I hope you picked up Snapseed today while it was free. If you haven’t yet, go do it now! This post will let you behind the curtain and show you how I use the app to edit pictures on my iphone. The app has a lot of features, but I won’t cover them all in this post or it would be so much longer than it already is. Lets start with the before and after.
This is the original image taken with ProHDR:
For this image I’ll start with “tune image” I like to add some brightness because although it may look great on the retina display, your image will probably look a little underexposed on the web. Here I added:
- +8 to brightness,
- +23 to ambience which brings back some detail in the shadows and adds some saturation. If you go in the – direction, it removes detail from the shadows which can be interesting in some cases.
- +6 Ito bump the contrast up slightly
- +10 to Saturation for now. The image looked a little lifeless so I’ll try +10 for now and see what it looks like again when I get further along.
- +3 to white balance just to warm the image up slightly. In most cases you probably don’t need to mess with this. If you end up going too far with it, you can always go to the “Automatic” panel and play with the color correction slider until it looks normal again.
Now I’ll press the arrow on the bottom right to process these changes.
Next I’ll be going into the “Drama” panel. This filter is awesome at bringing out detail in the image. The default setting is a bit much for me, so I usually dial it way back and return the saturation to 50 so it doesn’t desaturate what I’ve already done. One thing to mention before I go further, is when you see a star on the bottom of the screen you can press it for different filters. There are 6 options for Drama and I find myself using Drama 1 or Drama 2 most often.
First I’ll see how Drama 1 looks. As you can see, its not making much of a difference here. Probably because of the amount of ambience I used…thats really just an educated guess on my part.
Drama 2 is adding much more of a punch to the image which is most notable in the moss on the tree and the leaves in the foreground, so I’ll go with this one at 39%. It does look cool at a higher percentage, but I tend to dial things back slightly. This is a trick that I learned from other professionals that ensures you don’t go too far…so try to keep that in mind when editing on your phone or photoshop.
Now I’m going to use the selective adjust tool to fine tune some areas that are bothering me, like the blue light leak at the top right of the image (maybe we’ll crop it out at the end if this doesn’t work.) First, I’ll tap the plus button to add a control point. Control points let you adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of a specific tone/color in a selected area. This probably the most powerful tool in the app.
You’ll notice in this pic that as you hold down your finger to place the control point it zooms in to make selecting easier. On the outside of that zoom circle it shows you which color/tone you’re choosing to work on. In this case its a bluish grey.
Once selected, I can pinch with 2 fingers to expand or shrink the affected area. The red color is showing you what that control point will affect.
For this one I’m going to slide the saturation down until I think it looks more normal. -54 looks pretty good, but I also want to lower the brightness by -18 to make it even more natural. I’m going to make more adjustments, but to keep this post from getting way too long I’ll just show you how many. Basically I’m fixing colors on the tree, making the moss pop a little more, and darkening the shadows on the ground.
I’m not quite done yet, but I want to save a copy before I go further. I’ll save photo to the library because the one thing lacking in this app is the ability to undo or go back to a certain point in the history. For this image I want to see what it would look like with more saturation so its back to “tune image.” I think another +20 to saturation looks good.
Finally, I’m going to go into the crop tool to see how my composition lines up. Its close to being good, but I want the horizon of the ground to be at the 1/3 mark, so I’ll take a little off the top and the right side.