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Image Processing Apps: Mobile editing
A colorful dragonfly alighted on a tree branch adjacent to the patio, so I went inside to grab my Nikon D300 and attached a Tamron 70-300mm lens. With strong backlighting, flash fill was mandatory, so I added an SB-900 speedlight to the mix.
I needed to fine-tune the image in terms of exposure, contrast and saturation. And even with the lens zoomed out to 300mm (equivalent to 450mm in DX/APS-C format); the dragonfly was still fairly small. That meant I’d also need to crop the image. For this article, I decided to do all of this on my Apple iPad (www.apple.com) with Nik Software’s Snapseed (www.snapseed.com). Note that this software can be used on all sorts of mobile devices, or even on your laptop or desktop computer. But I wanted to get a feel for mobile editing, so that’s why I went the iPad route.
Note that I didn’t feel it necessary to use all of the adjustments available in the software, such as Automatic Color and Contrast Correction, Straightening, or Tilt-Shift Modifications, but I had plenty to work with using only a handful of adjustments. Let’s see how it worked out.
To start out, tap on the Plus icon (bottom of screen) to add a Control Point, then select the area in the picture that you want to adjust and tap it to add that first Control Point. The active Control Point is blue; inactive Control Points (those you’ve added before or after the one currently being adjusted) are white.
Tap on a Control Point to reveal the options: Cut, Copy, Delete and Reset. If you want to make similar adjustments to many areas of the picture, just Copy and Paste in the appropriate areas, which I did here for one set of corrections on the leaves, and for another set on the dragonfly. You can use Cut to Paste it elsewhere, but it’s easier to move a Control Point where needed.
Press down lightly on the Control Point and a magnifying glass with crosshair appears to help you more accurately place that Control Point. It’s not critical, but having said that, you will detect certain nuances and changes as you move the Control Point even slightly.
Now, this step is very important: select an active Control Point (or tap on it to make it active), and pinch to resize the selection area. A circle defines the entire zone reached by this Control Point. But the actual area affected is shown in red. You’ll note that it feathers outward, having less and less effect toward the edges. You’ll also note that the selection stops when it hits a discernibly different color or contrasting tone. That means the effect terminates at that point. And keep in mind that Control Points can overlap and reinforce (or weaken) each other. This is helpful when you want to better control the edge of a selection or ensure continuity over a broader area.
You’ll see the letter B, C, or S embedded in the Control Point. Those are the 3 adjustments, showing the last one that you modified. You can always go back and change them—provided that you did not hit “Apply”. If you run out of the allowable number of Control Points, simply Apply the changes, then go back in a second (or third) time.
If you momentarily tap on “Hide”, the Control Points are made invisible but the adjustments remain in effect, , ,  and .
Tips On Working With Snapseed On An iPad
You can work in Landscape (my preference) or Portrait mode. Menus are found on the bottom of the screen. The key steps in this article are found in the Menu on each screen. Additional options may apply for specific settings.
“Apply” finalizes each step. If you hit “Back”, the adjustments will not be applied.
Press down lightly (don’t tap) on the “Compare” icon to see before and after prior to applying the adjustment/effect.
The “Undo” icon/button serves 2 purposes: undo and redo. Press down lightly and the choice of actions will pop up (tap your selection).
For more information visit www.snapseed.com