Fast and Easy Photo Editing using Snapseed

Author:  Joanne Shipman

For those quick gotta-post-this-shot for my friends and family, I turn to my iPhone as well as a practical but fun and intuitive photo editing application called Snapseed. This free application can be downloaded to both an iOS or Android mobile device and includes editing features in an easy-to-understand format. Once downloaded, all you have to do is know how to swipe.

To get started, select the Snapseed icon on your mobile device. In order to upload the photo, click Open in the upper right and find your photo saved on your mobile device that you would like to edit. From there, click on the pencil icon in the bottom right. At this point, you will see two sections titled Tools and Filters.

Within Tools, click the Tune Image tool first and adjust Brightness and Contrast for example. Swiping up and down on the photo will allow you to highlight various editing features. Swiping to the right will increase the selection, and likewise, swiping to the left will decrease the selection. Note the number at the bottom of the screen along with the ‘+’ or ‘-’ indicates degree of editing with your selection. The Details tool will allow for sharpening or clarity while Crop and Rotate can align the horizon or skew a photo to give an edgy look.

Snapseed offers many Filters with numerous options within each filter selection. For this Jackson Lake photo taken at Grand Teton National Park, the Drama 1 filter was selected with an adjusted Filter Strength from a preset 90 to 80. Finally, the finishing touch could be a Frame. In this photo, Frame #8 was chosen with a white border and inner ‘choppy’ black border. An additional feature is Frame Width in case you want to increase or decrease the border.

In all cases, after editing click the “Checkmark” at the bottom right of the screen to save your edits and continue with more tools if desired. Alternatively, you can always click on the ‘x’ at the bottom left in order to cancel that tool or filter and go back to the photo with last saved edits. Fortunately, all edits are non-destructive to the original photo saved on your mobile device.

Once editing is complete, click Save at the top of your screen. You will find your photo in Photos for iOS or Gallery for Android then within the Snapseed folder. You’re ready to post to social media or text your family and friends with your photo.


Now if that isn’t a “snap”, I don’t know what is!

Joanne Shipman is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.