Monday, January 21, 2019

Top Photo Editing Apps for iPhone 2019

Smartphone cameras advance with every release. Now anyone can be a photographer by using their smartphone as a camera, editing workstation and publishing device -- all in one. 

Nature photographer Pankaj Saharia recommends the coolest and most unique photo editing apps available for iPhone users.

Becoming a master of photography is no longer about splurging on thousand dollar camera systems. Then again, it never really was. Owning the title of photographer is more about the individual artist than the camera in his/her hand. With so many unique photo editing apps to choose from, iPhone users have the ability to carry their own mini studio in their pocket. If you’re an aspiring photographer creating art on a budget with your iPhone, check out these awesome apps!

Pankaj Saharia iPhone Photo Apps


VSCO, pronounced “Visco,” is a modern photo editing software for the old soul photographer. If you love the beautifully timeless and classic look of physical film, you’ll absolutely adore VSCO. Free to download, this app goes beyond the standard editing tools for fine-tuning your captured images. While you can still adjust the image’s color, exposure and sharpness just like any other photo editor, VSCO turns even the most ordinary photos into something grand. Create your own personal time warp by turning your snapshots into beautiful photos with that yesteryear vibe. The free version of the application includes a sample pack of unique filters. If you have fun toying around with those and want to expand on the possibilities, VSCO offers a variety of features which can be purchased directly in the app.

Afterlight 2

While taking photos on your phone may not sound like the most professional route of photography, mobile photographers are proving that there’s artistry in the process. Afterlight 2 allows you to tap into the minds of well-known mobile photographers. By granting you access to free filter packs made by smartphone-wielding artists, you too can create unique photos for your social media profiles, blogs and more. The output quality will give off a professional impression to eyes less trained in the photographic arts. It’ll be your little secret! With dust and light leak overlays, seamless image blending and more, this app’s value goes far beyond its modest $2.99 price tag.

Adobe Photoshop Express

You don’t have to be an expert in photography to know about Adobe’s famous Photoshop editing software. But did you know that you can get Photoshop for free on your iPhone? Adobe Photoshop Express is free to download and it comes with all the basic settings to make your photos pop. Of course, if you want to tap into extra goodies, you can with in-app purchases. But the pre-loaded features should be more than enough for the novice photographer. Having Photoshop literally in your backpocket is easier and simpler than ever before.


Now this one is truly something special! Breathe new life into even the most basic of snapshots with Enlight’s stunning mixer tool. This feature allows you to create double-exposure images, something that previously required a solid grasp on photo editing. With the healing tool, you can completely remove unwanted objects from your photos to make for clean images. Enlight also has some unique programs for aspiring pocket filmmakers. Enlight’s Videoleap makes photos come to life by turning snapshots into videos. Spice up that waterfall shot from your family vacation by turning it into something truly stunning. You can literally make the water appear to be flowing by everything else stands still -- how awesome is that?!

These apps are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s truly amazing what you can do with a couple free apps and your trusty iPhone. Breaking into photography has never been easier!

Nature photographer Pankaj Saharia regularly lends aspiring photographers expert advice on Quora.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How to Become a Nature Photographer

Pankaj Saharia decided to take up nature photography as a hobby when he was a young boy. He was -- and still is -- absolutely inspired by the photographers published in National Geographic. Photos of culture and animals in their natural habitats mesmerize him. He enjoys capturing his own adventures with his camera.

Pankaj Saharia Nature Photography

Photography is one of the most realistic and creative art forms available to artists. Capturing the world, both organically and artificially, helps you to hone both your memory and creative energy. Pankaj Saharia was originally inspired to take up photography because of his love of the world famous publication, National Geographic. The magazine inspired Pankaj to journey out into the real world and capture his own adventures. Friends and family often ask how they can join in on the fun. Pankaj Saharia always tell them that it’s simple: you just have to get out there and give it a go!

