Titled: Convenient and powerful photo editing from your smartphone

Recently, I had the pleasure of writing a guest blog post on Photography Talk titled ‘Convenient and Powerful Photo Editing From Your Smartphone.’ To read the article in full tap/click here.


Below is a brief outline of the content in the article:

I shared some basic tips to get the most out of the free, versatile, and powerful Snapseed app by Google (iOS or Android).

Photogtraphy Talk Guest article - before and after photo editing example - Snapseed app


The first step after installing any new camera photo editing app is to become familiar with the settings. The main default setting to change is the Format and Quality from JPEG 95% to either 100% or PNG file format.


The Tools option provides a large range of global (whole image) and local (specific area) adjustment options:


Straighten, rotate and stretch areas of the photo. You can also use the scale option compress at the vertical or horizontal axis. Using the Freeform mode, simply drag a corner in different directions to correct or further warp the lens distortion typical of a wide-angle smartphone lens.

Tune Image

A number of familiar adjustments are available, including Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, and Shadows. There are also extra options including Highlights and Ambiance which acts like a vibrancy boost.


One of the more intimidating tools, this one is worth pursuing and understanding. You can adjust the contrast or use one of the available presets to assist you if you do not want/need to know how curves work.

See article: Snapseed Curves tool enhances colour and tones – makes your photos pop

Tonal Contrast

This is a quick feature that allows you to selectively apply extra definition to highlights, mid tones, and shadows within the image.


There are two options to sharpen your image: Structure and Sharpening. Structure dramatically sharpens content in the image that has contrast, creating quite a grungy look. Sharpening, will indiscriminately sharpen every pixel in the image.


In this area specific tool, you simply tap the screen to drop a pin, then pinch and zoom to increase/decrease the range of nearby pixels of similar tone and colour. Next, swipe up and down to access the adjustment for Brightness, Contrast, Saturation or Structure. Lastly, swipe left and right to adjust the strength of the adjustment to the selected area.

Photogtraphy Talk Guest article - Snapseed Selective mobile photo editing tool


Remove a distracting object within your photo. Pinch and zoom in and swipe over an area of the image to replace with the surrounding content.


This feature has a presets and adjustments available, including; Face Spotlight, Skin Smoothing, and Eye Clarity tools.

Lens Blur

Blurring the background makes the in-focus subject jump off the screen and remove the viewer’s attention away from a busy distracting background.


Similar to layers in desktop editing programs, this advanced feature provides the to go back and fine tune or delete a previous edit in your editing history. Where this feature really excels is the masking function, specifically choosing where and how much of any edit to be applied to the image.

Photogtraphy Talk Guest article - Snapseed Stacks Masking mobile photo editing tool


If you are new to photo editing, then the filters located in Looks (Android) and Styles (iOS devices) is a great place to start and apply a quick edit.

The next step is to have a quick general editing workflow to streamline and a quick six-step editing workflow with a consistent use of Perspective, Crop, Tune Image, Details, and Healing, then Lens Blur to finish off the image.


To read more - go to the original Photography Talk article ‘Convenient and Powerful Photo Editing From Your Smartphone’ here.

These articles are great to learn a specific technique or tip. The fastest transition to becoming a confident and creative smartphone photographer is this course. Check out the full benefits and curriculum here.

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