I’m a huge fan of Snapseed, the mobile app developed by Nik Software (a Google company). It’s currently available for iPhone and iPad, as well as Android devices and even on the web via Google+ Photos.
The latest update to iOS and Android includes a new feature called HDR Scape, which really does a fabulous job of increasing the dynamic range throughout your photo. Here’s a sample taken with my Sony Xperia Z1 and edited solely with Snapseed’s HDR Scape filter. You can click the photo to enlarge it.
Pretty impressive. With a little more tweaking (I’d increase the contrast and maybe do some selective adjustments to bring out the green tones in the grass some more, then lessen the saturation on the oranges in the sunset), this would be a postcard quality shot, all taken and processed on my phone in less than 2 minutes.
It also looks like the latest update has done away with the resolution limitation. Previously, photos were reduced in size if they were larger to begin with. That limited your ability to print with higher resolution images. In the photo above, the image started at 3264 x 2448 and the final product stayed the same — exactly 7.99 megapixels.
Another enhancement in the latest update is a new shadows slider, which you’ll find in the ‘Tune Image’ section. I played around with it a little and the results are great. In photos where you have a lot of detail lost in dark shadows, Snapseed will brighten just those areas to help restore what you otherwise may have missed. Like other effects, it works better with some images and less with others.
Just for fun, here’s another sample before and after image created completely with Snapseed, the HDR Scape effect and the new Shadows slider, taken with my Xperia Z1. Like the previous photo, Snapseed didn’t reduce the resolution of my image. It started at 3140 x 2160 and the final image remained the same. You can click the photo to enlarge.
So, if you aren’t using Snapseed for your mobile photography, it’s one of the best tools you can add to your belt. Even better: it’s free. For iPhone and iPad, you can download Snapseed from the App Store here (download link) and for Android, you can download Snapseed from the Play Store here (download link).
Feel free to ping me on Twitter if you have any questions: @mbchp.
You May Also Be Interested In:
You should follow Mike on Twitter for more great tech insights and good conversation. Be sure to say hello! You can also keep up with Mike on his personal blog: MikeBeauchamp.me, on Facebook, or on Google+.