Written by Joseph Holevinski, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)
Editing photos is an important skill to learn, especially if you are an aspiring social media photographer. While editing photos may seem like a complex process that would require you to purchase complicated desktop editing software, there are actually a lot of simple and easy-to-use apps that allow you to edit pictures professionally on your phone. This in combination with basic principles of design will allow you to edit photos like a pro.
For starters, I highly recommend the apps TouchRetouch and Snapseed. Both of these apps are free on most app stores and allow you to do a lot more than the basic features that are included in default apps.
The first app, TouchRetouch, is very useful for removing certain objects from photos or cloning objects. This can help clean up the composition of the photo or quickly get rid of imperfections in the photo.
The second app, Snapseed, is the main photo editor I use. It has more customization options than the default camera app and has better adjustment and cropping tools.
When it comes to actually editing the photos, there are some basic edits that will lead to better looking and more compositionally pleasing photos. One of the most important edits that can make or break a photo is cropping and rotating. Always start out with rotating the photo so that it looks level before you crop it. Make sure the horizon line or the ground is flat. Do this by using a rotating tool, preferably one that has grid lines so that you can ensure that it is horizontal.
Next is cropping. Cropping is very important and different techniques lead to compositionally different photos. The two main types of cropping arrangements are centered cropping and the rule of thirds. Centered cropping is pretty self explanatory: it is when the subject is in the center of the photo. The rule of thirds is aligning different elements of the photo along the lines made if the photo was divided into a 3 by 3 grid. This is the common gridding system on most apps, so to achieve this look, move the edges so that the lines of the grid line up with the subject or with important elements like the horizon line.
In addition, changing different values and hues of photos can help make a photo look more professionally done. This can easily be done by going to the filters tab that is available in most photo editing apps. You can click on the auto-filter and it automatically adjusts the photo for you, but if you want a more specific look then you can look through the filters until you find one that best changes the photo to your liking.
Overall, editing photos is not that complicated and can improve photos drastically in just a few steps.