Snapseed iPhone Photo Editing Tutorial: Master The Hidden Art Of Cropping Your Photos

(swooshing) (upbeat music) – In this video, you’re going to master the hidden art of cropping your photos. Now the reason I call this the hidden art, is because cropping is probably one of the most underused
techniques iPhone photography. And it’s really simple. It’s so simple that you
can literally learn it in one or two minutes. But unfortunately, it
also takes a lot of time to really master cropping. Now the one thing I can already tell you is that I often spend minutes, sometimes five or ten minutes, obsessing about how I’m going
to crop a particular photo, because the way you crop
directly affects the composition. And the more careful you
can crop your images, the more pleasing the
composition is going to be. So that’s why it’s so important that you pay a lot of attention
to how you crop your images. So for this video, we’re going to work with this original unedited photo, and I’ll show you how to transform that into this edited final version, which has been carefully cropped to include the exact right elements, to cut out anything we do not need, and create a pleasing composition. And in the end, I’ll also quickly show you how you can create these
beautiful dramatic deep shadows that you can see in the edited photo. But now, let me show you how you can easily crop your photos using the Snapseed app. And I’ll also describe the thought process that goes into cropping,
so you can really improve the composition of your
photos in cropping. I’ve already opened the photo
we’re going to work with, and to me, this photo is
really defined by two things. Number one, it’s the subject itself, and I like how the light falls
on the back of the subject, and how that illuminates the blue clothes that the subject is wearing. And I also really like the strong shadows that you can see on the wall, and on the ground below the subject. So to me, these two things
are what make this photo work. And when I’m going to crop this image, I’m going to think about ways I can further emphasize these most
essential aspects of the image. But now, let me show you how to access the crop module in Snapseed. So I’m going to tap the edit icon on the right hand side of the screen, and from here, at the top of the screen, you’ll see the crop option. So I’ll tap there, and now
the crop module is open, and by default, the
first thing that opens up at the bottom of the screen is
the different aspect ratios. So you’re given the
option to choose between free, original, and many
other aspect ratios. So, let me quickly
explain what these mean. Free essentially means that the ratio between the height and
the width of the image is not restricted in any way, and that allows you to crop the image however you want to crop it. So if you just want to
crop one side of the image, and not touch the other ones, you can do that with
the free aspect ratio. The original will
preserve the aspect ratio that the original photo had. For example, this iPhone photo, just like all the other
iPhone photos that you have, is in the four by three aspect ratio. So that essentially means that the width of the
image is four units long, while the height of of the
image is only three units long. And this is the default aspect ratio that your iPhone takes photos in. The four by three aspect ratio is perfect for essentially
viewing your photos digitally, or you can view them as wallpapers on most desktop computers. There’s also the square aspect ratio, and squares work really
great for social media, particularly for sites like
Facebook and Instagram. And the reason that square’s
working better there is that if you post a square photo on Instagram or on Facebook, it literally takes up more
real estate on the screen. So a square photo posted on Instagram looks bigger than a horizontal
aspect ratio photo would, simply because of how these
social networks are set up. So, an easy way to get
more likes to your photos is to just crop them in square. There’s also the three
by two aspect ratio, and this is the aspect
ratio you want to use for most printing needs. That’s because most printing formats, such as the four inch by
six inch printing format, which is really common, they come in the three
by two aspect ratio, and because of that, if you’re
looking to print your photos more often than not, you’ll want to use the three by two aspect ratio. Now, there’s also many other aspect ratios you can choose from, but my general recommendation is for you to stick to
one of the classic ones. Because if you use the free aspect ratio, or if you choose an unusual aspect ratio, you’ll have fewer ways in
which you can use your photos. Because they might not
fit the particular medium for which the photo is intended. I typically like to go with the original four by three aspect ratio, or I also like to edit my
photos in squares a lot. But of course you can use any aspect ratio you want to use for each photo. Now, let me select the original, which is the same as four by three here, and let me explain to you what happens when you crop a photo. So if you drag one of
