HOME Tips & Equipment Travel

How To Edit Instagram Travel Photos With Snapseed

How to pick the right - The Adventure Found Me

I’m not a fan of social media, but Instagram is an exception. I’ve always loved the idea of sharing my photos while admiring other people’s works.

When I opened my blog, I put a lot of effort into the aesthetics of my account and I found it artistically rewarding, and people actually liked my photos! I also got a lot of comments: some were complimenting my shots, while others were curious to know if the photos I posted were edited or not, and I’ll be honest, the majority of it were. It’s not because they were not good enough, but because they weren’t mirroring reality. Have you ever taken a photo and noticed that the sky doesn’t look as blue as in real life, or the grass as green? That’s the problem with photography, the cool stuff you see doesn’t get captured on camera, unless you know how to properly edit photos.

To get the job done, I use a free app called Snapseed (and no, this post isn’t sponsored by them, it’s just genuinely a great app).

So, if you’re interested in learning how I edit my photos, download the app and join me in this step by step guide. To show you how the app works, I decided to use the most succesful photo of my Instagram account (@chiara.cisario). Here’s the comparison between the original and the edited version!

how to edit photos the adventure found me (1)

It wasn’t a bad photo, but the color didn’t resemble reality, and I wanted to show how beautiful that sunset really was. That’s when Snapseed came to my rescue.

I found it while browsing for a free editing app and I fell in love with it. The first few times I’ve tried it, I was altering the photos too much, making them look too fake, but it was just harmless fun. Then I took it more seriously and I found out the best way to edit my photos while keeping them real.

By the way, if you want some tips on how to take amazing travel photos with your phone, feel free to check out my other post here.

Now, back to the editing business!

1. Open Snapseed

Step one: open the app. Click on “open” to go to your gallery and pick a photo to edit. If you want to make it “Instagram size”, select crop and then square.

2. Modify the Image

It’s time for the most important step, the real editing. Select “tune Image” and then play with your photo. I’ll be telling you what I usually do, but remember that there’s no fixed rule for this step, it all depends on your photo and the effect that you want to achieve. First off, I adjust brightness, and I usually set it at +20. After that, I edit contrast, also setting it at +20. Then it’s time to adjust the most important value of all: saturation. This one is capable of bringing back the colors that you see in real life. I usually go for +50. You could also edit the image by using the selective option, changing a specific part of the photo. I usually use that feature while editing water or skies.

how to edit photos the adventure found me (2)

Now, there are two optional steps that I don’t always use, but I thought I’d mentioned anyway.

3. HDR

HDR is great for nature photography. I use it especially when I have to edit a fully natural landscape such as a forest. However, remember not to overdo it or the photo will look fake.

4. Fix Details

Go to the option details and lightly adjust structure and sharpening. I usually do +10 for both but it really depends on the photo and how you’ve edited it so far. Some pics don’t even need this step, like this one I’m using.

5. Save a Copy!

Last but not least, save you photo! There are 3 ways of doing that. The first option is “save”. With this feature, you’ll replace your old photo with the edited one. I don’t recommend you to do so, because you might want to keep your vanilla photo for other purposes. The second option is to “save a copy”: this will create another copy. However, it’s a format that doesn’t work on my computer, so I warn you in advance. The third option, which is the one that I usually pick is “export”, and it creates a copy in jpg.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

18 Comments on "How To Edit Instagram Travel Photos With Snapseed"

Leave a Reply!

Sort by:   newest | oldest

Snapseed is a great tool. It makes editing images for Instagram so easy.


Snapped sounds great. I will definitely be getting that. I have always had the same thought you had. Why do my photos not look like reality


Haven’t tried the app yet, but I will check it out after your post. 😉 You are so right, it so hard sometimes to capture by camera what you actually see in person!


Very useful tips…. a lot of people feel clueless regarding such things. Even I edit my DSLR photos in my laptop but find it difficult to work on my phone pics. Do experiment more and come up with more examples.

Brooke (@difkindoftravel)

Interesting I’ve never used this tool but I do use Befunky which works similarly and is super easy! I agree all photos don’t capture real life as well as we’d like but it’s tough to get a balance between tweaking them just enough to help them while not ruining the quality! We’ve got to be crafty about this as bloggers 🙂

The Travel Ninjas

It’s so frustrating when photos don’t capture the same beauty as the eye does. Snapseed sounds like a great way to show what a place really looks like. Thanks for the tutorial.

Sandy N Vyjay

Snapseed seems to be a great tool to edit your Instagram pics. We always keep checking out available tools to edit our pics and this one seems to be great and we will soon try it out.


Very useful tips indeed. I never use the preset Insta filters, but manually alter the parameters.Definitely going to check out Snapseed, as you have made it look damn easy.


Haven’t tried this app yet, but I your user’s guide looks easy to follow. What I like about it, is that you have included ‘before’ and ‘after’ images, so that one can see the difference.


Thanks for sharing this post. I have never had snapseed but now just downloaded it onto my phone and I see how I go. Also following you on your IG account 😉

Stephanie Fox

Dont you just love photo editing apps?! I hate it when I take a photo and it looks nothing like it does in real life. My favourites are vsco and izkis but I might have to give snapseed a go too! Thanks for the tips


Thanks for the info! I’m just starting out with my travel blog and have been looking for a way to make my photos “pop” a bit more – will definitely be looking into Snapseed.


Thanks for sharing. I will download and try it out. I’m trying to step up my Instagram game. 🙂

Iza (@IzaAbao)

This is pretty cool! I just downloaded the app after reading your post. I have been always curious how other Instagrammers enhance their photos. I would totally have fun using Snapseed.


it seems such a good ans useful app. i also dont like to edit photo but yes some time we have to do that to show the real beauty of place.


I have heard a lot about Snapseed, but haven’t tried it out myself yet. This step by step guide is quite helpful. I will have to try it out next time.

Genie | Gallivanting Bean

I use snapseed too! It’s such a great app and has a lot of functionalities other apps offer but for free!

Alberto C.

I had never heard of this app before, but the results look amazing, I will definitely give it a try! A photo can look so much better just with a bit of editing 🙂