This week I explained on my Instagram feed that in those in those cases where you think the restaurant owner might come after you with a butcher's knife if you tried to switch off their house lights, (take a breath) - it might be a better option to leave the lights on and edit your photo's afterwards. Using a simple app to subtly adjust or enhance your photos is not cheating!
Snapseed is a free and simple app for editing your photos. There are many others that may be better, but I've been fiddling with this one and I think it has everything you need, for small, online images. It is not as effective as Photoshop would be, but for a simple free improvement to your images, I think it's a good start.
I thought I'd quickly show you how to fix White Balance with it and for a full lesson, you can view the tutorial below.
Firstly open the image that you'd like to work on. I chose my good old faithful white jug.
Then click on TOOLS below
Select White Balance out of all your tools.
When you click on the eye dropper tool at the bottom a big dial appears on your photo. That dial automatically measures the light in your photo - depending on where you move it and it tries to make it as white as possible. When you do this, you will see the whole image change. You need to move it towards the whitest area on your image. Keep moving it around until you get the effect that you're looking for. (Watch out for those blue shadows)
At the bottom of the screen there are more adjustments that you can use. The central one helps you fine tune your White Balance further, by adjusting the Temperature (blue to yellow) or Tint of your image (green to magenta).
Tick at the the Bottom Right if you're happy with the results.
Go back to your TOOLS and select TUNE IMAGE.
This is probably the tool that I use the most. To select an option slide your finger up and down the screen until you land on BRIGHTNESS. When you slide from left to right and back, you are adjusting the brightness of your image.
(Do the same with contrast, saturation etc.)
This is shown more clearly in Ana's video tutorial below.
Adjust your brightness until you're happy with the results and then tick at the bottom right.
Then you're back on the main page and you can choose EXPORT to save your new image to your phone.
I hope you enjoyed this quick crash course in editing your photos. Remember to keep it subtle! Even the smallest changes do make a difference.
I asked Ana Maria Gach, a Digital media teacher, whether I could share her Snapseed Tutorial with you, because it's short, simple, clear and covers all the basics that you might need. Her tutorial is on an iPad, so it will look slightly different to the phone version, but it works in the same way. She did mention that there has been an upgrade since she created this tutorial, but I think it still gives you a good overview of the app.