iPhoneography: Make your iPhone travel pictures spectacular

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words and this is particularly true when it comes to your travel snapshots. Whether you’re back from a business trip or the family vacation from hell, you can regale your friends and family with stories of cool restaurants or the holiday romance you had… but everyone wants to see your pictures. With today’s technology, you can’t claim you didn’t have a camera with you (assuming you have a smart phone) when you stumbled across that supermodel in the Galapagos. So what if your photography skills are non-existent? There are apps for that!

If you’re reading this on Gadling, it’s likely that you (or someone traveling with you) are going to have an iDevice with them. Truly, the iPhone/iPod Touch has the potential to become the must-have travel gadget. Its camera is so stealth and so versatile that you no longer have an excuse for your photos to be anything less than awesome, even if your vacation is a total bust.

If you haven’t yet checked out the exploding world of iPhoneography, here are a few user-friendly apps that are worth investing in and playing with. Whether you work with one or all of them, it’s not an exaggeration to say that these apps are pretty much guaranteed to improve your travel photos.

Camera + $0.99
If you’re looking to improve your photo game in a single app, Camera+ is a great way to go. This is the app of choice for non-photographers or people who don’t care about the technical side of shooting, but who want to make their images look better. Not only is it user friendly, it’s intuitive and almost impossible to mess up — and it also gives you control over the strength of its filters and effects.

From an operational standpoint, the interface on Camera + makes sense and the lingo they use is understandable while the icons are self-explanatory. One can use Camera+ for both image capture and editing, even if they’ve been shot directly on your iPhone’s camera.

This app lets you shoot and be in the moment and fix any mistakes (exposure being the most common one) after the fact. You can download it now and even try to correct that shot you took long before you read this post. It’s easy also easy to share your creations on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. As a warning: this app has a reputation for being addictive.
AutoStitch Panorama $1.99
AutoStitch Panorama enables your humble iPhone to capture the broadest scenic landscapes and then turn them into modern day postcards. Basically, the clever app lets you take a series of shots with your limited point and shoot lens and then stitches them together into a panorama. If that technology is not cool enough, it also lets you control how seamlessly you want them blended. Here’s a tip: sometimes an imperfect melding of pictures is the best way to go. You can achieve some really cool and artsy images with just a bit of experimentation.

toonPAINT $1.99
If you’ve ever fancied yourself the creative type but just never got around to submitting your portfolio to get into Art School, toonPAINT could be the resolution to all of that angst. It can turn any of the photos taken and/or stored in your iDevice into an illustrated image that you can then color-in as you please. Turn that airport shuttle into a comic or the beach sand into something no one has seen before.

Iris Photo Suite $1.99
Iris Photo Suite is definitely the most advanced of the bunch here, but the key is that it allows you access to over 70 photo effects and then gives you the ability to layer and blend them. This is what turns snapshots into really memorable images. Check out what can happen when you add Iris to the equation after using other apps.

Instagram Free!
A work of art is nothing without its audience. And if you’re itching to share your images with the world via any portal of social media, you should definitely have Instagram in your arsenal. You can take a picture in the app, or add some cool (but limited) filters to an existing photo, caption it and release it to the world via Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Instagram also has its own feed and you can check out what the world wide community of Instagramers is up to. Use location hashtags and who knows? Your photos might be big in Japan, even if you’ve never been there.