Category Archives Apps


This week we were very fortunate to have Adobe’s own Bryan O’Neil Hughes in our studios (he was taping a KelbyOne class on using Adobe’s Mobile Apps, plus he did a live private Webcast exclusively for our members, and he was also my guest on The Grid on Wednesday). Basically, Bryan didn’t get much sleep  this week.

Anyway, if you missed any of this…
I’ve got the next best thing, which are some short clips where Bryan is giving you a glimpse of the power of some of these amazing apps (and once you see them, you’ll be even more amazed to learn that Adobe makes all of these apps available for FREE!).

Take a look at these three short videos (below) on these mobile apps in the Photoshop family: Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Mix, and Photoshop Sketch. (I’ll share some more app videos next week). A lot of folks were literally blown away at what these apps are able to do, and how they extend the power of editing your images to mobile. Really incredible stuff (and thanks Bryan for an incredible week of learning Adobe’s awesome free mobile apps).

We’re cooking up lots of cool training on mobile apps, including classes on Lightroom Mobile at this summer’s Photoshop Conference 2016 in Las Vegas (Bryan will be teaching there again this year), so I hope you can make it. If you’re a KelbyOne member, and you sign up before June 10th, you can get a full conference pass for all three days, with nearly 100 sessions to choose from, for just $599. Here’s the link with details.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll see ya back here on Monday!



P.S. I’m off to London today and I’ll be speaking at “The Photography Show” on Monday and Tuesday. I hope to meet you in person there. Can’t wait! :)


OK, it’s not technically for just Instagrammers, and there’s nothing in the app that says it’s for using with Instagram, but it’s so perfect for Instagram, I can’t believe Adobe wasn’t thinking that way from the start (even if they didn’t say it).

The App is called “Adobe Post” (it’s free, and available for iPhone) and it lets you create all sorts of custom graphics with text for social media. While there are a bunch of apps that already do this type of thing, this one is particularly clever, thoughtfully designed and very fast and simple to use.

It comes with a bunch of pre-made, nicely designed, easily customizable templates for use as your starting place, but the way you can tweak and change everything (including trying out new color schemes with just one tap), makes it not only fast but actually a lot of fun.


Above: This is the opening screen which shows a bunch of different templates (there are way more than you can see in the screen cap — they appear when you scroll down) — just click on the one you want to customize or “remix” as they say.


Above: Once you choose a template to start with, you can use their built-in photos or your own. Here I took a photo and blurred the heck out of it first; and then imported it into the App as the background. Now you can choose different color palettes for the tint over your image and the text and the graphic (a rope circle in this case) separately. You can keep remixing these colors by tapping on the arrows over the color.


Above: You can change design templates any time, along with different placements for your text (everything is pretty much editable at any time — you can change text, fonts, size, colors, templates, you name it). Here I changed templates, and then I uploaded a different photo. Just tap on those thumbnails below the image and it changes the layout.


Above: I switched to an entirely different layout for a different photo (just a snap with my iPhone, and one of my favorite quotes from my wife — she said it to our daughter one morning and I still laugh every time I think of it). I changed the top text, the text below it, and tried different color palettes.


Above: Here’s how it looks when uploaded to Instagram (yes, you can take your edited image from Adobe Post directly over to the Instagram App for posting).

Adobe Post is available FREE for the iPhone on the App Store (here’s the link).

Hope you find that helpful. Have a great Tuesday everybody!



First, a big thanks to everyone who has sent some love after watching my new online class  “How to build your audience on Instagram” — the feedback has been tremendous! Here’s one of my favorites:

I have watched the class and applied what you taught to my account (I started 2 weeks ago)… just today I have far more interaction on my images than any I have posted to Facebook. Great class!” —Jason L. Eldridge 

I’ve got dozens more along the same lines from Twitter and Facebook, and as a teacher any time you create a class that resonates with your students, it’s a great feeling, so thanks for letting me know (and I’m glad it’s helping). :)

Posting to Instagram From the Desktop:
Although I talked about it briefly in the class, one thing a lot of folks want to do is something that Instagram natively doesn’t really do, which is to let you publish to Instagram from your desktop or laptop computer. You pretty much have to post from within the phone (or tablet) app itself (there really isn’t an iPad app for Instagram — you just download the iPhone app to your iPad, and then run it at 2x size, so at least then it’s full screen, and you can upload from your iPad).

However, there are a few other options (none of them awesome):


There is a App for the Mac OS called “Uploader to Instagram” that I bought for $4.99 that lets you right-click on any image upload directly from the desktop. Once you right click on the image (here I right-clicked on an image on my desktop), you go to the bottom of the menu, under Services, and choose “Share to Instagram” as seen above.


