a box, selected a box and filled it with a solid color and scribbled Mobility Digest using the pen. Next to it is a screenshot of the application.
Obviously, if you were really in the mood you could use this to make your own original artwork. This software lacks the advanced adjustment tools that UltraG has but PDACraft is a better drawing tool because it has some additional brush/pen/width options that UltraG lacks. PDACraft Paint is available for free here
Of course, if you just want a little app that’s nothing more than drawing with crayons on your phone we discussed that a while back but here’s the posting just to remind you.
Just remember when using these apps that the first thing you should do is save a new image so you don’t overwrite the original. UltraG’s ‘undo’ option does not work and ‘save’ is the same as ‘save as’ just so you know. Hey, it’s free and pretty good so I can live with that:) So don’t worry about those dark photos anymore and you can start editing on the go. Enjoy!