How to take better holiday snaps

Of course, you can use Samsung's default Camera app to add a range of retro and vintage filters to your snapshots, though (Facebook-owned) Instagram is certainly worth considering for its impressive range of social features.

Your Instagram gallery is a social space, which means that you can be followed by (and follow back) other snappers. Commenting on each other's photos is fun and you can share you work via Twitter and Facebook very easily. 'Instagramming' may already be something of a cliché within certain tech circles but the app has a vibrant community and a genuine knack for making so-so pictures really pop.



If the thought of adding pseudo-vintage effect to your pictures fills you with horror you might prefer 500px. Another popular social photography app, 500px's community is intended for those snappers who appreciate a proper photograph and who know how to frame a scene without requiring an app to do the donkeywork for them.

That said, this IS an app, but one that is intended more for uploading pictures and browsing yours and your friends' galleries than making photos look like they were found in a sock drawer last opened in the 1970s.




The built-in Panorama feature in your Note II's Camera app is a cracking way of taking sweeping 360-degree shots of any impressive vistas you happen upon on your travels.

Once you're hooked, taking 360 panoramic pics is something you will want to do all the time, and Pano is the app to go for if you want to craft (and, possibly, print out) perfect poster-size 360-degree panoramic photographs with colour-correction and near-seamless stitching.

Pano takes 16 photos as you slowly rotate yourself and the Note II in a circle. Along one edge of the screen the app will show you a 'ghost' image from the edge of the previous picture so you can line things up correctly. Once you have all 16 the app will stitch things together, balance the colours and contrast and stick your panoramic photo in the phone's gallery.



Instagram's vintage effects are great, but not everyone likes the way you are forced into a square, cropped image. Pixlr-o-matic will let you take any picture you like and apply hundreds of effects and overlays (such as flashes of light, ethereal glows and scratches) and gives you a choice of nearly 300 different frames and borders.

The app is very simple to use and great fun to play around with. Once you have the picture you want it is simple to save it to your gallery or to share it on Facebook.




Aviary is a full-featured image editor for your Note II. As well as the now-standard photo effects, Aviary is a complete toolkit for making your photos look better. Those photo tinkerers who like to touch-up every detail in their favourite pics would ordinarily send their pics to their laptop and use something like Photoshop, but Aviary will let you do almost everything you want right on your phone.

Red-eye removal, cropping, colour balance, contrast and sharpness can all be tweaked with the wave of a finger or a quick flourish with the S Pen. There are even tools for whitening teeth or eyeballs and airbrushing out blemishes and wrinkles. Okay, it may be cheating, but why shouldn't you look your best in your beach photos?


Photoshake Pro


Photoshake is a really simple way to turn groups of photos into colourful collages. Why settle for just one picture when you can cram a load into the same frame?

The 'shake' in the name comes from the eponymous feature that lets you literally shake a bunch of photos and let them fall into a random collage pattern. If that is a bit chaotic for your tastes you can of course build one manually.


Postagram Postcards


Sending postcards is a fun way to keep friends and family informed about how much fun you are having. Showing off, basically!

But it's always a shame to be stuck with the same boring views of the beach or a weak excuse for a locally-themed joke. Which is where Postagram can come to the rescue, letting you turn your holiday snaps into real cardboard postcards that you create on your phone and can then send anywhere in the world.

Our tip is to use one or more of the apps above to prepare your pic (such as Pixlr-o-matic and Aviary) before importing it into Postagram and making your card. There is a small postage fee for sending each card which varies according to destination but you do get a couple of cards free to try the service out with.



The OTHER big social photo-sharing site. Flickr may have fallen by the wayside compared to rivals in recent years but now it is back with an all-new Android app and looking healthier than it has in ages.

Where other sites are about single images, Flickr excels at creating galleries and animated slideshows of your images as well as helping you to organise them with tags and descriptions. It is easy to create both public and private galleries and there are plenty of photo communities on Flickr devoted to different types and subjects of photography.


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