the pigeon letters blog
How to Edit Photos on Your Phone

How to Edit Photos on Your Phone

editing Jan 10, 2021

Hey everybody! A while back I was jabbering away with The Flock community about photo editing on your phone and then I made some promises about uploading a tutorial on the said topic so here we are! I keep my promises! Photo editing can seem so intimidating sometimes, but let's be honest, you DON'T need fancy software to make your photos look amazing. 

In honor of cutting corners and saving a buck, I'm going to show you how to edit your photos using just your phone! No expensive software required. AND it won't take you hours to do it. If you live in a darker region of the world (talking to you my fellow PNW people), this tutorial is going to come in handy in the winter. This is my guide to quickly editing photos using your phone! 

Today we're editing our photo using the Snapseed app because there's just so much you can do in the app. Adobe Lightroom is another really great app to use for photo editing! 

There's also a video below for those of you who want to watch this tutorial.

 

Supplies

  • Phone (yup, that's it!)
  • Snapseed app

 

Step 1: Set up your photography station

 

 Here's my finger. 

If you're taking a photo of an art piece, try to avoid mixing natural light with artificial light. So if you have a lot of natural light coming in near where you're taking a picture, turn off any artificial light in the room or vice versa! I always recommend going with natural light over artificial but work with what you got! 

 

 

Step 2: Open Snapseed and import your fav photo

 

 

I usually take well over one photo because I like to explore angles, but once you snap one that works for you, import it into the Snapseed app! You'll see in the video below that this time I got lucky and felt like I got it on my first try, which is a rarity for me.  

 

Step 3: Go to tools and select "tune image" 

 

 

While Snapseed has a lot of really great filters, my photo needs a LOT more work than that so I'm going to go to tools and select "tune image." This is the area where you can really get down to the nitty-gritty of your photo, like adjusting brightness. 

 
Highlights & Shadows

 

Adjusting the highlights and shadows is one of the most effective ways to really make your image pop. Play around with these adjustments as the "right way" to do it can really vary depending on the photo. For mine, I turned them both way up. 

 

 

Brightness & Contrast

   

 

Be cautious when turning up your brightness because sometimes it can blow out the picture, especially if you have a lot of white in your image. So just turn the brightness up slightly if you use it at all and move on to turning up your contrast. The contrast is what will really seal the deal after increasing brightness.

Note: Brightness and exposure are not the same thing!

Exposure won't "cloud" your image like brightness does. More on this in a minute.

 

Saturation

 

 

Saturation is really going to make those colors vivid. If you live in a super dark or grey place, like me, you might need to bump the warmth up as well. I did mine to about 40 for this image.

Pro tip: In the process of editing, hold your finger on the photo to see the original version of the image and lift your finger off to see current edits.

When you're happy with your overall tuning, select the checkmark.

  

Step 4: Open the brush tool 

 

 

The brush tool is my FAVORITE thing on Snapseed. The brush tool allows you to edit specific areas of your image, rather than the whole thing. You can also change the brush size depending on what fine details you want to edit. 

 

 

The dodge and burn tool allows me to brighten areas around my photo to get rid of that dreary grey. Watch the video below to see me applying this effect. I also applied the brightness to the white space on my actual artwork because after editing the desk, my art looked too dark. If you like what you've done with the dodge and burn tool, make sure to select the checkmark on the right and NOT the "X" on the left. If you choose the "X" it will erase your progress. Sad face.

 

Step 7: Go back to brush tool and select saturation 

 

 

I turned my saturation to +5 and lightly hit all of the areas of my artwork. This is going to help the color pop and match the brightness of the white around it. 

After playing with the brush tool and saving your progress after pressing the checkmark, proceed with the healing tool.

 

Step 8: Open the healing tool

 

 

 

My photo is looking a little overexposed because of the items in the corner (my cat) of my picture so I go back to tools and select the "healing" tool. This tool is SO awesome because it makes things disappear if we want them to. Once you have that tool selected, hover your finger over the area you want to go away, and POOF! Sometimes the tool will leave a residue so just go over the area with the tool until it's completely gone.

ANDDDD you know how you can change the tilt/perspective of images but it usually crops it? If you need to adjust the perspective of images on Snapseed, it will "fill" where other apps would crop with surrounding color to make it seamless. Because it's just that awesome.

I hope you loved this tutorial as much as I loved making it and sharing my process with you guys! Once you get into a groove with the editing, it really only takes 5 minutes to make the adjustments. SO easy!

 


  

 

 

HEY YOU, wanna save this for later? Pin this image!