BETTER THAN EXPECTED

When it comes to editing photos, you no longer need the expense of Photoshop or the bulk of a desktop computer to create stunning images. iPads are proving every bit as effective for photo enhancement. In fact, with Apple’s Camera Connection Kit allowing you to transfer high-resolution images directly from camera to iPad, and with the mind-boggling capabilities of some software available in the App Store, you’ll barely need to touch your computer at all to achieve great results.

Over the next few editions, we’ll review a few of the available photo editing apps to help you choose the best option. Read on for our review of Snapseed.

SNAPSEED OVERVIEW

Snapseed is an intuitive and user-friendly app that helps you produce stunning photographic results quickly, easily and with surprising precision. It’s not filled with an over-abundance of filters and options, so it’s quick to learn and simple to navigate. While it’s certainly not a replacement for Photoshop software, it is great for beginners and advanced users alike who want to quickly enhance their snapshots.

Created by Nik Software and now owned by Google, Snapseed is available free on IOS and Android devices, and the desktop version can be purchased at a low cost for Mac and Windows based computers.

SNAPSEED BENEFITS

One of the greatest features of Snapseed for mobile devices and tablets is its swipe and pinch functionality. You don’t need to understand histogram graphs, levels or curves to use this app effectively. In the Tune Image area, for example, swiping up or down allows you to toggle between Brightness, Ambiance, Contrast, Saturation and White Balance, while swiping left or right allows you to adjust the intensity of whichever option is currently active. Alternatively, enter one of the filter areas like Vintage and simply pinch the screen to control the centre focus, then swipe left or right to adjust the intensity.

Another fantastic feature of Snapseed is one that sets it apart from its competitors ? Selective Adjustment. Where many other apps will only allow adjustments to be made to the entire image, Snapseed allows you to pinpoint individual areas of the photo for finer adjustments. This allows you, for example, to quickly brighten an area in shadow, such as someone’s face, without affecting the rest of the image.

Another feature worth mentioning is a small but invaluable button located throughout the app called Compare. This allows you to quickly check the changes you’ve made without undoing and redoing the actions. One quick press of the button shows you how it looked before, and releasing the button returns it to the enhanced version.

If you’re looking for a quick fix to a photo, the Automatic feature will increase the contrast, while the Details feature will sharpen the image. There are numerous filters like Grunge and Drama if you’re looking for a less realistic effect, and Tilt Shift is great for bringing focus to a particular area of a photo while blurring other areas. Click Share to either email or print the end result, or to post it on Google+, Twitter or Facebook.

Given the free price tag on the mobile app, this software is an excellent choice for enhancing images. If you need a high degree of control over your photos and a more Photoshop-like environment, stay tuned for the next app review where we’ll step up a level to PhotoForge2.