Today, a smartphone allows you to take great photos without knowing anything about them. But all photos can be improved before they are shared. With Snapseed, for example.
1. Install Snapseed
There are many apps for editing photos, but Snapseed is our favorite. This one contains a lot of powerful features while being easy to use. It exists for iOS and Android and is free. Install the app, open it and select a photo from your gallery. At the top right, you’ll find, from left to right, a function to undo your edits, information about the photo, and instructions for using Snapseed.
2. Discover styles
The most convenient way to (re)work on a photo is to apply a ‘style’ to it. You can compare these to the well-known Instagram filters. By default, Snapseed offers six for color and four for black and white. However, with Snapseed filters, it’s all or nothing. You can’t change them afterwards. However, if you have reworked a photo via the Tools menu (see tip 3), you can save your work as your own image, go to the ‘Styles’ menu and click on the plus.
3. Adapt your photo
Don’t want to work with ready-made filters? Dive into the ‘Tools’ menu. A good starting point to adapt your photo. Here you can change the brightness, contrast, saturation, mood, white balance, shadows and warmth of your photo. Slide your finger up or down to select a setting and then left or right to adjust it. The bottom magic wand allows Snapseed to automatically adjust.
4. Crop your photo
A very handy tool is cropping. If you want to put your photo on Instagram, you can crop it to be square (1:1). If you want your photo to be portrait (the longer side will be vertical) on Instagram while taking up as much space as possible, you can crop it to 5:4. If your photo isn’t quite straight, use the ‘curves’ tool and if a building isn’t straight in the photo, opt for ‘Perspectives’.
5. Turn your photo into black and white
Snapseed has dozens of tools you owe it to yourself to try. One of our favorites lets you convert a photo to black and white. Snapseed offers six presets for you to test. You can also adjust the brightness, contrast and grain of the black and white image, but also, and this is very nice, imitate the presence of a color filter. For example, you could use a red filter to darken the sky or an orange filter to soften the skin on a portrait photo.
6. Make targeted adjustments
Unique to Snapseed: it’s easy to edit just a few parts of the photo. Choose the ‘Selection’ tool, click on the plus and select the part you want to edit. Drag with two fingers to enlarge or shrink the selection. The selected part will light up in red. You can then adjust the brightness, contrast, color saturation and structure. Drag your fingers up or down to select an adjustment and then left or right to adjust it. The rest of the photo will not move.
7. Save your work
Satisfied with your adjustments? It’s time to share your work by clicking on ‘Export’. From Snapseed, you can directly post a photo to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but also send it as a message or email. There are also three ways to save your photo: as an editable file, as an edited copy or as a new protected file.