Eleven basic photo editing tips on Android

Best 11 basic photo editing tips for android user.

The mobiles have become our pocket cameras but, in addition to shooting countless images with the mobile, we also edit them before sharing on our social networks. For this reason, photo editing tips are essential for mobile photography. More light, less saturation, smooth the skin in a selfie, align the horizon, add a filter … The possibilities are many but you have to know professional photo editing tips and how to edit an image accordingly. Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away and what was a promising photo may end up worse than it was before you started.

The less you have to edit, the better you’ll get
Choose the right app
Adjust the frame
Improves exposure
Retouching the color
Filters, do you really need them?
Frames, vignettes, textures, texts ... yes or no?
Flee HDR filters
Beauty mode yes, but in moderation
Compare to the original image before finishing
Do not be afraid to experiment

We gave you essential tips to take Photos, but that’s not enough. The process of editing or retouching images is also key to improving the result and, as like as shooting, some guidelines should be taken into account. Here are our tips for editing photos with your Android phone.

The less you have to edit, the better you’ll get

Miracles do not exist and, if the photo we shot is very poor quality, we will not get much when editing, even if we use professional editing apps. The best thing to make the result good is that we have to edit as little as possible.

The image below such lines is a clear example that editing does not work miracles. The faint evening light, combined with a limited dynamic range, resulted in an image in which almost everything went out too dark, except the sky in the background. When trying to solve it by adjusting the values ​​of editing the image is clarified, but the colors tend to get distorted and the detail is very bad.

img1 basic photo editing tips: less edit better image

In addition to the fact that the photo meets minimum quality parameters, it is important to try to achieve the desired effect at the time of the shooting, always within the possibilities.

For example, if we want to achieve the effect of underexposure, rather than editing image with the app; we can use the professional mode to have the effect at the moment of shooting. If your mobile allows shooting in RAW, it is also a great advantage at the time of editing, as we ensure that we have all the information of the shot.

Choose the right app

Apps to edit photos on Android are many, but not all suit to all conditions. As we saw in our review of complete photo editors, there are many apps that are focused on simple tweaks for the average user but don’t have specific advanced features.

img2 choose perfect photo editor apps for android

VSCO and Snapseed are two of the most widely used app in taking panorama image. The first one stands out for its minimalist interface and its collection of filters, which combines with a good collection of editing tools, while the second offers a huge range of options, some very specific as the white balance adjustment. If you want an almost professional tool, Lightroom is what you are looking for.

If you are looking for an app that allows you to eliminate spots or make specific adjustments, Adobe Photoshop Fix or Pixlr are excellent choices. Finally, before you start editing, think about what features you need and choose the best app to get the result you are looking for.

Adjust the frame

Getting the perfect frame at the first is not always simple, especially when it comes to geometric elements or symmetries. It may happen that when shooting the photo comes out high crooked or that we just want to frame a detail but we can not get as close as we would like. In all these situations, editing apps are the solution.

img3 adjust photo frame with editor apps
Original vs New frame

In the left image, the frame is clearly maladjusted, but it is nothing that can not be solved in the editing process. In addition to trimming a part of the image, there are tools that allow you to rotate and straighten the perspective; with a combination of all of them, you can achieve a perfect framing.

Improves exposure

There will be times when the camera guesses right exposure and you do not have to adjust anything, but the truth is that most of the time the exposure can be retouched to achieve a striking effect. Of course, you have to be careful that there are not many burned areas or totally black shadows, unless, of course, you are looking for just that effect.

img4 improve photo exposure with photo editor apps
Original vs Exposure improvement

Although the top image had been relatively well exposed in the original shot, touching the exposure and contrast values ​​improves the result remarkable. Adjusting the exposure and the contrast are two steps that we have to do in almost every image but, as we said, you have to be careful because an excessive adjustment ends up spoiling the image information.

Retouching the color

Unless you remove it in the editing, the color is an element present in all our photographs and, like the exposure, it is usually necessary to adjust it even slightly to achieve the best result.

img5 editing color of photos with red key filter
Example of Red Key correction

A common situation is that we find a dominant color. The image on the left shows clearly that the whole image is covered by a kind of reddish veil. These problems are usually occur depending on the type of illumination and sometimes can spoil the pretty picture.

img6 editing photo color with saturation filter
Boosting color with saturation tool

Tools such as White Balance help to eliminate such effects and to make the image more reliable. There are also apps that offer the Hue or Warm feature, with which it is possible to eliminate these dominants.

