Tech

Which Is the Best Photo Editing App?

Photographers, graphic artists, and illustrators are deeply divided about this issue.
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When it comes to the best photo editing app, there are two names that definitely stand out: Snapseed (by Google) and Lightroom (by Adobe). It should come as no surprise that the two tech goliaths should come up with the best apps when it comes to editing images.

We talked to a number of artists, photographers, editors, and illustrators and asked them what is the best photo editing app (they either answered Lightroom or Snapseed). For a bit of an overview, the respondents chose either apps over numerous others because of two reasons: ease of use, and quality. The two apps produce outputs that don’t look filtered, but look naturally taken with a camera. Both also have photo enhancement capabilities that are easy to manipulate. In other words, for a professional photographic finish, they prefer either of the two apps. But which one is better? We weigh the two options.

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Lightroom

Many graphic artists and editors prefer Lightroom because of its color manipulation, which is its best feature. It easily trumps Snapseed in this particular category. Compared with Photoshop, Adobe has super simplified all the interface for Lightroom so the user can make powerful one-tap edits and adjustments.

An Example of Color Manipulation Made with Lightroom

Photo by Nicolas Valdez | Flickr.
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Lightroom is specifically designed with beginners in mind. It has preloaded filters that don’t look like filters at all. It allows you to tweak color, detail level, exposure, shadows, and contrast with simple swipes.

Some of its most powerful tools are the Curves, Color Mix, and Split Tone, which are absolutely magical.

One of the major downers of Lightroom is its premium subscription just to access selective adjustments, and perspective manipulation (these are free in Snapseed). Nevertheless, it has color manipulation features that are nonexistent in Snapseed.

Snapseed

Photographers and illustrators largely prefer Snapseed because of its expert manipulation of light. There are several tools that allow users to control the light source, exposure, and mood, such as the White Balance, Lens Blur, Vignette, Brush, and Tune Image. Snapseed also allows you to make your subjects pop out more by enhancing its details with Structure and Sharpening adjustments, coupled with vignette and tonal contrast.

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A Product of Snapseed Double Exposure

Photo by Gunnar Marquardt | Flickr.

One of the most charming features of Snapseed is the stacks feature, which allows you to view the “stacks” of all your edits, and manipulate them on top of each other using the View Edits option. In this option, you can selectively make adjustments for every stack you made using a brush, and a toggle option from 0 to 100 percent strength.

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Snapseed also has a Selective Tool, which allows editors to make quick adjustments on brightness, contrast, structure, and saturation on areas of the image that have the same color or hue.

Its Healing tool is another powerful brush run by super smart AI that allows you to erase people in the background, or pimples and blemishes on any surface. If you take a shot of a street, using Healing correctly will allow you to erase electrical wires and concrete posts.

Finally, its Brush tool allows precise adjustments to Dodge and Burn, Exposure, Temperature, and Saturation, rounding up the flawless light and shadow manipulation of Snapseed.

The verdict: Which app is better, Snapseed or Lightroom?

Both Snapseed and Lightroom are excellent photo editing apps made by reputable tech companies, but if we have to choose one, it would be Snapseed.

Snapseed is like Photoshop with easier and simplified interface. It can make powerful edits on a photo that were once only possible with Photoshop. Its Double Exposure tool allows you to splice and overlay two or more images to make a flawlessly rendered new photo, while its pixel manipulation tools like Healing and Detail make superb improvements and enhancements that are just not possible with Lightroom.

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Snapseed also has free and readily available features such as the Selective tool and Perspective correction, which you need to pay premium to access in Lightroom. Snapseed is a versatile image correction tool for food photos, landscapes, and profiles. It has a tutorial tool with step-by-step guide and mastery tests (you try to replicate a photo using various adjustment tools) to help you become a pro photo editor.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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