There are a lot of people who love the filters and things that they can do with Instagram. I think people who enjoy that kind of thing would really like some of the great computer-based photo editors as well.
Adobe’s Photoshop is so common, people often talk about pictures and how they’ve been “photoshopped”. It is an incredibly powerful (and expensive) program that can allow you to do all kinds of amazing things with your pictures. If the price tag or all those features intimidate you, there’s also Adobe Photoshop Elements. This program is cheaper and less overwhelming. It is geared more toward the casual photographer. It has more automated features and guides. It also does a great job organizing your photos for you.
Another well-known program is Paint Shop Pro. Many people who work with .raw files feel that Paintshop is actually better to work with. The pricepoint is often better, too. I have worked with both and think that it is also a little more user-friendly as well. If you’re going to create an image from scratch, this is a better program.
If you like the features of Photoshop and PaintshopPro but don’t have the money to spend, try gimp.org’s open sourceware, GNU Image Manipulation Program (otherwise known as GIMP). It is completely free. You can do many of the same things that other programs charge lots of money for. And there are scripts and plug-ins added all the time. It’s available for both OS and Windows, and you can download it off the internet.
If you’ve just got to have an app on your phone or tablet, there are a few options for you. Snapseed has gotten very popular and even allows you to edit .raw files. One that I like a lot is Aviary, which was made by Adobe. There is an extensive list of filters and other ways to edit your photos. Enlight is another reasonably priced app that lets you create artistic looking photos with relative ease. If you just want something basic that can remove unwanted elements or even people from your photos, TouchRetouch does a nice job.
You can use photo editing software to give your photos a unique look. You can also turn a decent photo into a good one, and a great photo into a work of art. I recommend taking advantage of the free trials many software developers offer as a download to see what you like best. If you can’t find a free trial of the program you are interested in, try watching youtube tutorials. You’ll get a good feel for what other people are doing with these programs and how easily you will be able to do the things you want to with them. Keep in mind that many of these are expensive, so be sure to get something you’re going to be able to use!