This year we’ve seen Google getting more serious about Google+. The social network got a much-needed overhaul earlier this year. If you’re an avid Google+ user and love to edit photos, then you’d love what we have to share in this guide. Earlier this year, Google acquired the popular online photo-editing application Snapseed, and now they’ve integrated it into photos in Google+ profiles, replacing the original photo editing tools.
Snapseed has long been known as one of the easiest-to-use photo editing tools available. It offers basic and creative photo editing options, plus those cool filters you love on Instagram. For those who use Google+ often, they will certainly love this latest application available to Chrome users.
Our guide will show how to utilize Snapseed to the fullest in Google+.
Before you use Snapseed, the first thing to know is that you must use the Chrome browser. Google has made the Snapseed application only accessible via Chrome. Firefox users and others, you, unfortunately, have no other choice, but to use Chrome if you want to use Snapseed. (Here’s a link to download Google Chrome, if you aren’t using it now)
After logging into your Google+ profile in Chrome, all you need to do to begin using the application is to go to the “Photos” section in your profile.
Once arriving in the Photos section, simply select a photo you’d like to start editing.
Once the photo loads, an “Edit” link with the text “New” in blue (to alert users to the new Snapseed addition) will appear.
Just click the “Edit” link to begin editing your photo with Snapseed.
When you click Edit, a brief message will appear letting you know you can always revert to the original image, and your photo will load in Snapseed.
All of the editing tools will be on the right side of the page and are divided into two categories – “Basic Adjustments” and “Creative Adjustments.”
All of the tools are incredibly easy to use too. However, before manually editing the image on your own, try using the “Auto-Enhance Customise” option located at the top of the menu.
This will automatically adjust sharpness, brightness, and balance the colors. Click the button once and the “Auto-Enhance” menu will load. If you like the suggested edits, click “Apply” at the bottom of the menu.
These edits are usually quite subtle but can help bring out the best qualities of an image.
As for the tools in the Basic Adjustments section, they are your standard photo editing tools. “Tune Image,” “Selective Adjust,” “Details” and “Crop & Rotate.” The first option, Tune Image, is your go-to tool for adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, shadows and warmth.
This area also has six different light filters – Neutral, Pop, Lift, Bleached, Moody and Dark.
Most of these filters are pretty standard, however, the “Bleached” filter is one of the more interesting ones, offering the trendy muted color look.
Selective Adjust Tool
The “Selective Adjust” tool meanwhile is one of the more powerful tools included in Snapseed. This tool lets you adjust specific areas of a photo, and not always the entire thing. You do this by specifying “Control Points.”
To create a Control Point, just click on the photo where you’d like to adjust things. Click “Apply” when you’re finished and the computer will remember that area of the photo.
The “Details” tool lets you adjust the sharpness and structure of the photo. It also provides six different filters to adjust the sharpness – Neutral, Sharp, Sharper, Structure, Structure+ and Detailed.
The last tool in this section is “Crop & Rotate.” This tool will put a grid over your photo, letting you straighten it and turn it left or right, as well as adjust the ratio.
Creative Photo Adjustments
The Creative Adjustments tools let you add several fun edits. The categories in this area include – “Black and White,” “Centre Focus,” “Drama,” “Frames,” “Tilt-shift,” “Vintage” and “Retrolux.”
The B&W Tool
The first tool is the “Black and White” tool, and it does exactly as it sounds, removing all color and changing it to grayscale. It also offers six different black and white filters and a tool to adjust the grain.
Centre Focus Tool
The next tool in this area is the “Centre Focus” tool. This tool lets you adjust the blurring on the photo as well as the edge brightness and the center brightness.
It also offers six different filters to better focus on your subject – Portrait One, Portrait Two, Vignette, Blur, Old Lens and Foggy.
The next tool is “Drama.”. This tool offers various tonalities and the option to make the image look more coarse or smooth. It also offers six different filters – Drama 1, Drama 2, Bright 1, Bright 2, Dark 1 and Dark 2.
The “Frames” tool meanwhile offers 23 different frames to add to your photos. They range from the more basic frames to the artistic.
The “Tilt-Shift” tool lets you miniaturize various aspects of the photo, as well as adjust the blur shape.
The “Vintage” tool is definitely one of the more popular creative tools. It offers six beautiful filters – Miles, Dizzy, Charlie, Ella, Dexter, and Wes.
You can also adjust the color gradient by clicking the “Style” button.
The last tool in this section, “Retrolux,” offers more vintage-inspired filters as well as the option to adjust each in more detail, such as being able to adjust the light leaks and scratches. It also offers five different filters – Pogo, Voyager, Michael, Yngwie and Cleaned.
Don’t forget, you can always revert back to the original image, undo any changes and compare your current edits to the original photo, all by going to the menu above the image
The photo editing options in Google+ have certainly come a long way since the early days of Google+ and its original photo editing tool, Creative Kit. Snapseed without question is a welcome addition to Google+.
However, as it stands, Google isn’t keen on making it easy to share your Google+ photos. If you want to share your Snapseed edits on other social networks, you will need to save the photo to your computer first.
For more information on working with photos on Google+, check out our post – How to Upload and Edit Photos in Google+