If you follow me on Instagram or read my last top 5 pics from Instagram post you will know I have fallen in love with a new editing app. Snapseed is a photo-editing application produced by Nik Software, which is a subsidiary of Google. You can download this app in the Apple App Store as well as on Android. Before I downloaded Snapseed to my phone I used to use the iPhone photo edits to make the most of my pictures. Filters in Instagram were also a favourite, but since I have had the App I haven’t used any other editing software. I have also been getting some lovely feedback about my pictures since using the App along with questions about what I am using. So to today I thought I would share with you how I use this great app to edit my photos.
First of all, I am not a professional photographer, it’s a hobby that I didn’t realise I enjoyed so much until about a year ago. To take my photos I use either my iPhone 7 or my Sony a5000 DSLR. I have Snapseed downloaded on my phone and do all my editing on there.
Open Snapseed and click either the + in the middle of the screen or click Open in the top left hand corner. To show you how I edit I have picked out a picture of my youngest that was taken in the summer on trip to Stoke Gabriel in South Devon. For information I took this picture on my DSLR. When the photo is uploaded it automatically defaults to the Look tab. This already has some pre-set filters and you can just use one of these. I actually click on the Tools tab so I can do my own editing
When you click on Tools it brings up the menu of editing tools available to you. You will need to scroll up to see all of them. I have circled in red the main tools that I use but as you can see there is a lot you can choose from. My first go to Tool is ‘HDR Scape’ then I move onto ‘Tune Image’ and ‘Details’. I normally finish off by using a ‘Vignette’.
So as I said the first tool I click on is the HDR Scape. In here you have four settings available which are shown at the bottom of the picture. I use either People or Nature. I tend to toggle between the two to see which I prefer. For this picture I selected People and by swiping your finger from left to right you can change the strength of the filter, this can be seen right at the top of the picture.
When you have decided on your filter strength click on the tick in the bottom right hand corner. This will save your filter. I then click on Tools again and move onto Tune Image. Again there is a range of tools in here. When you open this set it starts on Brightness. Within Tune Image you also have Contrast, Saturation, Ambiance, Highlights, Shadows and Warmth. To see all of these options tap the screen and keep you finger on as you scroll up. Again to change the strength scroll from left to right and you will see the strength of the filter move. In the picture below you can see all of the different settings and what strength’s I used for this edit.
Again click the tick in the bottom right corner to save your edits. I then move onto Details and here you have the option to change the Structure and Sharpness of the picture. Don’t forget to click on the tick to save your edit. By the way, you can see the original photo compared to the edits as you work through the process. To do this whenever you return to the main screen hold your finger down anyway on the screen and you will see the original. Take your finger off to return to the edited photo.
So the final edit I like to do is to add a Vignette. From the main screen click on Tools, scroll up until you see Vignette which is down in the bottom left corner. When you open this tool a blue circle appears. Put your finger on the dot to move it around the screen for where you want to focus the light in the edit. To make this circle bigger or small use two fingers. Again to toggle between the two filters, Outer Brightness and Inner Brightness, press the screen and scroll up.
When you have the filter as you want click on the tick and there you have it your finished edited photo. To get the edited photo back out into your photo reel click Export in the bottom right hand corner. You can either overwrite the previous photo by clicking save or save a copy. You can also export the photo into a JPG file.
And thats it! You now have an edited photo for you to use in your Instagram feed or on your blog or to print off and have up around the house. Another good feature to mention is that once you have edited a photo Snapseed remembers that filter and the next time you upload another photo it will ask if you want to add the the last edits. This is really useful if you have a set of photos that were taken on the same day and you want them all to look the same. It certainly saves a lot of time. Another filter I have used for personal photos is the Portrait one. What this does to peoples skin is amazing! And the way it brightens eyes is gorgeous.
As you could see in this example I was editing a photo from our summer trip. Below you can see the before and after along with some others I have done recently too.
After. As you can see just the slightest changes have brought the colours of the trees, sky and the fields in distance. The edit has just made everything pop:
Here some more examples of edits I have done in Snapseed.
Before, a snap of my eldest wandering around the Palm House at Torre Abbey:
Before, a snap of the girls stood outside the entrance to Torre Abbey:
Before, a lily flower on a pond at Knightshayes, a National Trust property in Tiverton:
And finally, my favourite photo of the moment, the before pic of the view from the Bird Hide on Berry Head:
So there you go. If you give Snapseed a go let me know, I would love to see how you use it. If you already use Snapseed what’s your favourite editing tool? Let me know in the comments below.