05 Editing in Google+ Snapseed
There are three ways you can do this! At the top of the screen are five thumbnail presets. You can see how your image will look with each one applied (your own photo is used for the preview), then click on the one you like most.
Or you can use the Shuffle button alongside. This randomly shuffles the effect parameters each time you click it, so you can just click away until you get just the effect you want.
Or you can do it all manually. Each of the Snapseed filters has a range of sliders for controlling the effect, and the Retrolux filter has more than most, so here’s a quick annotated guide to the tools and what they do:
1) These are effect presets. They’re prepackaged combinations of the many separate adjustments that go to make up the Retrolux effect. Google+ Snapseed uses your own photo to preview the effect, and you can simply click on the one you like most.
2) If you can’t make your mind up and want to see some alternatives, click the Shuffle button. This generates a random combination of settings, and if you don’t like the what you see, click the Shuffle button again… and again until you see the effect you want.
3) Or you can take control manually. If you’ve found an effect that’s almost but not quite right, use the Adjust panel to tweak the settings (see (6) below).
4) The two main components of the Retrolux effect are the Style (the colour shift/vignette effect) and the Leaks (light leaks). Click the Style button if you want to look through the available styles manually.
5) Or click the Leaks button to see different types of light leak.
6) These are the manual sliders you see when you click the Adjust button. The Brightness, Saturation and Contrast sliders speak for themselves, and the bottom three sliders, Style Strength, Scratches and Light Leaks control the strength of the Retrolux effect.
When you’re happy with your filter effect, click Apply to get back to the main Google+ Snapseed screen.
06 Finishing up
You can apply more than one filter at a time – just click another filter to apply that over the existing one. And when you’ve finished, click the Finished Editing button. The edited picture then replaces the original in your album, though all these changes are non-destructive, so you can revert to your original photo later if you want to. If you’d like to keep both, you can create a copy of your photo and then edit the copy.
07 The finished picture
I really like the Retrolux effect. It was added late on in Snapseed’s life at about the time Google took over Nik Software, and it’s one of my favourites because it gives you a strong retro effect in just a few seconds.
Coming up in Part 3…
Don’t be fooled by Snapseed’s instant effects. This is no simple Instagram-clone because there are some serious image-editing tools in there too, and in the third and final instalment of this Google+ Snapseed mini-series, we’ll see what they can do.