For quite some time I’ve been using only Google Photos to edit my mobile pictures. I’ve used other apps in the past (like Lightroom, and all three Photoshop apps), but have always gone back to Google Photos. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon a post of using double exposure in Snapseed that I decided to give the app another try. This opened my eyes to the full potential of Snapseed and mobile photo editing. Yes, you can do it all on your phone.
Snapseed is a powerful mobile app that gives you more professional editing tools than you get in Google Photos. Don’t get me wrong, Photos is great for basic photo editing, and it does a heck of a lot, but Snapseed gives you more options and greater control over your pictures. And not only that, but it’s a breeze to move from editing a photo in Photos to finishing the job in Snapseed. All you need to do is choose Edit in Snapseed from the three dots in the upper right hand corner and you’re there.
If you already have experience with photo editing, using Snapseed should be easy to get your head around. If you don’t, the learning curve might feel a bit daunting. I say start with some of the pre-made filters in the tools menu (bottom, center of app) that allow you to play with the effects (Vintage, Grainy Film, Retrolux, Grunge), then start using the other tools once you have a handle on how the app works.
Most of the tools in Snapseed have settings for different aspects of the effect, which you can get to by choosing the settings button or placing your finger on the image and dragging it up or down. Choose the aspect you want and scrub left or right to make the adjustments.
My three favorite tools are HDR Scape, Brush, and Lens Blur.
The HDR Scape allows you to make the photo pop the way you want. Play with it and give your images some great effects.
The Brush tool has four brushes to change specific areas on an image (i.e. the Exposure brush is great for lightening sections of a photo that are too dark). Choose the brush you want, and use your finger to “paint” the effect onto the image. This is great for removing shadows caused by trees or hats with bills or wide brims.
The Lens Blur tool is also good to set a blur effect around a section of a photo. It gives you full control over all aspects of the blur, strength, shape, size, etc…
Once you have a feel for the basic tools in Snapseed, take a look at Garima Bhaskar’s post on How to add a dynamic sky to your pictures with only Snapseed. This is the post that made me take a second look at Snapseed, and won me over.
Below are the original and end-product images I edited using Snapseed.