the corners of the image, you’ll see that the part of the image we’re about to keep becomes smaller. So in many ways, cropping is the equivalent
of using scissors. Because if you had photo printed out, you could then literally cut out the sides of
the photo with scissors, and you’d be doing the exact same thing that we’re doing with cropping. And this has some important consequences when it comes to image quality. So when you’re cropping a photo, you are losing megapixels. You’re literally cutting
out everything else except the part that you keep, and that way, the image loses resolution. So after a crop, there will
always be less megapixels than you started with. And the interesting thing is that the megapixels go down quite quickly. So if we crop this image like this, so we’re keeping roughly
half of the original height, and half of the original width, what we’re left with is an
image that’s four times smaller. Not two times smaller,
but four times smaller. So if we’re starting with a
12 megapixel iPhone photo, what we have now is just
three megapixels left, and you have to be careful with that, because the pixels do
go away quite quickly, and my general guideline would be to never crop more than
half of the height, or half of the width of the photo. ‘Cause if you crop away more than half, you’re typically going
to lose too many pixels. And one other thing to keep in mind is that, if the photo is high
quality, as this photo is, that you can crop the photo more. But if you have any quality
issues before cropping, they will be magnified
after you crop the photo. So that’s another thing to keep in mind. But now, let’s look at how we can crop this particular photo. And what stands out to
me here is the lady. And I want the crop to be such that the lady will stand
out the most in the photo. So she’s the main subject. And when a person’s
walking through the frame, you always want to leave more
space in front of the subject, which is what we now have, but whatever cropping I do,
I want to preserve that. So I would not want to crop this image in such a way where the lady
is in the center, for example. Because that would not keep
the original composition, where the lady has more space in front of her than behind her. So this is not an option. What I also like about this
photo are the strong shadows, so I’d like to emphasize
those as much as I can. But there are certain
things about this photo that I’d prefer to not be there. For example, the security
camera here at the top, I don’t like that, and if I can just cut
it out, why not do it? The more you can simplify your photos, and remove unnecessary distractions, the better these photos are going to look. Now, for this particular image, I intend to post it on social media, so I’m gonna go ahead and
select the square aspect ratio. To do that, I need to tap this icon here at the bottom of the screen, and all the aspect ratios come up. I’m just gonna select square, and I’ll work with squares
from this point forward. Now I’ll just tap anywhere on the image, and I can keep looking at the full photo. So if I’m gonna do a square, the first thing that I want to do is to make sure I cut out
that camera at the top. I just don’t want that in the photo. So I’m gonna gently drag
the top part of the image, and my goal is to just cut
out the security camera. Now if I think about where
to position the subject, I want to make sure that the subject is on the right-hand side
of the frame, like so, because that way there is
more space in front of her. And finally, an important
decision I have to make is about this line that
separates the shadow from the brightly illuminated
parts of the image. And what I’ve discovered over the years is that if these lines originate from the corner of the image, like they do at the top left-hand corner, that just looks really appealing
in terms of composition. So when I have some really strong lines, like I do in this photo, when possible, I try to have these lines originate exactly from
the corner of the photo, and I’ve found that this can really make the
composition more harmonious. So I’ve accomplished that
goal at the top left, but if we look at the bottom right, you’ll see the shadow
doesn’t quite originate from the corner right now. So I’m gonna attempt to fix that, and to do that, I’ll
have to make the image just a tiny but smaller, so I’ll drag it by the
right-hand side now. And now, the whole square box
is just little bit smaller. Bit I think this might be enough to allow me to position the lines in the corners
exactly how I want them to be. Now the important thing to keep in mind is that it’s worth
spending time on cropping. And it’s worth to practice this, and to get it exactly right. I think I’ve done a good job. I like how the subject is
positioned in the frame, I like how the lines originate
from the two corners, so I’m gonna go ahead
and apply this effect, using the check mark at the bottom right. Now if I look at the
photo we just cropped, I’m very happy with the result, but to me, it seems that I could have done
the bottom right corner just a little bit more accurately. So let me show you how you can go back, and return to the crop that you’ve already applied to an image. So on the top of the screen, you’ll see this icon right here, and if you tap there, you
