Using the Expand Tool in Snapseed

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Did you ever wish you could add more space around your subject after the photo has been taken?

Where possible, I always try to get my composition as correct as I can before I take the shot. But there are times when this can't happen.

Take this image for example:


I wanted to have more of the black background above and to the left of my subject. But the surface I was working on was very small.  To get the composition correct in-camera would have meant revealing the surrounding area next to the board.


This is where Snapseed's Expand tool comes in handy.


Tap on the Snapseed app to open it.


Select Open, followed by Open from Device to find your image.


Select the Pencil icon to access the Tools panel.


Swipe upwards until you see the Expand tool.


This will bring you to a screen where you are able to add more pixels to your original image.

The checkerboard pattern represents the area where your image can be expanded.  But you can choose to use only part of this.  For my image, I wanted to expand the area above and to the left of my subject. To do this, I simply swiped my finger upwards to fill in the pixels above my image. Next, I swiped my finger to the left to fill in the pixels to the left of my image.  The smart option best matches the new area to the original image.


The area that has been added will briefly turn grey before the new pixels become visible.


The new image is below.  To accept the changes, press the tick. If you don't like the changes, press the X to return to the main page.


For this example, I repeated the Expand step once more to get the composition I was after.  You will notice that the pixels where not matched perfectly.  This can be fixed using the Brush tool.

Select the Pencil icon to access the Tools panel.


Select the Brush tool.  Using the default setting of Dodge & Burn, tap the downward facing arrow till the value reads -5.  (A positive number means you are dodging or lightening your image. A negative number means you are burning or darkening your image.)


Simply rub your finger over the area you wish to darken and select the tick to accept the change.


To save this image, select Save then Save a Copy to save a copy of your image to your Camera Roll.


Below are the Before and After images. Normally I would remove the pollen dust using the Healing tool but as I was adding a grungy texture I left it in.

Before After 2.jpg

Below is my final image after editing using the Mextures app. You can read more about using Mextures here.


Thanks for reading and remember to make everyday beautiful.