Blogging tips on styling and photography

How to edit black and white images on your phone

I've put together a step by step guide to show how you can edit your images on your phone to perfect the black and white image components.


The before - the texture in the black backdrop can be seen which creates some distraction.  The white is uneven with some areas dull and murky from shadows and others bright where the light is the brightest.  The props on the shelf have lost their distinction in the shadows and the red liquid in the bottle looks dull.  The black vinyl roll in the foreground has a streak of light reflection.

I edit my photos using the phone app Snapseed.  I've included some screenshots to walk you through the individual stages of editing a black and white image.

highlights and shadows.png

Once in the app, select the "tune image" tool which allows you to work on the overall image.  You'll want to select the shadow option and swipe your finger to the right to decrease the shadows.  You'll want to also increase the highlights to brighten your image.  Ensure you don't over edit where the image goes too bright and you start to get loss of contrast and glare in the whitest regions.


selective - decrease black.png

To fine tune select areas of the image, we now want to use the "selective" tool. Tap in the middle of the area that needs editing.  First, lets decrease the brightness in the black backdrop to remove the uneven texture.  Use two fingers to increase/decrease the size of your focal area.  The red area indicates the region that will be worked on.


selective - white.png

The same tool can be used to hone in on and increase the brightness on the white shelf.  You can fine tune overall areas and you can also hone in on individual shadows.  You'll want to be sure that you don't over brighten particular areas and that the overall effect looks nice and even.  In this image, there is also a streak of light reflection that can be seen in the roll of vinyl on the shelf.  You can select this area, hone in, and decrease the brightness to make this much less obvious.


I did want to add in a final tip for any pops of colour that you might have decided to include in your image.  In this case, the red liquid in the bottle was looking a little dull and unappealing.  The selective tool, as discussed in the above two steps, can be used to make it pop a bit more.  You can increase the brightness and also the saturation to enhance it.  The result is a beautiful pop of colour that contrasts perfectly with the black and white image. 


The after - the black in the background is now smoother with no distracting texture.  The white on the shelf is more even and the shadows reduced.  The props are now seen more distinctly and the red liquid in the bottle is more vibrant.  The vinyl roll is now even with no reflective streaking.

Don't forget to try this out on any images you capture for this weeks styling challenge which is all about beautifully styled black and white images.