In this post I share my favourite photo editing tips and App with you. You might think I am obsessed, and that’s fine, I am. I hope that you will pick up something that you can start applying to your pictures. Editing photos is about enhancing what is already there – like putting on make-up or applying Aromat or spraying Doom. I love to retain the natural, realistic beauty of a photo and so I don’t edit too aggressively. Something to keep in mind with photo editing is that it takes your photo from good to great. There is only so much you can do with a bad photo (bad lighting or poor photo quality etc).
Snapseed is Life
Snapseed is by far my favourite photo editing app. At first, Snapseed may seem a bit daunting and complicated as it has quite detailed editing options but with time these become the reasons you love it. The selective tool and the tuning tool on Snapseed are two of the easiest and most effective tools. The selective tool lets you adjust brightness, contrast or saturation of a specific colour scheme in the photo. This is handy, for example, when you have a photo where the background is perfectly lit but a shadow is falling across your face. You can brighten your face only and keep the background as it is. So dope! I always like to use the selective tool to make white spaces whiter and black shades darker – simple yet it makes all the difference, try it.
The tuning tool applies the generic changes such as brightness and contrast but also includes a life changing option called ambiance. I call it magic and Snapseed describes it as follows:
“The Ambiance control is a special type of contrast that controls the balance of light in a photo. It can be used to balance backlit photos or to accentuate contrasts throughout your photo. Swipe right for photos where the subject is darker than the background. Swipe left to increase the contrast of dark objects and create a slight glow around darker objects. This is especially helpful in photos that are slightly flat.”
Be careful not to over do it
With all the features of editing apps it’s easy to get carried away and make too many changes to your photo leaving it looking unrealistic or cartoonish. My best advice is to have an idea of what you want to achieve with the editing before beginning to edit. It helps to press and hold on the photo every now and then while you’re editing to get a glimpse of the original photo. If you’re too far gone, stoooop and undo undo undo.
The ‘face’ feature on Snapseed is one you don’t want to get carried away with. It gives the option to brighten and smoothen skin as well as brighten eyes. But be very gentle with this if you use it because pushing this too far can make you look like a painting.
Where to begin
So you’ve downloaded Snapseed and you’ve figured out how it works but you’re still stuck thinking: where do I start? Start by discovering your photo editing style and preference. You can try doing this by identifying Instagram pages that you like and figuring out what it is about them that you like. For example, I personally don’t like sepia filters. To me, they make photos look like you have gone over them with a wet teabag haha! However, I understand that this is my preference and that others flourish with sepia – check Kim Kardashian’s Instagram for instance. I prefer seeing the vibrant, natural colours of a photo.
I hope this was helpful. I love learning more about this editing world and I’m always looking to improve so please share your editing secrets and tips. Make sure to check out VSCO and Aviary as well. Happy editing 🙂