Then this tiny windows appears on screen, which shows you a preview of your image, and it has a slider below it for resizing your image before posting (or you can take a live photo of yourself using your laptop’s built-in camera). This window is really, really small (and I have no idea why they made it so small — that is about actual size that you’re seeing above). Once you click done, the following appears:


A window pops down from your menubar with a Share to Instagram window. Again, it’s a very small window with a very small field to enter your caption, but you enter your caption and hashtags; hit the Share button, and you’re done.


Since it doesn’t give you any kind of confirmation that it actually posted, I went to view my Instagram account on my Web browser ( and there it was. If you scroll down you see the captions and hashtags, and you can see it worked.

What’s missing? 
Plenty. You can’t simultaneously post to Twitter and/or Facebook, so you have more steps to do manually, which kinda stinks. Also, you can’t add a location, which stinks big-time. Also, it doesn’t suggest any previous #hashtags you’ve used, and all the windows are wayyyyyy too small, and of course there’s the fact that there’s no confirmation that it even posted in the first place, so you have to go and check.

Worse yet — if you don’t post a square photo (you use the slider to post a wider image), it doesn’t tuck your image, and the text, up to the top of the post, like the Instagram App does — instead it leaves this awkward gap of white space above and below your image (see the above image of it on Instagram’s site). Not a good look! This was the deal breaker for me. I’m out.

So, does it work? Yes, but it’s got a long way to go to really be a truly helpful tool. It’s more of a “Well, I might use it as a last resort before my phone battery is dead” type of feature.

There a FREE service called “Gramblr”
It ain’t great. It’s a browser-based service that pretty much suffers from the same problems as Uploader to Instagram, but it has two advantages: (1) It’s free, and (2) it has scheduling, so you can set a time for your posts to release. It does have some decent image editing features built-in, and it lets you freeform crop, and add overlay graphics and stuff, (sadly, it continues the theme of making the smallest text field possible), but it’s still missing enough critical stuff that I’d be hard-pressed to use it.

So, what do most people do?
It’s all about getting the images from your computer to your smartphone so you can post directly from the Instagram App, and there are a number of ways people do this:

(1) They save their images to Dropbox on their computers, and then access their dropbox to save the images to their camera roll, and then upload from the Instagram App (or see below).

(2) You can save your image to Dropbox and then use the Dropbox app to post directly to Instagram, which just saves you the step of saving it to your camera roll.

(3) You can use Apple’s iCloud (on an iPhone) to transfer images from your Desktop to your iPhone and then save it to their camera roll, and then post from the Instagram App.

(4) A lot of folks email themselves the photo they want to post; save it to their camera roll, and then post from the Instagram App.

(5) You can upload the image to Google+ and share to Instagram from there.

(6)  You can upload an image to Adobe’s Creative Cloud (like you would on Dropbox), and then share it from there.

(7) You can upload directly from Flickr to Instagram

(8) You can use a social media management scheduler (like Hootsuite), but all the ones I’ve seen are pretty expensive, and all but one are still kinda clunky (I thought Hootsuite was going to be the answer, but it still makes you pretty much post it yourself through Instagram — it’s just kind of an elegant reminder).

(9) Export from Lightroom to Dropbox, and upload from there

(10) Insert your workaround here (well, down in the comments).

You know what would be ideal?
The ideal thing would be that Instagram itself let you upload from their Website (or they put their API out there allowing third-parties to upload directly that aren’t phone based). Will this happen? I think it will one day before long (and I’m encouraged by the fact that Twitter is expanding its 140 character limit), but hey, ya never know.

Anyway, just a quick look at a question I’ve been seeing a lot since my class came out.

Hey, speaking of my class:


The class is designed for photographers, and if that’s you, here’s the link (if you’re not already a KelbyOne member, you can sign up for a 10-day free trial and watch it now).

That’s it for Monday – hope yours is a good one!



P.S. Thanks to all the enthusiastic, kind and just plain fun folks who came out to my Richmond and Atlanta seminars last week. Over 600 of you came to spend the day with me, and I’m very grateful that you did. Next stop? Houston, Texas on Feb. 19th. Hope I get to meet you there.


Welcome to the first Monday of the year (you can stop cheering now), and I thought I’d kick off the new year here on the blog with a look at my favorite iPhone Apps from 2015. Let’s jump right in! (Note: these are in no particular order).