There are many specific worlds of photography that you can venture off into. Personally, Pankaj Saharia prefers nature photography. There’s something uniquely beautiful about highlighting the reality of the natural world. The process mesmerizes him. What he loves about this art form is that literally anyone can take up nature photography, no matter where they are located! Here are two useful tips for newcomers who are looking to take up nature photography:

Don’t stress about your gear

A lot of people are discouraged by the high-end price points of camera equipment. But, the truth is, you don’t need a $5,000 DSLR to capture stellar shots. Although quality of equipment certainly comes into play, the quality of your work relies more on your creative eye than your camera or lens system. You don’t need to break the bank to break into this hobby! During the winter months, many electronics stores mark their camera equipment down significantly. On the other hand, you can always purchase a second hand camera for a fraction of the brand new price tags. If you can track one down, Pankaj would recommend the Canon Rebel T3i as a starter!

The perfect location is anywhere

Although those professional shots of the Sahara desert are gorgeous, you don’t have to travel thousands of miles to try your hand at nature photography! Start by exploring your own backyard. Visit local state parks and adventure through the scenery with your camera at the ready. Start off by setting a simple project for yourself, such as capturing a collection of photos of a specific subject. Select a living creature as your subject, like a bug or bird. This will help you to practice your camera’s focus depending on the creature’s movement and the surrounding lighting.

It really is just that simple! You don’t have to pay a fortune for equipment or tie up your schedule with the commitment of a semester-long class. Anyone, anywhere can become a nature photographer -- at any time!

For more photography advice from Pankaj Saharia, follow him on Quora.

You can also learn more about his adventure of becoming a freelance nature photographer here:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Sony a5100: Is It a Camera Worth Buying in 2018?

Although the compact Sony a5100 recently celebrated its fourth birthday, many photographers believe it still packs a punch. Nature Photographer and camera connoisseur Pankaj Saharia discusses whether or not this mirrorless camera can keep up with more recent releases in 2018.

Pankaj Saharia Photography Camera Review

Calling all amateur photographer hopefuls: Sony is offering a deal of a lifetime. There’s no better time to start assembling your gear! You won’t want to miss out on the incredible value of the Sony a5100. Weighing in at a $550 price point, this compact system is still slaying the competition four years after its introduction to the mirrorless camera market. Although I’m just barely skimming the surface in this review, here are some solid reasons why the a5100 holds up to its (far more expensive) competition in 2018:

Low Light Legend

Compared to other entry level mirrorless cameras currently on the market (i.e. Canon’s M50), the Sony a5100 performs incredibly in low light. Of course, this has come to be expected with mirrorless camera systems. But the a5100 is an absolute champion in this regard. For example, Canon’s most recent prosumer mirrorless system, the M50, checks in at roughly $700. However, its performance in low light situations leaves much to be desired. Although four years old, stellar low light shots taken with the $550 a5100 demolish recently released competitors.

Size & Portability

Although DSLRs are often thought of as the undisputed champions of professional photography, the gear systems tend to be incredibly bulky. For a first time amateur photographer, this can be super impractical. The Sony a5100’s slim shape and compact design relates more to that of a point-and-shoot body than that of a DSLR. And yet, this mirrorless maverick allows you to shoot stunning video and impeccable photos at a quality level that rivals similarly priced DSLRs. If you’re a newbie whose photography journey has only just begun, the compact design of the a5100 is incredibly attractive. Unlike a bulky DSLR, the a5100 and its 16-50mm kit lens can nearly fit in your coat pocket. For that reason, this camera has all the portability of a low budget consumer’s point-and-shoot and all the integrity of a prosumer’s DSLR system.

Price Point

Did I mention that this powerful little device is only $550?! In case I haven’t said it enough, I’ll say it again: the Sony a5100 is only $550! Considering the quality output of this device, as well as the performance pros listed above, this is an absolute steal! Having just recently celebrated its fourth birthday, it’s safe to say that this price will steadily decline over time. The quality, however, will not. At the moment, I wholeheartedly believe that this camera, although not recently released, is a greater value than its competition. Far more expensive alternatives (such as the Canon M50, as I mentioned earlier), pale in comparison to this little powerhouse. If you’re looking to break into photography as a complete beginner, the Sony a5100 is a fantastic starter -- even just based on price point alone.

I think it goes without saying that I stand by this four year old camera! I strongly recommend this camera to all beginners and novice photographers searching for a high quality budget option. Especially if you’re interested in getting into mirrorless systems, the Sony a5100 is incredible for its price.

For more photography tips and tricks, follow Pankaj Saharia on Quora: