Handy Photo Editing makes great photos a breeze to make.
There's a brand new app called Handy Photo that will totally knock your socks off. Handy, by ADVA Soft, will be compared to Snapseed, and for good reason, but it is so much more than that.
This universal app uses a swipe gesture to change things like brightness and contrast and everything else, which is comparable to the way you change those things in Snapseed. However, Handy goes beyond simple editing changes and takes you on a journey you'll be so excited to go on.
Don't get me wrong. I still love Snapseed, but Handy just takes what Snapseed does and puts it on steroids.
One of the things I like about Handy is that the wheel (photo above) is always available. Just click in that corner to open the wheel and you can move to any part of the editing process you choose. No processing and then being taken back to the menu and then having to choose again.
After you make a change in Handy, you just press the checkmark in the lower, right corner of the screen to process the changes. Then, you just click the big wheel to choose what to do next. That's how you go to the home screen, save, pick another photo, or pick another editing choice.
But, let's start at the beginning.
When you open Handy Photo, you can bring in a photo from the gallery (your Photos app), take a photo with the camera, or look at 1 of the tutorials (pictured at left).
If you've been working on something and have to stop, you also have the option of continuing that project when you come back to the app from this menu.
There are tutorials that show you how to use each and every tool in Handy Photo. Some of these editing tools may be unfamiliar to you, so a tutorial is a good idea, although when you're using a tool, you can always press the question mark at the top of the screen to find some tips on using that tool.
The only thing I don't like about the tutorials is that they take you outside of the app to YouTube. I hate an app that points me outside of the app itself. They also take the risk of losing me when I get distracted with the Internet. I would love to see an optional written/photo tutorial added with the videos either in the app or as a link for further information.
Once you choose a photo from your gallery or take a photo, you arrive at the screen where all editing takes place. All you do to change what you're working on is to spin the wheel in the upper, right corner. Just click on the hand to make the menu pop out again.
You start anywhere, but we'll start at the top with Magic Crop.
Tip: You can always tell which tool you're using from the icon on the inside of the little wheel that is about to pop up.
You may have heard of the AntiCrop app (made by the same developer as Handy Photo). Magic Crop does the same thing, but Handy Photo does so much more than that, too.
Anti-cropping is really a cloning technique that copies whatever is near the edge of the picture and makes it look like you've expanded out from the sides of the photo. So, if you took a lovely photo of the ocean but wanted it to be wider, you could use anti-cropping or Magic Crop to make the photo bigger in any direction. It looks like you're adding back in something that was cropped out, hence the name.
However, because it is really just cloning what it sees is already in the picture, this technique does not work so well with photos of people or detailed items. It works best with nature shots and the outdoors.
I started with the 2nd photo from the top of this post. That was the begin point for me. I was able to make the room look taller with Magic Crop (in the photo just above). But, when I tried it on the refrigerator, it didn't look so good. It copied the white and pink papers and put them everywhere. But, this is a great tool for making nature shots look wider and fuller, so keep it handy (excuse the pun).
This is also the screen where you can actually crop an image and set a certain size and ratio for the photo or rotate it. Tools to set the ratio, etc., are on the little wheel in the lower, left side of the screen. Also, by sliding your finger outside the photo boundaries, you can straighten uneven horizons from this screen. Just click the white checkmark when you're finished. If you have any problems, click the question mark for tips.
The next stop on the big wheel is Tone & Color. This is where you'll find all the usual things like brightness, contrast, temperature, etc. The choices for changes are found on the little wheel on the left again.
To make any of the changes, you just slide your finger across the photo left and right. The further right you go, the more intense the effect, left makes it less intense. To see where you're at, the name of what you're doing and the percentage you're at is at the top of the photo.
This set-up is going to feel 2nd-nature to Snapseed fans and where all the comparisons are coming from. But, as you can already see, Handy Photo serves up a lot more in a totally different way than Snapseed.
When you're done with all the Tone & Color changes you want to make, click the white checkmark. This is what you do at the end of every step, although, if you accidentally switch to another step and forget the checkmark, the app will remind you and give you the chance to save your changes.
The next wheel-stop is Retouch. Retouch is another word for erase. With the Retouch tool, you can get rid of something easily by just highlighting or lassoing it and then tapping to process the change. Use the eraser to correct any area you've highlighted that you don't really want retouched.
This is really another use of the clone tool because what it is really doing is cloning adjoining areas of the area you're trying to get rid of and copying those areas to the area you've highlighted.
Tip: To change the size of the area you're highlighting, just click the button in the middle on the right side of the screen. Then, you just slide right or left on the screen to make the Retouch area smaller or larger.
Again, this works with some photos and not with others. It's great for getting rid of a boat on a lake when you just want the lake or a skiier when you just want the mountain. It doesn't work so well when you try to Retouch a face as you're apt to get an eyeball in the middle of a cheek.
As you can see in the photo above, I successfully removed the refrigerator but accidentally copied the light switch. I have to be more careful.
The next turn of the wheel brings us to the Clone Stamp. This is a really cool feature that is done very well in Handy Photo. As you can see in the photo, I've created 2 Luke's.
I chose the Classic Clone Stamp from the little wheel, adjusted the stamp size and smoothness on the middle, right, and tapped where I wanted to start cloning.
