In Google’s continuing effort to bring its social network to the next level, it has introduced a handful of tools to edit, play with and change photos uploaded to its service. The biggest update to its plethora of photo tools is the Creative Kit. The Creative Kit allows to crop, rotate, change the exposure and edit other features of the pictures you have uploaded.
On any other social network, you would have to edit these aspects of a picture with some form of photo editing software. Without it, you would not be able to change how your picture looks and now Google+ lets you do that.
How to get started with the Creative Kit
If you want to get started with the Creative Kit, you want to login to your Google+ profile and navigate to your photos. You can only use the Creative Kit with photos you uploaded, so choose a picture you uploaded.
Now, click “Edit.”
A new menu will open up. Click “Creative Kit.”
Google+ will open a brand new area for you to work in, and this is the Creative Kit.
On the left hand side of the Creative Kit, you will see a variety of options to work with including: Auto-Fix, Crop, Rotate, Exposure, Colors, Sharpen and Resize. These are considered the Basic Edits and can be accessed by clicking that link at any time in the Creative Kit.
Auto-Fix will take the basics of your photo and bring out the best it can with what Google+ is working with. Click on “Auto-Fix.”
A green fixed button will pop-up after Google+ has adjusted your photo to make it look its best. Auto-Fix is not a fix all for some photos, but it can make a photo look much better by fixing key components in its make-up that would take hours in photo editing software. Don’t forget to click “Save” to save your changes.
Crop will allow you to crop the image to a size of your liking. Click “Crop.”
A smaller menu will open up on the right side of the screen allowing you to change the dimensions manually, along with scaling the photo when doing so. You can also use the points on your photo to crop the image however you choose. Remember to click “Save” when finished.
If you forge to save at any time, Google+ will show you a pop-up reminding you so you do not lose any changes.
Now, click on “Rotate.”
Rotate allows you to change the degree at which your picture sits. You can tinker with the different arrows to change the degrees or you can click on the photo, click and hold your mouse button down and drag it to move the picture around. Again, remember to click “Save” once you have made your changes.
Click on “Exposure.”
Exposure allows you to work on factors behind the scenes in the photo that you normally ignore, such as highlighting, shadows and contrasts. For users who do not know what these terms mean, click on “Auto-Exposure.” This will automatically fix the picture to its best possible exposure, similar to the Auto-Fix feature. Click “Save” when finished.
Colors is our next section. Click on “Colors.”
This will allow you to play around with the coloring of your picture, such as the saturation and temperature. Again, if you are not sure what these features of a photo mean, simply click “Auto-Colors” and “Save.” Otherwise, you can tinker with the saturation and temperature to find the right balance on your own.
Click on “Sharpen.”
Sharpen allows you to sharpen the edges of your photo, such as my face in this picture. This can make things stand out better and give the photo a more finished look when blurry. Sharpen is another area that may take some time to get used to playing around with. You simply move the shifters for sharpness and clarity until you find the right balance for your particular picture.
The Unsharp Mask button will allow you to take away the edges to your picture and make things appear slightly more smooth. Click “Save” to move on.
Now, click on “Resize.”
Resize simply lets you change the overall size of your picture. You can enter in dimensions, use percentages instead of pixels and keep the photo proportionate. Click “Apply” to see your changes live and remember to click “Save” when finished resizing your picture.
This is the basic guide to using the Edits feature in the Google+ Creative Kit. The more you begin using these edits, the more they will become natural and comfortable to use. Just remember if you are uploading a picture you are not happy with, Google gives you tools to make your picture shine.
How to use effects, special sections and text in Google+’s Creative Kit
The Creative Kit does more than just basic photo editing; it also offers effects, themes and text features to make your picture more than just something you uploaded to share.
Click on “Effects.”
Effects allow you to change the overall way your picture comes across. Some of the ways are based on how cameras take pictures, others are from methods from photo editing software.
The categories you are given to choose from are: Google+ Exclusives, Basics, Camera, Color and TouchUp. Each of these categories offers a different way to make your pictures unique.
In order to use this feature, simply click on one of the effects.
Your picture will automatically be transformed, and if the effect has options, you can change how it looks with your specific photograph. When finished with it, click “Apply,” then “Save.”
Depending on the time of year, Google will offer special themes. At the moment, they are still offering Halloween themes. Click on the current theme.
Themes work the same way effects work. You are given several categories of effects within a theme. You click on the one you want to apply, tinker with the settings and you can change the look of your photo, add items to it and change how it looks. Just remember to save your photo before you exit out of the Creative Kit.
Click on the “Text” tab.
You can add text to any picture by typing what you want in the box at top. You can then choose a font. When you have done both, click “Add.”
A pop-up will appear on the right side of the screen allowing you to work with the color, size and other factors of your text.
When finished, you can then drag the text around your photo to the right place.
As always, remember to click “Save” to save your work.
Google+’s Creative Kit is the perfect solution for users with little experience with photo editing. It gives them the chance to truly make their pictures look the way they want to and have fun while doing it. If you have not checked the Creative Kit out yet, use our guide to begin seeing how it will make your life easier when it comes to your photos on Google+.
Should you be editing photos on Google+ with the Creative Kit?
Google has offered a new way to work with pictures online. No other social network comes close to offering a built-in photo editing platform to work when uploading pictures. If you have ever wished you could tweak something on a picture before sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere, Google+ gives you that ability.
If you have not used the Creative Kit, what are you waiting for? There has to be a few photos you wished looked a little better if you had the skills to make it happen; Google+ now gives you the tools to edit photos on the fly with its Creative Kit.