Another possible scenario is that we have a correct white balance but the color of the photo does not stand out as we would like. Here the Saturation tool (sometimes called intensity) can be very useful, but again we advise to be careful not to overdo it.

In the image above a mixture of saturation and contrast was applied to obtain that more dramatic effect that highlighting mainly the turquoise of the water.

Filters, do you really need them?

Filters are an important part of any photo editing app, but they can be a double-edged sword. We do not doubt that you can get very interesting effects in a single tap, but not all filters fit all the photos and some are so excessive that converts the image into something totally different.

img7 do you really need photo filter
Original vs Moody Filter (VSCO)

The best thing before applying a filter is to ask if the image needs it. Sometimes it is better to adjust some parameters like color and exposure manually to get highlight the photo, while a filter is less controllable.

In the image above you can see the original photo on the left and the retouched image on the right. The effects of VSCO usually give very good result and although here leaves an image with an air of nostalgia that does not look bad, the original colors are lost. Obviously, it’s a matter of taste but better think twice about applying filters.

Frames, vignettes, textures, texts … yes or no?

We talk about normal filters that modify exposure values ​​or color, but there are other types of presets that go further and add vignettes and textures, creating a more dramatic and mysterious effect likes the one on the right.

img8 Frames, vignettes, textures, texts in photo editor, yes or no
A more daring edit with textures and light leaks can give a mysterious result.

As we have said on several occasions, we must be careful, and with effects of this type even more. The textures and light leaks offered by apps such as Snapseed, Pixlr or PicsArt are often excessive and the photos seem to be taken from the museum of horrors. It is fine to give a vintage touch but remember: the photo is for what purpose.

Frames and texts are another resources that we can add to an image. In the first case can be interesting depending on the type of photo, but in general, it is something that can be dispensed with in most cases. About the texts, the truth is that we cannot think of a reason why to plant a text on a photo beyond wanting to turn it into a postcard. If you want to add a text to your image, better do it in the caption on Instagram, Facebook or where you are going to publish it.

Flee HDR filters

If there is a photographic effect has been totally perverted this is definitely the HDR. This technique was created as a way to preserve the detail of the whole photo in scenes in which the contrast is too marked. What it does is take several images at different exposure and merge them so that there are no burned areas or black areas.

img9 HDR filter application on photo editor
HDR filters like this one from Snapseed often give painful results

However, so-called HDR filters from most image editors have little to do with the original technique. You will recognize them by those impossible luminaries, halos around the figures, masks having a painful approach and artificial appearance. One thing is to use the HDR mode that brings the camera phone, but the picture on the right is perfectly summarized why you should not use HDR filters.

Beauty mode yes, but in moderation

Although the self-portrait was nothing new, the mobile boomers have made the selfie fevers to skyrocket, and with it came many apps that promise to improve our portraits to make us look more handsome and beautiful, but you have to be very careful with this type of tools if you do not want to end up looking like a wax doll.

img9 photo editing tips: Beauty mode yes or no
The Meitu Chinese app is an example of what not to do when retouching portraits

Softening the skin is fine in moderation, what is already happening is when we enlarge the size of the eyes, we reduce the face and, ultimately, we become a manga drawing. That’s what apps like Meitu do.

Compare to the original image before finishing

Have I passed? It is a feeling that many of us have been spending time tweaking a photo because, as we said at the beginning, sometimes it’s easy to get carried away and end up spoiling the image instead of improving it.

img10 Compare to original image before finishing editing
A look at the original image will tell you if you’re right with the editing

The best thing to avoid this error is to take a look at the original photo before finishing the editing that will tell you quickly if the thing has improved or worsened. Most editing apps allow you to see the original image simply by holding down the photo for a moment.

Do not be afraid to experiment

We have said several times that editing has to be done in moderation, but that does not mean that you can not experiment. In the end, the best way to learn and find the best settings is to try out many options.

If you are adjusting the saturation of the color, test how it would go up almost to the maximum or lowering it to the minimum. You can also try out various framing, black-and-white filters or even tinting shadows. There are plenty of possibilities and surely make a mistake, but the advantage is that there is the undo button.

More about photography with the mobile

21 essential tips for making good photos with your Android phone.

What is a complete photo editor for Android?

3 thoughts on “Eleven basic photo editing tips on Android”

  1. Hi Nadia,
    Many many thanks for sharing such a superclass photo editing tips with great explanation. I really appreciate your tips. I will certainly dig it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.


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