Travel Photography Tips: 03

Travel Photography Tips is a section giving a variety of advice for using photography while traveling. The usual advice goes something like this, “the best camera is the one you have with you” or “use only your cell phone”.  Both are useful tips, but this section will go beyond that.



Red Fort, Delhi, 2016

This week I thought I would do a review of Snapseed. Snapseed is a photo editing app for your phone. I am slow about these thing and just came across Snapseed when I was doing the last book review on The Writer’s Eye by William Dalrymple. Dalrymple’s photographs are all taken with his cell phone and he said he uses the app to convert his photographs to black and white. Then a few days ago I was doing some research online and came across Snapseed again, so I downloaded the app and started seeing what it would do. Snapseed is a good app in general and really nice for the traveler because it means your cell phone photos do not have to be downloaded to a computer to be edited (does anyone do that anyway?). Having the app can also give you something to do while traveling on planes, trains, and buses.


Detail of Archways inside Red Fort, Delhi, 2016

Snapseed has two sections, one is tools and the other is filters. Both have a lot of features listed below.


  • Tune Image
  • Crop
  • Perspective
  • Brush
  • Healing
  • Text
  • Details
  • Rotate
  • White Balance
  • Selective
  • Vignette

For me the most useful tool is Tune Image. Under this tool you can adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, ambiance, highlights and shadows, which is what I would do with my photographs in Photoshop.


Bagore ki Haveli, Udaipur, 2016

As a blogger I also use Instagram. Using Snapseed to edit your photos give much greater control. Because of this I also use the Crop tool to covert my photographs to squares.


  • Lens Blur
  • Tonal Contrast
  • Drama
  • Grainy Film
  • Retrolux
  • Black and White
  • Faces
  • Glamour Glow
  • HDR Scapes
  • Grunge
  • Vintage
  • Noir
  • Frames

The filters can be used to produce a variety of new digital looks as well as vintage analog photography looks. The Vintage Filter lets you add a colored tent to your photographs which can be used in addition to the Black and White filter or Noir filters to create an antiquated look to the photograph. The HDR Scapes and Drama filters can be used to give a photograph a newer digital look. However, the Frames filter is my favorite. It has a variety of both black and white frames and white frame from just plane boarders to frames that look like 120 film edges. (When I printed film in the darkroom I always printed with a border, so the frames take me back.)


Lotus from Sajjangarh Biological Park, Udaipur, 2016

Snapseed is easy to use. You open the app and it directs you to select a photograph. Once you have chosen a photograph, you click on the pencil icon in the bottom right hand corner of your phone to get to the Tools and Filters. When you click on one of the Tools or Filters, the tool comes up across the bottom of your screen. To do the adjustment you just swipe left or right across the photograph.Then click either the X to cancel the adjustment or the check mark to apply the change.


Arial view in Old Delhi (@delhibycycle), Delhi, 2016

As a photo nerd, I have really enjoyed using Snapseed. I am sure I will continue to use it for my Instagram photos. The amount of control the app gives is really nice, you just have to watch yourself and make sure you do not go overboard. However, overboard is necessary sometimes. I am sure the app will keep me plenty busy during my next trip outside Udiapur!


Sunset view from atop Mansapurna Karni Mata Ropeway, Udaipur, 2016

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By |2018-10-15T14:31:12-05:00November 10th, 2016|Travel Photography Tips|2 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.


  1. goingearthstyle November 10, 2016 at 12:52 am - Reply

    indeed you never transfer your cell phone photos to a pc to edit, only if you’ve got a DSLR hihi. I mostly shoot with my DSLR anyway so I always edit on the pc. If I take photos with my phone and put them on IG I only use the tools IG has, so basically that’s: shadows, brightness, saturation and some more. I’m not that into the editing apps on phone (although they are great) the most used one is VSCO, a lot of bloggers/IG’ers use this.

    • Betsy November 10, 2016 at 3:49 am - Reply

      Hey goingearthstyle! Thanks for your comment! Yeah, I never edit my cell phone photos on the computer. I was also only using IG to edit my photos, but I had super fun editing a bunch of photo in snapseed. As someone caught between the gen xer’s and the menials I am totally behind with apps. I will check out VSCO.
      Thanks again for the info!

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