Snapseed: Transform, Selective Adjustment, and Spot Repair


Snapseed (iOS and Android) is one of my favorite editing apps.  If you have been reading the articles on mobile photography here on, you’ll see that most if not all my photos have been edited with Snapseed.  It simply is the most powerful editor on any smart phone and again for Android shooters, is the best as it provides RAW editing.  Snapseed allows for many awesome features such as selective adjustments, perspective correction, removal of unwanted objects and many more features that you can attain in other apps.

  The question is whether it is worth it to garner any other apps because the power that Snapseed possesses. 

Snapseed is free and is a must have for all mobile photographers.  I know of big camera photographers who use this app on the job (on their larger screened connected devices) to show clients what they are envisioning for the final product.  It’s that powerful that a professional can use and at the same time a great app for starters and novices to use for the photographical needs.

In the new year, I want to introduce a few editing tools for you to play around with: Transform Tool, Selective Adjustments, and Spot Repair.

Transform Tool

This tool is used to assist in attaining the desired perspective in your final image.  This best works when you are shootingsymmetrical images such as architecture or linear patterns.  If you have not learned about perspective distortion, it is important that you understand what it means.

  For example when you shoot a building, many times it will have distortion.  If looking up, your building narrows at the top.  If you are shooting straight forward, it will look a bit skewed.

The Transform tool allows you three adjustments.  You can adjust using the vertical axis, horizontal axis, and rotation.

Selective Tool

The Selective Tool is by far my favorite feature of Snapseed.  In the beginning of my app exploration, Snapseed was the only app that provided this feature.  To this day, it remains a top of many apps because of this feature. 

It’s exactly what it states; you can select different parts of your image and adjust the brightness (B), contrast (C), and color saturation (S). For example, if you have an image with a bright blue sky and wanted to adjust only the sky, you can do so without affecting any other pixels in the image.

I find myself using this tool quite frequently.  The reason being, it’s great for achieving a great final look.  Silhouettes, landscapes, macro photography, all of which can benefit from this tool.  I also like that you can zoom in and out of your area for achieving the edits accurately.

Spot Repair Tool

Spot Repair Tool is for removing unwanted objects and distractions from your photo.  For example in my genre of photography – street and urban landscapes – many times I’ll have power lines.  To be honest I tend to not shoot these scenes just because of those dang power lines.  The Spot Repair Tool allows me to remove those power lines to give me the desired look I was going for.

Disclaimer: I really do not use this feature for my street photography.  I do use it for portraits where there may be minor blemishes.

To use the Spot Repair tool it’s pretty simple.  Tap the unwanted object, and when you release a circle will appear.  The pixels will then be replaced by pixels from around the area of an area of your choosing in the image.  For more detail work, you can zoom in and pixel edit in the same fashion.