Using the Selection Tool in Snapseed

Sometimes you want to remove a dark area from a picture, or over saturate the color of a balloon or some flowers to make them pop. You could settle for the picture as you took it, or you could use Snapseed to remove the small imperfections and make the image pop.

For this exercise I’m going to use a photo I’m working on of a place that doesn’t exist.*  Keep in mind that I’ve already done some work on this image, if you couldn’t already tell, and all I have left are two final touches.

I’d already upped the resolution to bring out some of the colors, which had a negative effect on the road sign and now needs adjusting. There’s also a shadow from the window mount that my phone was on when I took the picture (I used the “take picture” voice command while driving on 295 North). Once these two issues are fixed, I’ll be done.

low res image for Snapseed tutorial

Fixing the Image

First I’m going to open the image in Snapseed, then choose the Selective tool. To get there, go to Snapseed > TOOLS > Selective. It looks like a bulls eye.

tools in SNapseed

Alterations Are a Tap Away

Once you have your picture loaded in Snapseed, choose Selective, then tap on the area you want to adjust. Keep in mind that this works best when the area is clearly defined, like the road sign.

Tap on the plus in the circle to the left of the eye, then tap on the area you want to adjust. Slide your finger up and down to choose one of the adjustment options (Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Structure). The first letter of each setting will display in a circle to remind you what was done to that area. Sadly, both Structure and Saturation use S.

the selective tool in Snapseed

Once you choose your setting, slide your finger left to right to make the necessary adjustment. You can set one adjustment, then slide your finger up and down to choose another. Hit the check mark if you like the results and the X if you don’t.

If you tap on the circle with the S, C, or B you’ll be able to copy, cut, paste, delete, or go back to the previous edit.

tap to edit, Snapseed

A Word of Caution

An area needs to be distinct enough from its surroundings for Snapseed to know it’s a selection. The road sign works well because there’s enough contrast with the surrounding colors to make it stand out. The reflection wasn’t distinct enough from the road for Snapseed to consider a selection. I had to adjust the entire highway to remove the reflection.

The Final Result.


Feel free to check out my other Snapseed tutorials.

Feel free to leave any questions or thoughts in the comment section below.

*The image used for this post is a composite of two pictures, the Newport bridge and 295 North. Below are the two images.


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