have lot of different options. You can undo and edit, you can revert the image
to it’s original state, or you can view edits, which
is what I’m gonna select. And the view edits now show me all the steps I’ve taken
this image through. So we start with the original, and then we’ve cropped the image, and those are the two steps
we’ve done, that’s it. But sometimes you’ll see more steps here on the right-hand side. So the crop step is selected, and if I want to return to
the crop and to do it again, I can tap my finger on crop again, and I have the option to delete, which is the trashcan icon, and that will just remove
the crop altogether, but I don’t want that. I want to modify the crop, and for that, I’ll
select the other option, which is the three sliders icon. And now, I’m back into the crop module, and I can readjust the
crop we already did. I’m gonna do this really carefully, to make sure that the lines originate exactly from the corners, just the way I want them to be. So, I think this should do the trick, so I’m gonna go ahead,
and apply the edit again, and now, I’m really happy about how this image has been cropped. Now you’ll notice that I
spent a few minutes on this, and you’ll also notice how careful I was about how the different elements are positioned in the frame, and this is the type
of care you want to use when you’re cropping. The more careful you are
at the cropping stage, the better the composition
will be in the end. So take some time to do this right. Now we’re almost done, and I’m happy about how
we’ve modified the crop, so I’m gonna top back at
the top left-hand corner, and we’re back to the home screen. And what I want to do now is
to quickly wrap up this edit, with a quick adjustment in tune image. So I’ll open tune image,
and I think at this point you’re already starting to see a pattern. Whenever you do some kind of edits, you want to do these edits first, and then, when you’re almost done, you go to tune image, and that’s where you finish
off the editing process. So in tune image, there
are just a couple of things I’d like to do, and the
first thing is the shadows. So you’ll see that about most of the
image is covered in shadows, and I’d like to emphasize
these shadows even more. ‘Cause I like these shadows, and I think if I make them more extreme, then the contrast between
what’s illuminated by sunlight, and what’s in the shadows
will really stand out. So to do that, I’m just
gonna select shadows, and I’m gonna decrease shadows, and I’m gonna be quite extreme here. I’m gonna go down all the
way to minus 50 or so. Now obviously the histogram shows that we’ve got a lot of black pixels, and that’s indeed the case, but I’m really happy about
how contrasted the image is, and how this type of edit really emphasizes the contrast
between sunlight and shadow. And in particular, I like how
the blue clothes of the woman stand out against the dark background. Now I can go lower, but then everything
will just become black, and that’s not good. And the reason I chose minus
50 is because at minus 50, you can still see a lot of
detail here on the ground. For example, you can see
the beautiful cobblestones. But it’s dark enough to really
emphasize the difference between shadows and the illuminated parts. And now that I’m almost done, I’ll just quickly select saturation, and I’d like to emphasize
these colors even more, so what I’m gonna do
is increase saturation. Not too much, I want the
colors to look natural. That’s plus 30, I think
I’m getting really strong, really powerful colors,
that still look natural to the human eye. So this is a quick before and after. This is the before tune image, and this is the after version,
which looks so much better. So I’ll apply the edits, and let’s do another before and after. And this time, you’ll see the original
photo we started with, before any cropping, and as I release my finger,
you’ll see the final version. So go ahead, and save our work. And this is how you can crop your photos using the Snapseed app. I hope you enjoyed this video
on cropping your photos. And if you take one thing
away from this video, it should be the fact that
cropping actually matters, in fact, it matters so much that it can literally
make or break your photos. Because if you crop them correctly, you can create perfect,
flawless composition, that really creates harmony, and draws the attention of
the viewer towards the photo. But if you don’t do it carefully, the photo is just not going to work, because you did not crop it well. So, cropping is the kind of thing that takes one or two minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master,
and because of that, we’ll return to cropping many more times throughout this course, and in a lot of the future videos, we’ll start with uncropped photos, and the first step we’ll
do in a lot of these edits will actually be cropping. So you’ll get to practice
cropping multiple times later on in the course as well. But for now, thank-you for watching, and I’ll see you next video.

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