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.


Flower Photography – Narrowing the Focus

Lily - On the Inside

After taking a hiatus from photo shoots to learn and get comfortable with a new camera and lenses, I decided to take a new approach to my flower photography. My process has always been to find an interesting flower against a relatively good background and shoot it with a variety of lenses; wide, telephoto, macro, Lensbaby. My thinking is, a beautiful flower speaks for itself. Not too much thought or creativity goes into this process. Consequently, many of my flower photographs look like many of the photographs taken by everybody else.

For Easter someone brought me a Lily plant. Given spring is still fleeting here in Chicagoland (might snow this weekend), I decided to place the plant on a patio table and see what I could come up with creatively. Not too many ways to shoot a single lily. I kept focusing on what is the most interesting thing about this lily. This is what I came up with.

The photograph taken above was not cropped. The subject was shot as is. So this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and photograph only a portion of every flower I shoot. I believe it is going to be “easier said than done”! But if nothing else, I am hoping to learn a lot, and it will definitely be interesting!!

The photo below was taken a few years ago.

Pansy - showing off


Photography – Waterfalls

“Nature is the art of God.” Dante Alighieri

Each one has its own path and its own power. A lot like us!

Norway – f/5; 1/800 sec; ISO-500; 74mm
Alaska – f/14; ISO 200; 1/200; 187mm
Yosemite – f/5; 1/400 sec; ISO-100; 20mm

Photography – Those Amazing Insects

One of my favorite subjects to shoot is insects. I have found the best time to photograph them is early in the morning when the air temperature is still cool and crisp.


f/22; 1/50; ISO 100; 250mm

lady bug final wp

f/11; 1/60; ISO 800; 60mm

bee final

f/5; 1/60; ISO 100; 42mm


f/7.1; 1/80; ISO 250; 60mm – f/5.6; 1/400; ISO 640; 240mm


Bird Photography – Sometimes You Just Get Lucky!

Bird & dragonfly.jpg

I was testing a camera lens for distance. So I decided to shoot this bird that was perched on a branch near the top of the tree. When I got home to view the shots I took that day, it was an unexpected surprise to see the dragonfly on the tip of the top tree branch. 

f/14; ISO 400; 1/1600; 250mm

Photography – Patio Flowers

All of my photo processing is done using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. I also use the NIK Collection which is a plugin that can be used in both programs.

Purple-Pincushionf/9; 1/15; ISO-100; 135mm; +0.3 steps

IMG_3466-Edit-Editf/8; 1/6; ISO-400; 60mm

Lily pistils-WPf/4.5; 1/80; ISO 400; 60mm

Comments are always welcome.