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Quick Start: To edit a photo with a phone



  Snapseed Photo Editing App

Snapseed is one of the best photo editing apps ever. Google bought the company Snapseed made in 2012. Since then, its popularity has continued to increase. It is known for its simplicity and extensive functionality. The app is also free, so you can try it right away. The only tricky part is learning how to use Snapseed, what this article is about.

Modern smartphones can take impressive photos, but every photographer will tell you that taking pictures is only half the battle. The editing is a fundamental part of the photography process, because such good shots can be transformed into stunning images.

We take you through the most important settings through the process of editing a single image taken with a smartphone. We will not cover all options available in Snapseed. That would require more time and commitment. Instead, these Snapseed image-editing tips and tricks should help you get started on the basics that you can improve as you learn more about editing and photography.

  1. Presets and filters
  2. Exposure
  3. White balance [19659009] Crop, rotate and perspective
  4. Brush tool
  5. Heal

Photo taken with a smartphone

  Hidden tutorial Original

I wanted the picture to be a generic photo of any person I can shoot, so I took a quick snapshot of a wooden statue that I have at home. No rethinking, no lights, no reflectors, no nothing. This is a simple shot that we can use the power of photo editing to make something great.


. 1 Take a look at Snapseed's presets and filters.

I'm not a fan of presets or filters, but there's no doubt that they make life easier than learning a variety of editing parameters. After importing an image into Snapseed, you will see a tab labeled LOOKS in the lower left corner. Tap on it and look at Snapseed's filter.

You can also search on the TOOLS tab for HDR Scape, Glamor Glow, Drama, Vintage, Grainy Film, Grunge, Retrolux, Noir. Portrait, lens blur and other special effects.

These automated edits may be all you need or a good starting point for further fine-tuning. I keep the original image and edit it to my liking.


. 2 Fix exposure

The first step is to fix the exposure to your liking. Your phone is not always smart enough to measure the lighting properly. Even if this is the case, you may want to make a picture darker or brighter for creative reasons. Snapseed has a way to fix this problem. Tap the TOOLS tab and select Adjust Image .

Read also: Explanation of Photography Terms: ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and More

You can edit parameters such as brightness, contrast, saturation, highlights, shadows, and more. Drag your finger up and down to select the parameter you want to edit. Then drag your finger left and right to edit the parameter you have selected.

I would like to make the picture a bit brighter, so that everything looks clearer, but I also wanted the exposure to be uniform across the entire frame. To achieve this, I have reduced the contrast and highlights while increasing the shadows. When I was on the beach, I had the feeling that a warmer tone gives the photo a special touch. That's why I increased the heat a bit.

Ambiance is a special kind of contrast that can balance the exposure in a photo. It can create an unnatural appearance if it's over the top, so I usually do not play around with it too much. I use it very easily when I do it. This time I increased it by 10.

Here are the changes. Not too shabby, but much more can be done to improve it.


3. Correct white balance with Snapseed

Correcting white balance is usually one of my first changes. Cameras often read lighting incorrectly, resulting in strange color tones or hues. Make sure you find the balance between blue and yellow as well as green and magenta. Alternatively, you can get creative and give images a hue or tint that was not available at the time of shooting. Color theory is an important part of photography.

Read also: What is white balance in photography?

I want to keep this image more traditional and have already added some warmth in earlier edits. In this case, I just add some magenta to the hue just because this purple touch gives beach photos a special look.


4. Crop, Rotate, and Perspective

I have no problem with perspective here, or I would like to crop, but Snapseed offers the option for those who want it. The perspective parameter can straighten a photo if you notice that you have taken it a bit wrong. Cropping can also be useful for fixing compositions or cutting out unwanted elements.

In this case, I simply use the spin function because the horizon line is not leveled.


5. Selective Editing with the Brush Tool

The brush function allows you to make selective edits to your image. I want to make the sky, the sea and the sand in the background more dramatic without affecting the wooden statue. To do this I go to TOOLS and type within the parameters of Snapseed Brush . In this section, I can edit exposure, temperature, saturation, and more locally. In this case, I want to saturate the background, so I choose Saturation and set the parameter to 10. Then you can just drag a finger over the areas that need to be changed.

Tap Click the eye icon to highlight the affected areas in red. If you've accidentally edited sections you did not want, lower the saturation to zero (labeled "eraser") and slide your finger over the affected areas.


. 6 Eliminate unwanted objects with Snapseed

Have you ever taken a stunning picture just to find it was destroyed by an ugly piece of garbage? It happens to the best of us. Healing can highlight objects or items that should have disappeared. Snapseed's Smart Fill then extracts information from the object's environment and intelligently cleans the image. I will remove some of the algae in the sand and the rocks to the right of the image.

Go to TOOLS and select the option Cure . You can zoom in and out to better recognize imperfections and change the size of your healing brush. When you're done, just drag your finger over what you want to remove and the application will take effect. Remember that it is not always perfect, especially if you want to remove elements that make up a large part of the frame.


Limited Editing Results

We have shown you the gradual evolution of the photo, but it is different to see the original shot compared to the fully edited one. The differences are just amazing.

We can not emphasize the importance enough to work on, especially as these tools become more available and become more user friendly. This photo was created from start to finish using only a smartphone. The Google Pixel 3 XL has a great camera, but there are many phones with great cameras. It is also worth noting that you do not have to spend too much on a camera phone to get good results.

We would like to see what you can do with Snapseed Comments!


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