Snapseed 2.0: Does Google Plan To Pit The App Against Instagram?

I have been using Snapseed, Google’s free mobile photo editing App, exclusively over the past months before sharing my photos on Instagram. So when I read this morning that my favorite App has been completely revamped, I wasn’t even aware that it was a “much-needed overhaul”. Admittedly, it lacked some professional “Photoshop features”, but guess what, some of us like when things are kept simple (though not as simple as the Instagram editing tools).

Of course I still tapped the update button in my App Store. Curiosity 1, Anja 0. To my relief, not THAT many things had changed. Sure, the interface looks completely different; I’m not certain though if the term “modern” really nails it. I noticed that I need one more tap than before to get to my wanted settings and filters. Oh well… But behind the new packaging, not everything had changed radically.

Added features:

  • A slider for highlights in the “Tune Image” section (neat addition to the shadow slider)
  • A feature to transform the image perspective (horizontally and vertically)
  • A brush to add a different exposure, saturation, color temperature or dodge & burn effect to specific parts of the photo
  • A spot repair feature, which sadly neither offers to choose the exact pixels you want to repair, nor the pixels you want to interpolate
  • A few new filter sets (Noir, Glamour Glow and Tonal Contrast)
  • An image stack feature to re-edit the same image lateron
  • A copy feature, allowing you to copy edits from one image to another

Deleted features:

  • The Grunge filter set (not that I am going to miss them)
  • All style presets under “Vignette”, which is truly a shame as they often helped me to see at a glance how much outer and inner brightness I was looking for

I am glad that not more features have been erased, and the new ones have been added in a way that won’t disturb my current workflow, which gives me time to actually go through all new features in the coming days to test them more on various photos.

On a first side note though, the new transform and brush tools look pretty neat and could soon become part of my image editing routine. Here is a first before and after comparison, after playing with “Transform” and “Brush” for around 10 minutes.

Louvre Paris GoPro

Original GoPro photo without any edit. This one looks a bit dull and could need some straight lines.

Louvre Paris with Snapseed

Edited with Snapseed 2.0: The new “Transform” tool interpolated pixels from the Louvre building and the fountain in the foreground (that’s a terrific job!). No need to crop, and the photo looks even more fish-eye than the GoPro original, which I personally love. I changed the saturation and color temperature of single image parts with the new “Brush” tool to make them look more like taken during sunset (which actually was the case).

I certainly think today’s changes put Google a big step ahead of Instagram (with regards to photo editing), and I am glad to see that the App stayed free, without paid “pro options”.

Are you a Snapseed fan too? What are your thoughts?
Which other mobile editing App appears on your primary smartphone or tablet screen?

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Photo Essay: South West USA

After indulging myself in recent holiday memories and posting fragments of my vacation in Dresden and ze city of Bangkok (oops, German accent rubbing off), I continued my trip down memory lane and spent some time browsing my 4 year old photos from our trip through the www (read: Wild Wild West).

To cherish our little anniversary (August 2009) of having a crazy 4,500 km road trip through the South West of the USA I reworked my personal top 25 photos (hardest choice ever) with some of my favourite mobile image editing apps, just like I did before with my shots from Barcelona, New Caledonia and La Reunion. I hope you like them!

Photo Essay: New Caledonia

The beautiful French island in the Pacific Ocean as seen through my Canon 60D in October 2012. All photos have been edited with either Snapseed or Camera+;  currently my two favorite iOS Photo Apps. Which Apps can you recommend for travel / landscape / nature / macro photography?

More landscape photography!

Photo Essay: La Reunion

In my Photo Essay about Barcelona I shortly mentioned that I am currently wasting hours (!!) post-processing photos by using various iOS Apps and uploading them on Instagram.

Today I admit that I slowly grow addict to this mobile photo community (no really, it’s getting serious). What I enjoy most? Keeping up with travel bloggers and their daily adventures. For now. But there are still so many different worlds and styles to discover on that – in the age of High Definition – surprisingly different network.

Anyway, to offer my #InstaFollowers a few of my own travel impressions I re-worked my La Reunion favorites, and decided to publish them here as well, in one complete gallery featuring the tiny French island in the Indian Ocean. If you’d like to follow me on Instagram just search for ‘ae_i’ or follow here.

More landscape photography!

Photo Essay: Barcelona

A friend of mine recently spent a couple of days in Barcelona, and browsing through her photos brought back a whole lot of memories.

I visited the Catalonian city in May 2010 – almost three years ago – and I remember vividly how Gaudí’s Sagrada Família astonished me. But the never-ending construction area in the heart of Barcelona is only one notable thing in the city. Narrow streets filled with clothes lines contrast broad boulevards hosting vibrating markets and leading towards the bullfighting arena, the National Art Museum, the Olympic Stadium, the wharf and the beach (only to mention a few highlights).

After having a look at my friend’s photos I felt like browsing through my three year old shots, and since I am currently anyway wasting horrendous amounts of time testing various iOS Photo Apps I decided to post-process my personal Top 20 of Barcelona in order to publish them here. Please let me know what you think. I know iPhoneography is not everybody’s darling; but I do think Barcelona is very iPhoneo-genic.

More urban impressions!