Snapseed and EasyMacro: My New Favorite Toys

Clearly, the world loves Instagram. I get it.

But there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio. Take, for example, Snapseed and Easy Macro.

There’s a lot going on in this one: First, I strapped on the tiny Easy Macro attachment that fits over your iPhone’s lens with a delightful little rubber-bandy thing. Easy Macro is an incredibly fun way to zoom in close on extremely small things. (The above Caryopteris bloom is about the size of a bee.)

The only trouble is: it’s incredibly difficult to get a decent focus and to avoid casting a pesky shadow on the tiny object you’re aiming at. Depth of field is practically nil.

So passersby often witness the following scene: me, lying on the ground, propping the iPhone on a knee or a shoe and shoving the lens into a flower that, from a distance, appears to be motionless. But it never bloody stops wiggling, no matter what you do. The minute you point Easy Macro at it, the thing invariably goes all jitterbuggy, jostled by a few unruly air molecules or a honeybee’s feet. There may or may not be cursing associated with this.

Anyway, that’s the excuse I’m sticking with for why my Easy Macro photos are never quiiiiite sharp. Or even close to sharp. Still, the effect is pretty fun:

Enter Snapseed: an iPhone photo-editing app I downloaded last week (for $2.99, I believe). For Instagram lovers who want a little more tweakability, it’s a great way to lose 30 minutes per photo instead of a mere 5. And that’s not even counting the time spent cursing at wobbly blooming shrubs.

Snapseed lets you filter photos, just like Instagram, but there’s so much more fun to be had. The filters (e.g. Drama, Grunge, Vintage) overlay an effect in a way that feels slightly more photoshoppy and layered (and undo-able) than Instagram; and each filter also lets you tweak the “effectiness” of each effect by ramping up or down various parameters, like saturation, contrast, and brightness. You can also adjust these separately, without using the filter, via the “tune image” feature. There’s also a crop tool, a “selective adjustment” that allows you to play with one small area of the photo, a variety of frames, and a tilt-shift effect.

Messing with Snapseed and Easy Macro will never turn me into a professional photographer, or even a reasonable facsimile thereof. But they can produce passable, even interesting photos for use online; they put you one step ahead of the Instagram hordes, which can serve to make you feel delightfully smug (if you’re so inclined, which I’m not); and they make for ethereally weird, watercolory images like this:

Download and enjoy! More (and hopefully better) to come.

*note: I certify that I am not being paid, nor have I ever been paid by Snapseed, Easy Macro, or any other company to endorse products or services. Seriously: check out my hailstone-pocked, circa-1999 Honda. Does that smack of corporate payroll to you?

Related post: Harassing Buttercups with Easy Macro

Related post: Flower porn, starring Easy Macro & Instagram

11 thoughts on “Snapseed and EasyMacro: My New Favorite Toys

  1. I find it so much easier to let you do all the photo experimenting and I’ll just hang out and appreciate your results. Does that work for you too? I’m also adding a few of your words to the Mad Queen’s Compilation of Quirkilly Accurate Terms and Phrases, such as “rubber-bandy thing,” “effectiness,” and “jitterbuggy.” I’m undecided whis is my favorite among them. Not about your photos and writing, though; both are stardusty. Do honeybees have feet?

      • Yes, you certainly may. Other (borrowed) favorites of mine include “stabbity,” applying to needles or sharp, pointy things and “sticky-outie,” for something out of line, such as one indendent lock of hair.

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