Today I wanted to talk about my favorite photo editing app for iPhone: Snapseed. There are so many apps out there that it’s kind of overwhelming to know what to turn to if you just want to simply enhance a photo and skip the aggressive filters.
Generally speaking, 99% of my Instagram photos are edited through Snapseed, dropped through VSCO (with a mild C1 filter added), and then slightly tweaked in Instagram. The latter is mostly because I almost always still want to make some changes…by that stage, I generally just bump the saturation or brightness up or down depending on how the photo looked out of VSCO (for this picture, I toned down the warmth and upped the saturation because the sunglasses looked a bit light to me). Personally, I’m still trying to figure out my feed’s “aesthetic” and am always wrestling whether an image “looks good in the feed,” but the one thing that stays consistent is that Snapseed as my first step.
This app has so many features, but I’m going to cover how to quickly edit a photo in Snapseed. I haven’t found it necessary to utilize everything to get good results, and honestly, many of them can be pretty confusing. If there are any particular features you use that I should check out, please leave them in the comments below!
Here’s the before and after of yesterday’s Insta:
Open the Snapseed app and the photo you want to edit. You’ll get this screen:
Click on the circular pen icon at the bottom right of the screen and you’ll get the editing menu. The main “Tools” I use are “Tune Image,” “Selective,” and “Rotate.” We’ll start with “Tune Image,” since for most photos, that’s where you’ll do most of the work.
Once you click on “Tune Image,” the default adjustment will be “Brightness,” as seen below. To make adjustments, just drag your finger from left to right on your image–the picture will change, as will the percentage of brightness listed below. Click the check mark when you’re done–remember, you can always go back and readjust if you change your mind.
After adjusting brightness, you can go in and mess with other settings including contrast, saturation, highlights, warmth, shadows, and ambiance. The adjustments I make really just depend on the specific photo and its lighting. 99% of the time, I increase the brightness, even if only slightly, as well as adjust the saturation (generally increase a bit, and the balance out with the contrast if needed), and mess with the highlights.
To get to the menu of those settings, just drag your finger up on the screen to get the menu and stop what you want to edit. You’ll adjust each just like you did brightness–moving your finger from right to left. Click the check mark when you’re done.
Depending on the photo, I’ll also go in and use the “Selective” tool (listed in your main “Tune Image” menu). This is good when just part of your photo needs to be edited a certain way–for instance, a darker corner in an otherwise bright photo. I probably could have utilized this tool a bit for the bottom right of this image, but decided against it because honestly, I just like to keep things simple and easy (plus heavily editing, especially with this tool, can make your photo grainy).
To use the “Selective” edit tool, make sure the “+” in the bottom bar is blue (selected) and click somewhere on your photo where you want to make adjustments. With this, you can edit brightness, saturation, and contrast in a specific spot on the image. Just like before, drag your finger from left to right to adjust. In my experience you have to hit the check mark once you’re done editing a particular spot and re-drop the “+” to edit in another place…if you drag the icon around the photo, it’ll move the edits to the new location.
There’s no right or wrong way to edit–just play with things and see what you like best! The app takes a little time and patience to figure out–for instance, if you go back to up the brightness after editing it once, the percentage you left it on before will have disappeared, but the edits will remain–but the features mentioned above aren’t hard to grasp. Like I said, I really want to get better at consistency with my editing (#Instagramproblems) so am trying to tackle that next!
Do any of you use Snapseed? And for everyone reading–bloggers, how do you get that consistent aesthetic in your Instagram feed?!