A big circle highlighting the area being cloned appears where you tap. You start brushing where you want that cloned section to appear. Then, you just color in the area. The big circle moves to match your movements. It's really a pretty cool way to do this feature.
Use the eraser to undo little mistakes you make.
There is also a patterned clone stamp, but I don't know what it does. As much as I love all of you, I hate watching YouTube videos. It must be a genetic flaw on my part, I'm sure. So, if you figure out what it does, leave a comment.
My not-so-careful highlighting for Move Me.
Turning the wheel again brings us to Move Me, another cloning technique that is just amazing to use.
You can use the lasso or the paintbrush to highlight any area that you want to duplicate. That area turns red like in the photo above. After you mark the object, you choose whether you want to move that object or duplicate it by pressing the buttons in the middle, right of the screen.
The 1st tree to tree button is for moving an object. The 2nd tree to tree button is to duplicate and move the object. Whichever you choose, the area that was red turns to white outlining and you can then drag it to wherever you wish. You can even choose another photo to move it to because it is a new and separate layer at this point.
While the item is still white and outlined, you can edit just that part of the photo with the little wheel on the left. You can change the opacity, saturation, and smoothness of the edge. You can also transform the object by rotating it or flipping it horizontally or vertically.
After your selection is edited to your satisfaction, the buttons on the middle, right side come in again. The top button duplicates the area and places it wherever it is at right then. The 2nd button merges the white outline with the photo wherever you've placed it. The last button opens up your Photos app gallery and lets you choose another photo to move the white outline area to.
If you make a mistake, there's always the undo and redo buttons in the top, left. However, with Handy Photo, there is also a record of every move you make in the app under the history. Just press the rewind clock button to the left of the undo/redo buttons to see all the changes you've made thus far and click on 1 of them to return to that point in the editing process.
Tip: I forgot to mention the other button up there. The button between the history button and the undo/redo buttons shows you the original photo you started with briefly when you press it. This is a good way to compare what you started with and what you've done.
All that history does come with a load of space requirements. If you find Handy taking up too much space on your device, just go to the settings button on the big wheel. From there, you can clear the history. I would do this after every photo or every few photos. This is also where you set the maximum resolution and a few other things.
You can alter and combine filters in Handy.
The big wheel keeps spinning and this time we've reached Filters. The filter options pop up as a medium-sized wheel in the lower, right. There are about 20 filters that include things like color process, vintage, and many more. Depending on which filter you choose, the tools on the small wheel on the left (in photo below) are different.
For a filter like Vignette, you can change the gradient, shape, and strength. For the Vintage filter, you can change the noise strength and strength of the overall filter. To make changes, swipe left and right on the screen.
Play around. Push buttons until you know what everything does. In this case, swipe things.
When you have your filter or filters just how you want, click the famous white checkmark. Unlike many other apps, you are free to choose another filter and another 1 and just keep clicking the checkmark. History keeps track of each filter you use. But, remember that if you use the history function, it gets rid of everything else you've done since the point you choose to go back to.
Textures can add so much to any photo.
Next stop: Textures.
This section works much like the Filters section did. You choose a texture category from the medium-size wheel, and then, press the small wheel to see what alterations can be made to it. The big difference here is that what you're choosing from the medium wheel is a category. Once you open up the small wheel, other similar looks in that cateogry pop up as swatches in the middle, right of the screen.
The alterations that can be made include the texture we've talked about, transforming by flipping or rotating, color, lightness, vignette, and overall strength of the effect. You can also just partially apply the texture using the button to the far left on the small wheel.
To make changes, such as to the lightness of the effect, you swipe left and right on the screen just like under the Tone & Color section. Again, you really will need to play around with this category to find what you like. I can only tell you the basics.
The wheels keep on turning, turning, turning ...
The final stop on the wheel brings us to Frames.
This section works much like the previous 2. Choose a frame you like from the medium wheel and make changes to it with the small wheel. Changes that can be made to any frame include its size, color, and saturation. You can also move the photo inside the frame using the Photo Positioning button on the small wheel.
Once you click that white checkmark this time, you're done! We made it. All the way through the Handy Photo walthrough. Just save the photo to your gallery (Photos app), or share it on a social network or through email. The save, settings, and home button are on the big wheel on the iPad, on the bottom of the screen after you touch the big wheel on the iPhone.
Handy Photo is a fabulous app. I like every last detail of it. Except for the color blue as the background, but that is a minor detail that is made up for with all of Handy's other features. Handy Photo is like 50 other photo editing apps smooshed into 1 fabulous editing center.
I have 1 more thing to say today and then I'll let you good people go.
My model today is my nephew Luke. Luke would've been 19 on Saturday, but he took his life last year in August as some of you may remember. I just wanted to remember him the way he was. Trying to escape my camera with a little smile on his face.
If you know someone you suspect might commit suicide or someone tells you they want to commit suicide, call 911 immediately. I know it's a scary step. It seems drastic. But, so is suicide. If you want to commit suicide, read this now, please.
Sorry to change course on the rest of you, but I just needed to say that. I'll return to my normal, somewhat humorous reviewing tomorrow.
That's it for me today. Until later, …