Using Snapseed’s Center Focus For Editing Portraits

Snapseed has become one of my favorite photography editing apps. It’s simple to use, but also provides powerful options that give the user a lot of fine control over enhancing their images. While Snapseed offers numerous adjustment and enhancement opportunities, the focus of this tutorial will be the “Center Focus” tool when editing a portrait photograph.

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If you’re not familiar with the basic functions of the Snapseed app, check out our Snapseed tutorial.

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The Center Focus Tool In Snapseed

Center Focus is an enhancement tool in Snapseed app that allows for adjustments to be made to the inner and outer parts of a photograph, which helps draw more attention to the subject.

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The Center Focus tool contains six presets, each having a different level of intensity that can be applied to the photograph. Center Focus also provides an option for choosing between a soft-focus blur for the background and a strong-focus blur.

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Finally, the user is given options regarding the blur strength, outer brightness and inner brightness. This allows for a range of possibilities since each can be adjusted and used to fine tune the effect Center Focus will have on a photograph.

Using Center Focus On A Portrait

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This is the starting photograph for the tutorial. It is a picture of a grandmother holding her grandchild. While the photograph already conveys a certain level of heartfelt affection, applying the Center Focus effect allows the user to increase the level of emotion the photograph communicates.

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After importing the photograph into Snapseed, a few subtle adjustments are made to increase the contrast, color, and ambience of the photograph using the Tune Image option.

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Since I love black and white portraits, I chose to convert the photograph using the Black and White option. While only a matter of preference, I felt stripping away the color revealed a more honest and focused subject matter. As for the various options available in the Black and White enhancement, I chose to stay with the neutral preset, a neutral color filter, and only slightly adjusted the contrast to give the photograph a little more impact.

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The next step was to use the Center Focus feature to further add some drama into the photograph. Once you choose the Center Focus option, the selection automatically starts in the center of the photograph.

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Since the objective was to highlight the subjects in the photograph, I dragged the selection until it was over their faces.

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From here I selected the preset Old Lens, to give it a vintage feel. I felt the blur was too strong on the corner of the photograph, so I chose Weak instead.

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Finally, I added a little more darkness (took it from -85 to -89) to the outside corners of the photograph to further emphasize the two subjects, and also took the inner brightness level down (from 0 to -10) in order for their faces to come through with a little more clarity.

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Performing these few adjustments using Center Focus in Snapseed allowed me to draw more attention to the subject matter in the photograph, which helps the viewer better connect with the captured moment since it now conveys more emotion.

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  • Faye

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I have been using and loving Snapseed for quite awhile, but just recently discovered all of the options in the Center Focus feature. I found your article very informative.