Broken down into the three key stages for modern photography

Stage I: Click

Five essential apps that will help you capture a more professional shot.

1. The native camera built into most modern mobile phones is already powerful, but for those who want more options, ProCamera delivers. Offering a wide array of hi-spec DSLR-like controls but a simplified interface, this app will appeal to the most demanding of snappers.

(iOS only)

2. If the point-and-click functionality of your mobile phone is just too simplistic, Manual offers a more complicated but gratifying alternative. By manually adjusting your camera phone's settings for shutter, white balance, focus, zoom and plenty of other options, you'll get the shot you want every time — not the default shot your camera assumes you want.

(Android and iOS)

3. For any photographer struggling to frame their masterpiece, Camera51 offers foolproof assistance. Automatically detecting and analyzing faces, scenes, objects, lines and accidental photo bombers, Camera 51's “aim box" guides you to the perfectly framed shot every time. This app is simple but pleasingly effective.

(Android and iOS)

4. Looking for the type of motion blur on your images that only professional photographers seem to know how to capture? You know, the sort that shows five lanes of traffic driving past as a neon streak, or the stars blurring in the night sky. It's all about controlling your shutter speed, which is where the Magic Shutter app comes in. With the tap of a few buttons, the titular shutter allows you to blur your surroundings and create long exposure and double exposure photos like a pro. And the handy Smart Exposure feature is designed to avoid over-exposed shots.

(iOS only)

5. The HDR in ProHDR stands for “high dynamic range," a technique used in photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity than you get with standard techniques. That means you'll get a sharper image through a variety of control options — including extensive but simple exposure adjustments, tone mapping, pre-set filters, digital zoom and many more. (Android and iOS) 



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Stage II: Edit

So you have the shot you want. Here are five great apps for editing them into shape.

1. Enlight is perhaps the most powerful all-in-one editing app currently available. An unrivaled blend of Photoshop-style control options with artistic filters and effects, Enlight's depth could easily fool the amateur photographer were it not for an intuitive, user-friendly interface that places it into the category marked “Essential."

(iOS only)

2. If Enlight's price tag is stopping you from downloading, Snapseed is an exceptional free alternative. Like Enlight and many other photo apps, Snapseed offers a wide array of editing and enhancement tools to maximize the quality of any and every shot you take. As with Enlight, you can keep it simple or go as deep and advanced as your ambition requires.

(Android and iOS)

3. No one's perfect and sometimes you'll probably have an imperfection in a photo that you'd like to change. That's where Facetune comes in — it takes your image and allows you to airbrush it to the point of perfection.

(Android and iOS)

4. Do you consider your images to be works of art? If so, you need the Brushstroke app. It allows you to transform your image into a painting with just a single click of the touchscreen. That sun-drenched cityscape you shot can become an instant Canaletto and that smoldering selfie can be transformed into a vision from Van Gogh. There's even an option to turn your masterpiece into a physical canvas print that can be hung proudly upon your wall.

(Android and iOS)

5. And for the amateur snapper who likes the idea of making money from his or her photographs, there is the revolutionary EyeEm app. Pronounced more like “I am," this is a global photography community and marketplace where photographers can share their knowledge and interact, as well as where images — your images — can be bought by brands, agencies or individuals. EyeEm is home to more than 18 million photographers and 70 million images.

(Android and iOS)

Stage III: Exhibit

Finally, five great apps for storing, showing off and sharing your shots.

1. Are you one of those traveling photographers who snaps every shot several times, just to be sure the right image has been captured? The problem there is that we're then left with a billion images we may never view again but don't dare delete. Google Photos offers a sleek solution to organize your photos. It analyzes and organizes your images into groups based on people, places and things, allowing you to find and view them fast. Where the app truly excels, however, is in the fact that it offers free, unlimited cloud storage for every shot you ever take. Until you become more selective in your photography, this is the perfect app for you.

(Android and iOS)

2. Layout from Instagram allows you to showcase your chosen images by presenting them in a variety of customizable layouts. Choose the number of shots per layout — from two shots side by side, to horizontal or vertical, to up to as many as nine images presented in a 3x3 grid. Share seamlessly to Instagram (other social networks are also available) and give the world a snapshot of your vacation or wedding, or piece back together that night on the town.

(Android and iOS)

3. Moments is the new, easy and extremely clever way of getting ahold of the photographs you didn't take but wish you had. This after-the-event app groups images taken by your connected friends based on who is in the shots, then with a single tap allows the photos to be synced and shared among the members of the group, so everybody's happy.

(Android and iOS)

4. When it comes to effortlessly syncing photos between devices and services, PhotoSync makes life a lot easier. Other apps offer a similar service, but few are as pain-free as PhotoSync.

(Android and iOS)

5. Picjoy is a photo library that offers a solution to the modern culture of snapping anything that moves. Essentially a photo organizer, the app automatically tags your images by date, season, weather conditions, holidays, events, locations and places. The best part of the app is that it allows your photos to tell a story. Mark the images you want to use, hit 'import' and those shots are automatically loaded into an album that can be ordered and annotated as you please, then shared wherever and with whomever you like. This allows you to quickly prioritize the photos that matter — and delete the ones that don't.

(Android and iOS)