You'd be surprised at how great a picture taken with a camera can be. It just takes a little know how to get it looking it's best. If you didn't read My post 5 Tips for Better Mobile Photography definitely check that out because we can't edit a bad image and make it great now can we!
My favorite app.... and by far THE standard in mobile image editing is VSCOCAM. If you don't have it then definitely get it asap. VSCO actually also has programs for computer based editing as well which is honestly what I edit all my images with.
What separates VSCO from any other editing app is that it is more than an app... it's a collective. It's inspired by visual artists and story tellers so it has a richer substanance to it. It's meant to be a tool to deepen the imagery of mobile photography. It sounds rather grand but the lofty ideals behind the makers of VSCOCAM have led them to create a sleek and elegant editing tool which in my opinion is unprescedented.
Check out their super beautiful minimalist website here: http://vsco.co/
Above is the final image and below is the original unedited file taken on my Galaxy Note 2
With this image I first applied VSCOCAM preset E3 to give it a nice contrast. I then boosted up the exposure a couple of steps to bring out the shadows.
I almost always find myself adding some magenta in my photos as I did with this image.... mostly because I like pink, but also because I find that most digital cameras - including my 5dmkiii pull green so I counteract that with a little rosiness.
If possible I shoot so that I don't have to crop. But, sometimes a little crop and horizon straightening helps clean up an image a little bit which is what I did with this image.
To give it a more vintage feel I like to take the edge of the saturation down a bit which usually ends up being about 1-2 spots on the saturation tool in VSCOCAM. Also one of the absolute greatest features of the app is it's fade tool. I usually will add 1-3 notches of fade, this image has 2.
Another one of my favorite features in VSCOCAM is the highlight and shadow tint tools. I almost always add some magenta to my highlights. This image has +3.
To finish it all up I used the shadow save tool to bring out some of the shadow detail in the waves. Just a hit of +2.
You can take it from an instagram addict that it's really hard to create a fresh, modern image directly from a cell phone without VSCOCAM. Download it and give it a try! Some of my favorite presets: E6, E3, E8, T2, C1, A6, F1.