Fun Photo Toys. Snapseed by Nik Software

When I’m out I’m either on assignment with the full rig (two camera bodies, lenses, lighting rig…) or I have my iPhone. The iPhone 5 and before it the 4 and 4s are all pretty exceptional when it comes to image quality. The quality tends to be limited to web use, and mobile devices, but that’s where a lot of photo viewing happens these days. When I’m using my phone I tend to use two apps. Whether I’m shooting on location or at an event and I want immediate feedback I’ll use Instagram and then feed it to my Facebook page. I like Instagram for it’s social aspects, but I feel pretty limited with the amount of filters and post processing that’s available in the app. Plus, the square format doesn’t really do much for me. I mean Hasselblad uses it and they are a classic standard, but how many iPhone users are actively trying to make that connection? I’ve always been a fan of the 35mm format, because of the golden ratio. The iPhone’s built in camera shoots at a ratio that’s pretty close to that, but again with post processing its limited to basic edits.

A little while back my partner put me onto Snapseed, which is built by Niksoftware. It’s not as simple as the user interface in Instagram or on the iPhone’s photo library app, but there is A LOT more you can do. There are extensive fixes, such as red eye and cropping, and a lot of different style based post processing. The coolest thing about that app is that it lets you control the “Strength” of different aspects of the style filters. For instance, the Vintage filter is not only a color/hue/saturation filter, but also adds scratches to the images. You can affect each of these aspects by a simple, vertical swipe to activate the menu, and then horizontal swipes to affect each individual aspect. There are often times where the filter just doesn’t look right when I activate it, so the ability to adjust each filter is a nice addition. Additionally there are center-focus and tilt-shift filters, which I don’t use that often. With all of that though my favorite aspect of the app is the frame. The frame selections are just really, really cool. I’ve posted some examples of some photos I’ve played with in Snapseed for you to look at. I highly, highly recommend this app.


Some flowers I saw during a walk. I used both the Retrolux and Vintage filters and adjusted the light leak aspect to get the look I wanted.


Simple B&W filter with custom adjustments such as contract and brightness


No filter. just basic contrast and saturation adjustments… and an added frame.


Vintage Filter with custom adjustments, and then a frame.


About coreykeizer

I'm a professional commercial and editorial photographer based in Los Angeles who specializes in fitness and outdoor lifestyle and sports.
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