Beautify your photos with just a couple steps in the free Snapseed App

When you look at the first picture, that rock is pretty impressive, but then when you see the second one you realize how much detail is missing in the first. I call that getting detail in the shadows. Most photo editing programs have a feature to brighten shadows and get more detail. People say, “that looks like a painting” because painters don’t have to have shadows. Snapseed has an option called “Ambiance” that gets you detail in the shadow AND more color in the rest of the photo. I love the Ambiance feature. I try it on all my good scenic shots.

Install Snapseed app on iOS or Android

If you’ve never used Snapseed before, you will need to install it on your mobile device. It is only available on mobile devices, not computers. On Android, get it from your Play store, on iOS get it from your App store. It can be used as a standalone editing program, or it can be accessed from within Google Photos:

  • Android: open a photo in Google Photos, tap the edit button and scroll over to more… you should see Snapseed there
  • iOS: open a photo in Google Photos, swipe up on the photo and you should see “open in Snapseed”
  • For more detail see Android and iOS

Using the Snapseed Tools

In the Snapseed app, there is a tool called “Tuning” with several options. Once you have your photo open in Snapseed, you can tap on Tools and choose the Tuning Tool. Now you swipe up or down on the photo to see the list of tuning options and select one – such as Ambiance. Once an option is selected, you swipe right or left to increase or decrease the intensity of that option. It’s a lot easier to show than to explain, so please watch this video.

The text was added using the Text tool in Snapseed. See this video.

Another Example of “Beautifying” with Snapseed

This photo was mainly enhanced with Ambiance, but did you notice the car in the background of the first photo? To get rid of that, I used the “Heal” tool in Snapseed. Just open your photo in Snapseed, choose the tool called Heal, and touch the photo at the spot where you want something to disappear. See this video.

How to make this photo