This is an app originally developed by NIK software, indeed, the same as the NIK Collection. The company was bought by Google at the time. They offered the NIK Collection for free for a while and then sold it to DXO. They kept Snapseed and developed it further. It is still a much appreciated app and still free. The quality of NIK software still shines through in it.
Before we continue, the screens I captured with Screenshot Pro, an excellent screen catcher that can save the images directly to Google Drive.
Snapseed is an app that is easy to use. It starts with the home screen which contains the Snapseed logo and fades to an image where you can open a photo.
The selection screen gives you the option of opening a single photo. This indicates that the program is being used for enhancement and some effects on individual photos.
Click on the home screen then the file manager of your tablet or phone opens and you can choose the photo you want to edit.
Now that the photo is open you will see all the representations of the photo on the right side. These are all presets that were created with Snapseed. They are all under the rainbow on the far left, which is indicated in blue because it was chosen. If you press the pencil, you will see another screen like the one below.
I always call this the toolbox of Snapseed. You see all kinds of tools here that you also see in the adult image editors. Under each setting there are a number of sub settings that you can choose and change separately. In many cases the first setting, called adjust, allows you to set color, contrast and exposure and texture which for many photos is already enough. However, there is a very large amount of settings and effects available that you should try.
Above you see the slider at the top of the screen that you can use to adjust the brightness. You can also make a start by choosing Automatic adjustment which also often gives a nice result.
Above you can see that I have made the picture sharper. The controller is at the very top of the screen and you can easily move it with your finger. So there is a slider for almost every setting. If you then want to throw a preset over it, you can do that as you see below.
Here I applied the preset “Morning” over the settings I had already made. It suggests a sun glow. Suppose I am very happy with this setting and want to save it, you can do so by pressing the + at the bottom.
SAVE THIS LOOK
You can see here that Snapseed calls it a look. You can give it its own name. the dialog box itself gives a clear explanation of what it does and what you need to do.
I name the preset here “Morning Pop” so I can kind of recall what settings I used for the preset. When saved it also appears in the sidebar with a thumbnail.
By combining effects you have basically countless possibilities to give your photo a different look. You should try it yourself by clicking everywhere. Personally I find the “i” button very useful for getting information about the photo. An example is shown below.
I think the manuals are worth an extra mention. They lead you step by step through the possibilities of the program with examples. Click on the three dots at the top of the screen and choose Manuals.
You will then be shown a number of topics. When you open one you will see step by step what actions you need to perform to achieve the stated effect.
A nice feature of the tutorial is that you can also apply the described effect to your photo at once by clicking try at the end of the tutorial. You will then be given the choice of editing the sample photo from the tutorial or having your own photo undergo the editing.
I chose to apply it to my photo and the result was stunning.
I hope this encourages you to get started with your phone or tablet as well. It’s fun and an added benefit is that sharing is very easy to various media such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and many more. See also below an introductory video about Snapseed.