Monochrome Photo Editing Techniques for Android
Featured Apps: PhotoEditor, Pixlr Express, PicsPlay Pro, Little Photo, Snapseed
Topics Covered: Monotone, Black & White
It can be hard to give up beautiful colors in a picture, but a bw can take your picture to another level. Stripping it of colors will make the viewer focus on other things in your image.
Making a picture bw is not hard at all. The most basic method is to just drag down saturation to zero.
But one can also use our different apps to work with a bw image to change the mood and enhance what you want the focus to be on, or give it a mood with a monochrome effect. This is a presentation of some of the apps that Jacob introduced in his Darkroom Tutorial to show the different opportunities these have for a bw/ monochrome picture. I’m going to leave the images in high filter % so you get the idea of how different these apps are, and how much the selected filters will change a photo.
Black and white/monochrome is maybe one of the first editing projects one wants to try out. This is a beginners guide for those androiders that want to explore bw/ monochrome options.
This is a simple and very practical app, not much editing options at first glance. But as Josh showed us in his tutorial, it has more opportunities than one would think. For making a bw/monochrome it has three alternatives. Black and white high contrast, sepia,- and grey. Grey will give the same result as if one just drags down saturation, but a trick one can use in this app, add the vignette filter first and then make it grey, one will have a different picture with more mood. The vignette will darken your picture so use just a little:
Black and white high contrast will be a much more dramatic effect, and darken the picture. With this effect we are able to choose the strength of the effect.
After the upgrade Pixlr Express became a super app in my opinion. For editing a bw in this app, decrease saturation to zero and make it bw first (you can decrease saturation after adding a filter, but its much easier to see the result of the filters when color is removed). Then try out the different filters, add vignette, try out textures or some of the other options the app has. It will give tons of different options and we can choose the opacity of each one. If a filter or effect makes the image too blue or another color, adjust saturation again to decrease the strength. Since the app have “history function” you can erase each step - going back and forth and try something different.
This app has a great bw filter section, with a lot of options and since can choose the amount of the effect in this app also, its smart to tune down saturation first. If you want to tune down a bw effect in this app and did not take away color first, the colors will appear when bw filter is reduced. As with the previous app, if saturation is decreased first, you can try out all the other filters this app has. PicsPlay Pro also has some vignette and some texture options. It’s filters makes it as exciting to play with as Pixlr Express.
This app will reduce the photo resolution, but it’s still a fav of mine, and a few other androiders too. There is many choices in this app which are not easy to remake with the others. So I thought I’d show what Little Photo can do, even if it doesn’t have the quality the other apps featured do. It will rough up the picture so its best used on pictures that will fit that style. The filters used are named in the bottom of the pic.
Since this is a very new app for us, we are still learning to use it. Its a different app in many ways for us androiders, and has much more options than we are used too. I will give a very simple explanation of a small part of it. In the bw option of snapseed, one has some filter options and some color code adjustments
It also allowing to adjust brightness, contrast and grain by pressing the picture, choose which option and slide over the screen to control it. This gives a superb control and with the unique Selective adjustment option, we can also control parts of the picture. I have lightened up the dark bushes to make them more in tune with the rest of the photo. Place these around on the picture and darken/brighten selections to darken/highlight.
This app has a wide range in Grunge effects (and other effects), textures and options to achieve the look and mood you want to create.
These are just a few of our apps, other apps not mentioned has bw alternatives too off course. How one edit a bw/monochrome is up to ones own taste and liking, and what one think looks best for the image. Using some options from the different apps and combining them to a finished result might be just what the grey picture needs to be an image you would want to post to your gallery, and working on an image a little more then strip it for saturation can make it a bw/monochrome that stands out.
- Pernille Scheele @PernilleScheele
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