Snapseed is one of the most complete free photo editing apps out there today. It is by far the most complete and user-friendly photo editor that you need to learn to use if you want to take your photos to the next level.
Snapseed is jam-packed with pro-features and even professional photographers use it for their phone photos. You can use it to simply crop or add preset filters, or you can go deeper into the editing features and adjust white balance, curves, do some healing, change perspectives, and so much more.
A feature that we especially like about Snapseed is that it’s free to access all of the editing tools and doesn’t have any in-app ads. Yes, free and no ads!
Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started using Snapseed like a pro.
Select a Photo
Open Snapseed and choose the photo you want to edit. You can choose from your device or take a photo and import it.
At the bottom is a set of preset fast edits that you can choose from with a simple click. These can sometimes be enough to get your photo to where you want it.
The app will automatically save and add your last edits to this list. This is super useful if you mostly do the same type of photography and want to apply the same edits to your photos.
This is where Snapseed gets interesting! You now have access to some in-depth photo editing features. We’ll go into a few of the tools that are the most frequently used.
Every time you finish an edit, simply click on the checkmark at the bottom right. If you don’t like the edits, click on the X on the bottom left-hand side.
Useful Tip: A good habit to take on is to head to the Rotate feature tool first. This is where you can straighten your horizon and adjust vertical lines to make sure your photo is perfectly aligned. Snapseed will do it for you automatically and you can also manually adjust with the slider at the top if you wish.
The next thing to check is the white balance. Our smartphones do a pretty decent job at balancing colors, but sometimes the lighting may affect an image and Snapseed White Balance will correct any photo that is too blue or too yellow.
Click the AW button for automatic correction. You can also move the slider at the top to adjust manually.
See how the photo warmed up a bit after we edited the white balance.
Next, you’ll want to head to the Tune Image tool. The Tune Image feature is where you get into more fine detail edits like brightness, contrast, saturation, ambiance, highlights, shadows, and warmth.
Tap on each tool and adjust with the slider at the top.
Your photo may need sharpening or the structure may need to be softened. You can do this in the details tool.
HDR is great for photos that have certain dull or shadowed areas. You can add as much or as little HDR tuning on your photo as you want. Remember not to go overboard with the HDR feature because your photo can start to look unreal and over-edited.
The Curves tool is the editing feature that most professional photographers use. You can go in-depth into color correction and adjust tones and hues. This is a relatively extensive tool to use and we would need a full article explaining how curves work and how to use them.
Thankfully, Snapseed has provided us with a series of preset curve edits that we feel work pretty well. You may feel overwhelmed if you try to change the curves on your own. Your photo can go wrong very quickly.
Another great tool that we like is the healing feature. You can remove unwanted objects in your photo or fix parts that you don’t like. Zoom into your photo as much as you can and use your finger to heal the areas you want.
We wanted to take the power line out of this photo and the healing tool came in very handy. It’s better to go in small strokes and you can always press the arrow pointing left on the bottom if you make a mistake.
Good to Know: Use two fingers when you want to zoom into your photo and move around. Use one finger to heal.
Tools, Tools, Tools
You’ll find other editing tools like Drama, Vintage, Lens Blur, Glamour Glow, Vignette and many more to that will help you to add mood to your photos.
Play around with the tools on your photos and see what each of them does. You can get quite creative with some of these editing tools.
You’ll discover, in time, that you will develop your favorite go-to edits.
Now that you’ve edited your photo and you’re happy with the results, it’s time to save. You have several options when it comes to saving and exporting your photos in Snapseed.
Tap on the Export tab at the bottom and you can then choose from either sharing it across social platforms and media or saving a copy with edits that you can change or not.
The options are very clearly explained.
FYI: The iPhone and Android options vary slightly.
There’s a learning curve when learning a new photo editing app. Heck, there’s a learning curve whenever you learn anything new.
Browse through Instagram or other image sharing platforms and see professional photographers’ photos. Look at the colors and try to think what type of edits or not they applied to their photos.
Remember not to over edit. The pros usually don't go in strong. Start with soft and slow edits and build your photo up to where you want it.
Snapseed, in our opinion, is well worth the time and effort to get to know. Be patient and give yourself time to play around with the tools and you'll be editing like a pro.