Editing Friday; Snapseed Cats

It has been a while since I  have done an editing Friday. I thought about starting up this weekly post again and for my first post I am going to edit an image on my phone. It is true that camera phones have gotten to be a contender against point and shoot cameras. Most people think about mobile photography being the Instagram square format but it doesn’t have to be, though most images are shared via social media and the square format works well for mobile devices.


The image I am going to use is of my cat. Why? Because the internet is full of cats. I took the picture with my standard camera app and I will edit the image using Snapseed. There are a plethora of camera and editing apps. I actually use a few different camera apps with varying colour effects. For editing there are some good apps that are 100% free, whereas others are free and want you to pay for the most desirable effects. For this editing Friday I am going to use Snapseed. Snapseed is a good and versatile app, also on android it is free but on IOS it will cost ya ($4.99/£2.99/€3.99).


The first thing I do is sharpen the image. Just like on the PC you need to capture sharpen. To do this I click on the Detail tab and sharpen at +25. Here there is also an option to adjust the structure. This is a little bit like adding more midtone contrast or using the clarity filter in Photoshop/Lightroom. But you cannot reduce this. Adding structure is something I would do after toning an image.

Now I want to adjust the exposure and colour. I do this by using Tune Image. There are five adjustments you can make here;

Brightness (brightens and darkens the image)
Ambiance ( A specific type of contrast adjustment. It detects where there large areas of colour are then darkens highlighted areas while brightening areas that are dark (vise versa). This is useful when an image is back lit or is looking a little flat. Beware it can add noise and unwanted artefacts to an image).
Contrast (adds contrast making a stronger distinction between blacks and whites)
Saturation (increases or decreases the strength of colours)
White balance (makes images cooler or warmer)


I reduced the brightness of the overall image and then raised the ambience to lighten the face of the cat without blowing out the white of his nose I reduced the contrast slightly and then raised the saturation to really bring out the colours in his fur. Finally I lightened the shadows. I did not make any adjustments to the white balance.


Next I made some Selective adjustments. To use these you add pins, just like on other Niksoft software. When a pin is placed it will make adjustments only to that tonal area within a radius. I made adjustments to darken the background. I lightened the eyes and added contrast to the cat’s coat.


Next I used Central Focus to add a slight vignette to the image. Really this adjustment is used to blur the image except in a certain circular area. You can control how strong the individual elements of adjustments are; blur, inner brightness, outer brightness. I reduced the blur to 0, and then used inner and outer brightness to create my slight vignette effect. I did this to bring the viewer’s focus to the face of the cat.


Really this is the end of basic adjustments before cropping. I generally save the image and then crop. This is because in Snapseed there is no undo, if you make a mistake then you have to go all the way back to the beginning of your edit. I then cropped the image to a square format.

There are two filters that really change the colour of the image; Vintage and Retrolux. Vintage allows you to choose a duotone toning with a texture and a vignette. Retolux makes the image more retro with light leeks scratches and film style adjustments.
I decided for this post to go and add a vintage adjustment. I choose the orange to purple duotone to warm up the highlights and darken the background. I increased the saturation slightly and removed the texture by reducing it to 0. I enlarged the centre size to reduce the vignette and used a strong toning strength.

I decided that was enough editing. If I wanted to I could have added a boarder to the image.

Here is the final image.


Let me know what you think of the image. Do you like it? Is there anything you would have done differently? How do you edit your smartphone images? Or if you have anything else you want to say, just use the comment box at the bottom of the page.

Let Me Know Your Thoughts, I Know You Have Some

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