I made a few suggestions for image editors in the software section earlier on. If you’re using a camera for your photography, I’m guessing you already have an editor of choice and a basic workflow to follow.
For those who rely on their phone or other mobile device for all their photography, I’ve already suggested Snapseed as the editing option.
That has a wide range of tools that allow you to get super creative with your images. However, you only need to use a few of the tools in most cases to get the best from your photos. As you use more tools and features, you can degrade the image and make it look unnatural, so try and keep any edits to their minimum.
The 2 Step Snapseed Edit Process
The left hand screen shot shows the various tools in Snapseed. When you’re starting out, ignore everything except the first two, Tune image and Details.
The second shot shows Tune image. The easiest way to use this is to tap the magic wand icon and let Snapseed auto adjust the image. From there, you can manually tweak any settings if necessary.
Slide your finger up and down the screen to show the list of controls and switch between them. Slide your finger left or right to adjust the selected control.
Most of the controls should be self explanatory. Ambiance is probably the least obvious. Google describes it as a special type of contrast control, but isn’t much more helpful than that. It’s probably easier to try it out, but it can help to bring out detail in tonally flat areas.
Warmth is basically a white balance control, but more intuitively named. If an image has a yellow color cast, drag left and drag right if an image looks a little blue. The dedicated white balance control is a little more powerful, but Warmth is fine for most cases.
With any setting in Snapseed, don’t go to the extremes as the results will start to look comical. I suggest keeping adjustments to a maximum of 20 to 25. On occasion you may make greater edits, but keeping that in mind as a guide should reduce the chances of you creating images that look unnatural. Tap the check mark to save edits.
The third screenshot shows the Details tool. When using this, zoom in by dragging two fingers apart on the screen. Pinch to zoom out. Zooming will give you a better view of how the image is being affected.
The Structure control can help increase definition by adjusting the contrast at edges in the image. Sharpening makes edges more distinct, which can be seen clearly if an image contains text. As you increase sharpening, the edges of text can become clearer, but if you go too far, you’ll start to see blocky areas appearing on the image.
Just using those two controls will give you all you need to enhance most product photos and save you time as you’re not searching through to see what else you can change.