Apple themselves chose Enlight as one of their Best of 2015 (in fact, it was chosen as “Runner Up” here in the US, which is sayin’ somethin’, but it was Apple’s #1 App Store “App of the Year” in many other countries), and I have to say, it’s perhaps the most robust one-app-does-it-all editing app out there.  It does just about everything — from toning images manually, to adding filters, to automated fixes, to adding text overlays to create memes, all with a very straight forward, easy to use interface. It’s one of those Apps where you can take it as far as you want to go (kind of like Snapseed, another top photography App).

Price: $3.99 on the App Store (For iPhone or iPad)


Lucid (Perfectly Clear)
If you’re looking for an app that will automatically fix, or even retouch your images automatically, this is the one. There are other automated fix apps out there, but I don’t think there’s any that do as good a job, and the little slider that shows you the before and after is just flat-out fun to use. You can tweak things if you like, but if you’re going to do a lot of tweaking, you might as well choose another App — this one’s strength is doing it for you.

Price: $2.99 (for iPhone or iPad)


Adobe Post
This App just came out in late December and it kind of snuck out there so not many folks know about it yet, but it’s pretty sweet. It’s really a meme creator for Instagram (since all the images it creates, at least at this point, are square so it seems like it was made for Instagram where these text-over memes are very popular). Again, this isn’t the only app out there that lets you create this, but this one lets you fix and tweak these in a really flexible way, and I think that’s it’s strength — you start with a template, but then you can tweak it really easy, and the results are great — especially for the price (free).

Price: Free


It’s one of the best sources for photographic inspiration out there, and they keep tweaking it to make it better. The App itself is free, but to get the most out of it, you’ll need a 500px account, but you should have one of those anyway. They’ve got a great community there, and this app is a nice extension of it.

Price: Free


Photoshop Fix
This would probably get my vote as the #1 App overall, because the technology going on here is pretty serious. It’s “Photoshop quality serious” and what it does best (and it’s the best I’ve seen at it), is portrait retouching. It does lots of regular tweaking, but where it soars is the quality and ease of the retouching. We’re talking Cloning, Retouching, Liquify type of effects — Adobe really outdid themselves on this one — one of their best apps ever, which makes it that much harder to believe it’s free.

Price: Free


This one is very different — it’s not an editing app. It’s a photo book app, and one that’s designed to create beautiful, hardcover photo books in literally just minutes (we’re talking 5 minutes — not 60). Basically, here’s how it works: You pick 20 images from your camera roll and it creates a mosaic of them for the front cover, like you see above top (the cover has cut outs that show the mosaic on the first page). If you don’t like the cover mosaic, you can have it instantly refresh and show you a different one. On the 20 pages on the inside, it lays out your photos automatically (though you can drag and drop them into the order you want — see above bottom); and when it looks good to you, hit the Place Order button and in a few days, you have a hard cover book of photos you would probably never print otherwise, which is why this is such a wonderful app (and the books make amazing gift — I’ve given three of them so far in just the last few weeks). It couldn’t be easier to use. The only downside? The price of the printed books are $25 each (so a little over a $1 a page), but the printing is pretty decent (you’re just using iPhone photos), and the overall presentation as a gift is top notch. Send someone one of these and you’ll be a hero.

Price: Free (for the app). Photo books are $25.


Lightroom Mobile
You know I would have to include this App, because it’s one of my favorites, and one of my most-used apps, and it keeps getting better and better, and more powerful each time they release an update. You don’t have to use it with Lightroom desktop (that’s new — you can download it free and just use it for tweaking your iPhone camera roll photos), or use it with Desktop for extending your Lightroom workflow (that’s what I do). This is also some of Adobe’s best work, and you can jump right from LR Mobile over to Photoshop Fix, and you’ve got a seriously powerful mobile workflow.

Price: Free (for iPhone and iPad, and Android)

Well, that’s our kick-off for 2016 — looking at some of my favorite photography apps from 2015 — hope you find some gems in there.

Have a great Monday everybody. Welcome to 2016 — we’ve got a clean slate — it’s a new chapter in our lives. Let’s make it a fun, adventurous, awesome one!



P.S. I’m kicking off my 2016 “Shoot Like a Pro: Part II” (Reloaded) full-day photography seminar in Richmond, Virginia on January 27th, and then in Atlanta on the 29th. I hope you can come on out and spend the day with me (here’s the info). 

When I was up in New York for Photo Plus Expo, one morning I got a chance to do a shoot at the incredible Morgan Library and Museum an hour before they open the doors to the public. I usually share stuff like this on storytelling site “” but this time I used the just introduced Web-editing feature of “Adobe Slate.”

