Litely Brings Subtle, Film-Inspired Presets to Your Mobile Photography


As Instagram goes to show, people love to give their mobile photos that extra bit of pop, to make them stand out from the rest and give them an aesthetic true to photography past. To do so, they rely on various applications, most notably VSCO Cam, which claims to be the “standard” among mobile photography applications. However, as of today, there’s a new contender: Litely.

Created by Cole Rise, an avid photographer and creator of presets, in collaboration with Sam Soffes, an iOS developer who has worked for the likes of Hipstamatic, Incredibooth, and Over, this filter application is built from the ground up with cleanliness and minimalism being its bread and butter.

If you browse through the top charts of the photography and video category in the iOS App Store, you’ll quickly find out there’s no shortage of applications to choose from. However, where there is quantity, there is plenty of quality lacking. The interfaces of the applications can be difficult, and many of the filters and presets can be overwhelming. Litely changes all of that. For the better.


Why is it different

Two reasons: thoughtful design of the application and quality of the adjustments and filters.

The overall interface of the app is incredibly clean and minimal, making most of every pixel of screen real-estate, showing your photographs in their full glory. The grid of your images is displayed in a 2×3 grid, the typography throughout the app is clean (when it’s even present), and the iconography throughout the app makes use of standard queues, letting you know full well what action each button will make.


The application also makes use of some unique gestures and features, pulling inspiration from various other apps. Worth noting is the “drag-anywhere” interface, which means that rather than trying to hold your finger on a tiny slider, you can swipe anywhere on an image to adjust the various parameters. Another feature that makes use of the gyroscope is the ability for the images to pan side-to-side while tilting your phone; meaning even panoramas will get the full-screen treatment.


Speaking on the quality of the various parameters capable of being changed and edited, Litely does quite a fantastic job adjusting exposure, sharpness and vibrance, not completely destroying the photograph by killing only the highlights or muddying up only the shadows as many other apps tend to do.

The filters within the app are what truly set the final product apart from the competition though. Taking a subtle, film-inspired approach, the filters give images that little change in tone to set them apart, but not so much that they look over-processed – yet another thing many other apps tend to go heavy on. Each preset comes in three different varieties, offering a standard, “high,” and “faded” style, much akin to how VSCO Film makes use of the “+” and “-“ presets.


Summing it up

Available for free as a download in the iOS App Store, Litely comes with 9 adjustable presets (3 variations of 3 filters), with 36 more available for download as an in-app purchase, for $1.99 a piece. Be sure to go give it a download, play around with it a bit, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

  • GeniusUnleashed

    Kind of disappointing off the bat. Very few adjustment tools, so I’m completely dependent on his filters instead of letting my creativity run wild. Not nearly as good as VSCOcam which allows for more adjustments. But neither give enough control which is why always use Snapseed first to get my image where I like it and then mess around to see if any filters make it more interesting. I kind of expected a little more from Mike than this. I do like that it doesn’t degrade the original image, but that really only matters to serious photographers who understand what degradation means, hence my amazement at the lack of more control in the app.

    On a side note: this seems like a paid plug, especially since you don’t bring up any critiques of the app. I know I’d appreciate it more if you put that at the top so I know you actually didn’t test it out.

  • Fullstop

    If they said it was a paid plug you wouldn’t have clicked on it, would you?

  • Michael Zhang

    if it WAS a paid plug, then we certainly would have disclosed it :) Check out our record, and you’ll see that we disclose all kinds of things, no matter how insignificant.

    Thanks for the concern though — it IS a matter we take very seriously.

  • GeniusUnleashed

    Sure I would have, I’m a photographer and like learning about new tools for my trade. But I would have taken everything in this “article” with a grain of salt, knowing the “writer” didn’t write it, but instead regurgitated the talking points from the app maker.

  • Edgar Allan Bro

    It’s like a less capable VSCO Cam. Because that’s what the oversaturated market for iOS photography apps was crying out for.

  • jaakewilson

    got it yesterday, weak to say the least.