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Home / Tips and Tricks / Snapseed tutorial: How to edit a photo with a phone

Snapseed tutorial: How to edit a photo with a phone



  Snapseed photo editing app

Snapseed is among the best photo editing apps around. Google bought the company responsible for making Snapseed back in 2012. Since then, its popularity has continued to increase. It is known for its simplicity and abundant features. The app is also free, so you might as well give it once. The only tricky part is learning how to use Snapseed, which is what this post is about.

Modern smartphones can take amazing photos, but all photographers say taking a photo is only half the battle. Editing is a fundamental part of the photography process, as it can turn great images into stunning images.

We will walk you through the single-image editing process with a smartphone using the most important settings. We do not cover all available options in Snapseed. It requires more time and dedication. Instead, these Snapseed image editing tips and tricks are designed to get you started with the basics, which you can improve as you learn more about editing and photography.

  1. Presets and filters
  2. Exposure
  3. White balance [19659009] Cutting, rotating and perspective
  4. Brush tool
  5. Healing

Photography with a smartphone

  Snapseed tutorial Original

I wanted the picture to be a general photo every person can shoot, so I took a quick picture of a tree statue I keep at home. No thinking, no lights, no reflectors, nothing. This is a simple image that we can turn into something amazing through the power of photo editing.


first Think about Snapseed's presets and filters

I'm not a fan of presets or filters, but no one denies that they make life easier than learning a lot of editing parameters. After importing an image into Snapseed, you will see a tab in the lower left corner that says LOOKS . Click on it and look through Snapseed's filter.

You can also go to the TOOLS tab and find 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 it can be a good starting point that you can further fine-tune. As for me, I will keep the original image and edit to my taste.


2nd Fixing exposure

The first step to take is to fix the exposure to your liking. Your phone is not always smart enough to measure lighting properly. While it does, you may want an image to be darker or brighter for creative reasons. Snapseed has a way of solving the problem. Click the TOOLS tab and select Tune Image .

Also read: Photography expressions explained: ISO, aperture, shutter speed and more

You can edit parameters such as brightness, contrast, saturation, highlights, shadows and more. Swipe up and down to select which parameter you want to edit. Then swipe left and right to edit which parameter you selected.

I want to make the picture a little brighter, so that everything looks clearer, but I also wanted the exposure to be uniform across the frame. To achieve this, I lowered the contrast and highlights while increasing the shadows. When I was on the beach I felt that a warmer tone would also give the photo a special touch, so I increased the heat a bit.

Ambiance is a special type of contrast that can balance the exposure in a photo. It can create an unnatural look if it is excessive, so I don't usually play with it too much. I use it very little when I do it. This time I increased it by 10.

Here are the changes so far. Not too bad, but there is much more that can be done to improve it.


3. Fix white balance with Snapseed

Fixing white balance is usually one of my first edits. Cameras often read the wrong lighting, creating odd or nuanced shades. 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 shade or hue that did not exist when the image was taken. Color theory is an important part of photography.

Also read: What is white balance in photography

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


4. Crop, rotate, and perspective

I don't have a problem with perspective here, or want to crop, but Snapseed has the option for those who want it. The perspective parameter can make a photo straight if you notice that you have taken it a little crooked. Pruning can also be convenient for fixing composition or cutting off unwanted elements.

In this case, I will simply use the rotation function because the horizon line is not even.


5. Selective Editions with the Brush Tool

The brush function can be used to make selective edits to your image. I would like to add a more dramatic look to the sky, sea and sand in the background without affecting the wooden statue. To do this, I come to TOOLS and press Brush within Snapseed's parameters. This section gives me the opportunity to locally edit exposure, temperature, saturation and more. In this case, I want to saturate the background, so I select Saturation and set the parameter to 10. After doing this you can simply drag a finger over the areas that need to be changed.

on the eye icon to see the affected areas highlighted in red. If you accidentally edited sections that you did not want, lower the saturation level to zero (labeled "eraser") and drag your finger over the affected areas.


6th Get rid of unwanted objects with Snapseed

Have you ever taken a fantastic picture just to find out that it was destroyed by an ugly piece of garbage? It happens to the best of us. Healing makes it possible to select items or elements you want removed. Snapseed's smart filling then takes information from the object's surroundings and intelligently cleans the image. I will get rid of some of the seaweed in the sand and the rocks to the right of the picture.

To do this, go to TOOLS and select the option Healing . You can zoom in and out to get a better look at 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 works like magic. Keep in mind that it's not always perfect, especially if you want to remove elements that take up a large part of the frame.


Snapshot Edit Results

We have shown you step-by-step development of the photo, but seeing the original image as compared to the fully edited is something else. The differences are simply astounding.

We cannot emphasize the importance of editing enough, especially as these tools become more accessible and user friendly. This photo was made from beginning to end with just one smartphone. Google Pixel 3 XL has an outstanding camera, but there are many phones with great cameras. It is also worth mentioning that you do not have to spend too much on a camera phone to get good results.

We'd love to see what you can do with Snapseed, so go ahead and show us some of your best edits in the comments!


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