Photography-Mobile Editing – an In Depth Look at Snapseed

Often I hear people rave about the mobile app Snapseed®. In fact there is one man who I know of in the Chicago area who wins many local and regional photo contests solely using Snapseed® for photo editing. So thought I would take an in depth look and share my findings.


Hummingbird at feeder-Original

Hummingbird at feeder-Snapseed


Snapseed® is available for Apple® and Android phones and tablets. This app will process raw and jpg files, but it only saves in jpg (up to 100% quality and with nondestructive editing). An image can be resized from 800px – 4000px.


  • The Adjust and White Balance tools (shown below) automatically display when you open a RAW photo in Snapseed®. Swipe up and down to access Adjust editing tool options. Once a tool is chosen, there is a little blue line at the top of the window. If you move it to the right it increases the effect; to the left it decreases the effect. The histogram displayed in the lower left corner is somewhat helpful.
  • There are eight Adjustments to choose from and White Balance offers eight options and a color picker.

Below is the menu of all of the editing tools offered in Snapseed® for both RAW and JPG files. Two very useful tools to fine tune your image are the:

  • SELECTIVE tool which allows you to add Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Structure to certain areas in a photo. To choose a Selective tool you swipe up and down. Then move your choice to an area in the photo and use your two fingers to make the affected area larger or smaller before using the tool.
  • BRUSH tool which allows you to brush in effects to certain areas in the photo: Dodge & Burn; Exposure; Temperature; Saturation. Once again, you use your two fingers to make the brush size larger or smaller. There is also a Mask icon that you can turn on and off to see what areas are affected.
  • To change an area or brush size use two fingers; spread them apart to decrease the brush size and enlarge the image size. Move them together to increase the brush size and decrease the image size.


Snapseed® offers 12 photo filters to choose from, some are shown on the sidebar. At the top you can Undo/Redo an effect, Revert to the original image and View edits; view image details; and choose settings, access tutorials, and get help and give feedback.


An image can be Shared, Saved, and Exported.

  • Save – saves editing on the original image. Edits can always be removed by opening the image into Snapseed®.
  • Save a copy – saves a non-destructive duplicate image. The duplicate version will be in JPEG format. It will save to a new Album titled Snapseed®.
  • Export – saves a duplicate image, with edits flattened. The flattened version will be in JPEG format. In this version you cannot go back and undo editing.


So what do I think about Snapseed®? It’s a powerful little app that can get the job done fairly well if you are only doing simple edits to pop an image. I found the Healing brush was not very accurate, and there is only one brush type in the program to paint with. Some very cool effects can be achieved by using the filters. In my opinion, if a photo only needs a quick tweak or you want to add a unique look to an image, it would be a great app to have on hand especially when traveling without a computer.

Would love to hear your comments or any learnings you would like to share.


Photography – Sunset On The Lake

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky” Rabindranath Tagore

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN – I got very lucky with this photograph. Happened to be walking my dog down by the lake, and there was a two minute window to take this photograph as a storm was rolling in. Samsung Galaxy s9 cell phone: f/2; 1/94; ISO 50; 


Jellyfish – iPhone Photography

Floating Along-Jan Williams, Small Color HM

“Life is a beautiful, magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish.” Charlie ChaplinBlue jellyfish

We received an invitation to an event at the Chicago Shedd Aquarium a while back which included a private viewing of the traveling jellyfish exhibit. There were a variety of jellyfish in the tanks that were backlit with different colors.

It never occurred to me to bring a DSLR camera. At the time I owned an iPhone 6 plus which I had with me and decided to use it. Both of these photographs were taken with that iPhone and processed in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. The background was eliminated and filled in with black. I realized then to never underestimate the power of mobile photography. Don’t think my DSLR camera would have captured a better photo.