What It Is
What It Does
Provides mobile smartphone users with an extensive suite of photo editing options on par with those that professional photographers and photo editors use
Where to Buy It
What It Costs
It's no secret that smartphones have become a primary camera for many of us these days. Photos and video taken via smartphone are earning more and more credibility in the world of professional photography and filmmaking. Films shot entirely via smartphone are garnering awards left and right, while famed photographers like Annie Leibovitz are publicly endorsing smartphone cameras. (She praised the iPhone camera on NBC Nightly News in 2011.) High profile contests like the Mobile Photography Awards that laud exceptional smartphone photography are growing wildly popular.
As smartphone cameras have evolved, so too have mobile photo editing apps. Popular apps like Instagram are great tools for simple, on-the-go photo editing from your smartphone's camera, but the editing features and options are limited to simple cropping, filtering, and image sharpening. Snapseed puts many of the finer tweaking mechanisms professional photographers regularly use right at your fingertips.
Some of those features include a wide range of comprehensive filters, the ability to make selective adjustments to photos, image tuning (i.e white balance, contrast, saturation, and brightness), tilt, and shift functionality that allows users to play with an image's depth of field, and focal adjustment options. Snapseed also allows users to share edited photos through Google+ and other social media platforms.
The art of photo editing can be difficult to master for even the most seasoned of photographers, and the depth of editing functionality available to Snapseed users may be more than they may need. But the app has an extensive, play-along tutorial to help users through the editing process, and simple finger swiping and tapping is all it takes to make adjustments. It may take a little patience and a few minutes to get the hang of the app's functionality, but the results are worth it.
Snapseed has great implications for the acting and filmmaking world. It can provide easy (free!) headshot editing, make for instant sharing of location scouting, set design, continuity snapshots, and more. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson recently geeked out about Snapseed in an interview with USA Today, raving about how much he can do with photo composition and color correction.
Snapseed is the latest from Nik Software, which is owned by Google, a leader in the world of digital photography and imaging. The company launched Snapseed for iPad in 2011, and followed suit for the iPhone and Android devices in 2012.
Jessica Bloustein Marshall is a writer, actress and digital producer in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jess_on_ice.