I love to play with photography apps! I used to try to add effects to images using Photoshop but it was too much work. I've also enjoyed exploring websites like Picnik and BeFunky to add effects, but I needed an internet connection to do this. But now, it is much easier to simply use my iPad or iPhone to experiment with adding effects and filters to my images. I have found many free apps that will allow you to create thousands of interesting effects - you can play for hours!
So above is a simple photo of a peony that I took with my iPad. Let's see what can be done with it!
MobileMonet Lite app (free) - This app turns your photo into a black and white textured picture that you color using your finger. It gives a nice stylized look! You also can color just part of the photo. I know there are many other apps that let you colorize your photo, but I think this one has gives exceptional depth to the image.
PaintMee Lite app (free) - I love watching this app as it paints each stroke of paint! The texture on the photo is so cool and it looks like a real painting if you view it in a large size.You can customize the detail of the strokes of paint and the colors to make a variety of looks.
BeFunky app (free) - Many effects and edges to try. This shows the retro effect with a grunge edge. Lots of gungy effects here! Very easy to use, although the save button seems to be somewhat cropped off the corner of the screen.
Effects app (free) - I like how easy this app is to use - you simply pick a filter and a frame. It is easy to try all kinds of combinations.
Picture Effect Magic (free) - Again, there lot of combinations of effects and filters - some are a little wild but there also are many beautiful effects. I like the addition of the glowing light effect on this black and white version. There are many options in this app so its not as simple to use as some of the other apps.
Fotofunia (free) - This fun app lets you add your photo onto a billboard or into a museum gallery or put your head into photo effect. Some of the effects are goofy, but I must say that their "Pencil Drawing" effect creates the most stunning drawing effect of any app that I have tried!
Fotolr Photo Studio (free) - I enjoy playing with the tint of my photos using this app - here I added an intense peachy hue to the image. Besides the color effects and the many frames, this app also lets you add wacky lips, hair, and eyes to photos.
ArtCamera (free, for a limited time) - This app lets you add effects to your photos that imitate various artists and artistic styles. It has an animated path to follow as you select your effects that can be a bit confusing, but there are some neat options here! Above is the mosaic effect.
LunaPic (free) - over 30 effects to add to photos including a neat 3D cube effect. I like this "Photo Spread" effect. Very easy to "try on" the effects!
Crazy Photo Booth (free) - This app has 25 effects and lots of pop up ads. But the "Obama" effect that it generates is awesome!
Note: These are a mixture of iPhone and iPad apps, but they all work fine on an iPad. Since these are free versions, many of them have ads or have buttons for additional in app purchases or upgrades to a paid app. All of them let you upload a photo from your photo gallery and most also let you use the camera. Most let you save your finished image to your camera roll, although a few will only let you email the image. The images are saved in a variety of resolutions depending on the app.
Update: As I find additional great apps I will add them below:
Pixlr-o-matic (free) - another very easy app with retro effects and and edges. I like the interface on this one!