Lesson 47: Blooming Snapseed

Today, I randomly chose a photo and edited it in Snapseed to demonstrate 3 things:

  1. Using some of the tools in Snapseed we haven’t used in earlier lessons
  2. You can edit yourself in circles
  3. Editing doesn’t necessarily make a photo better.

Here is the original photo next to my resulting photo after editing:

In the process, I used the Grunge, Vintage, Details, Retrolux, Drama, and Tune Image tools.  There are several reasons why it probably isn’t a good idea to use this many editing tools on one photo.

First, while there are several claims on the web that Snapseed is “non-destructive,” meaning the resolution of your photo is not compromised by the editing process, I am not convinced.  It’s very difficult to tell what is photo degradation vs editing effects both visually and from a file size perspective.  I tried saving each version of the photo between steps and found that the file size got progressively smaller until I added a texture and then the file size increased.  So, I am going with the assumption that data loss from the original image occurs each time you apply an editing tool, although some editing tools apply extra data.

Second, Applying edits in different orders creates different results.  Working from left to right applying the same edits created a very different photo.  Here are the two different edits side-by-side:

Some edits seem to “undo” previous edits by applying, for example, a different texture to the photo.  In the end, there are a nearly infinite ways in which you can change the photo.  But, the question is:  should you change the photo?

In this case, the main issue with the original photo is that the focus is behind some of the unopened petals in the center.  Neither edit fixed this problem.  If I wanted to improve the photo, I would try sharpening it to see if I could get the center petals in focus.  Interestingly, one of my interim edits did result in a sharper image than the original:

I would still prefer to have had the original photo with the focus I wanted.  Focus is one of the things it’s hard to fix after the fact.

Your Assignment:  Pick a photo that maybe isn’t so interesting.  Open it in Snapseed and try the various tools.  For the steps I took editing the photos, refer to the instructions below.  Try the different tools in Snapseed in different orders to see which order seems to work best for you.  Here are the instructions for the first edit:

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