Here’s the link to my shots (including behind-the-scenes shots and camera settings):


Before I get to this, I want to go on record saying that I absolutely LOVE Periscope. I think it’s one of the most important Apps in years, and it does it in a way that leaves its competitors flat. In fact, last week I recorded a tutorial on how to use this new live streaming App from Twitter (available free from the App store for the iPhone), and the tutorial (above) does two things:

(1) It shows you how easy it is to use the free Periscope App to view broadcasts, and make your own live broadcasts
(2) In this tutorial, I snuck in a full tutorial on lighting a product shoot

I do love Periscope, and it’s one of those things where once you try it once, you’re hooked. However, it’s a 1.0 version of the app and it wouldn’t take much to make this the App of the year, and in that vein, here are a few ideas:

Seven Things Periscope Needs To Fix Now:

(1) You need to be able to shoot horizontal video
Periscope is designed for vertical (portrait mode) shooting, but video on phones is best-suited for horizontal (wide) shooting. YouTube (and all professional video) is designed up the same way â” for a wide horizontal screen, not a tall one. While technically Periscope will let you turn the screen sideways, it also forces the viewers to turn their phone as well, but it keeps the messages coming in sideways, and it cuts them off, and people start yelling at you immediately when you turn your iPhone sideways. They need to fix it so you can shoot either tall or wide, without the viewers having the comments get messed up and the chat text field go away.

(2) They need better, faster, and easier control over bad users
I have seen some absolutely mortifying, disgusting, and downright filthy comments appear on screen while watching a broadcast, particularly if the person broadcasting is female. I’m stunned at some of what I’ve read, and which you can click on their comment, go to their profile and then hit the block button, this takes too much time, and is often impossible to do while trying to record and talk live. My friend Terry White suggested these fixes along those lines:

(a) Let us just triple-tap on a name to block them permanently from your feeds
(b) If you triple-tap someone, it removes all their comments from the rebroadcast

I think these are great ideas, and if Periscope doesn’t do something meaningful to curb this type of very inappropriate comments, it may be its undoing. Also, my buddy Jeff Revell suggested a visible flag of some sort to let viewers know before they click on a stream that it contains “adult” content. Right now, you might click on a stream and then see something you were just not expecting.

(3) Swiping Down to reveal the Stop Broadcast button is a bad idea
I wish I could count the number of times I’ve seen people (myself included) swipe down and instead of stopping the broadcast it brings down their Notifications panel, which covers right over the broadcast. Give us an easy way to stop the broadcast. Make a smaller version of button visible all the time.

(4) Let us choose which camera we want to start broadcasting with
The first thing I usually do when broadcasting is double-tap the screen to switch to the rear-facing camera so I can address the viewers directly. Not everybody will want to do that, which is fine, but when we’re starting a new broadcast, give us a choice of which camera to start with: front-facing or rear facing. While you’re at it â” the double-tap to swap cameras isn’t very responsive â” often times I have to double-tap four or five times before it actually swaps the cameras. How about a button, ya know, right beside that stop broadcast button.

(5) Help us to find a user’s broadcasts
If I find a user on Periscope, I’d love to be able to see a list of all the broadcasts they’ve made in the past 24 hours. Right now, finding them is a bit of the needle in the haystack thing

(6) Give us a way to link to our videos
Once we’ve completed our broadcast, there’s no easy way (from the App) to share a direct link to the rebroadcast. We need an easy way to share our broadcasts and lead people to us on Periscope

(7) Give me the option to see only broadcasts in my language, or just a few languages
I see a lot of broadcasts where the title is written in arabic, or Turkish, or Russian or other languages I can’t read, so I don’t know what the topic is, but it shows up as a featured selection at the top of the TV page. In fact, sometimes two or all three have titles in foreign languages. I might still like to see someone’s morning commute in Paris, or breakfast in Sydney, but I wouldn’t even know that’s a choice unless the titles are in English (luckily a lot of them are). Just give me a choice: show me everything, or hide the broadcasts in languages other than English (or the language I choose in the preferences).

None of those fixes compare with the technological features they’ve already mastered, so addressing these issues (which I’ve heard again and again from users), would go a long way to making Periscope the App of the Year. Just my two cents.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday, and we’ll see you over on Periscope (you can follow me there, I’m [wait for it, wait for it] @scottkelby ;-)



P.S. I’ll be doing a live Periscope broadcast later today. Hope you’ll stop by and check it out (here’s a link to download the free Periscope app).