October 2, 2023

In today’s world of socially shared images, the urge to post a “perfect” photo free of distractions and blemishes is nothing new – the practice of manipulating photos can back to to the 19th century. But instead of using laborious darkroom techniques and other manual methods, AI and Machine Learning Built into sophisticated smartphone apps, anyone can now easily and dramatically alter digital photos.

Vanity-driven fixes are popular, but AI-driven editing can even fix out of focus blur, or completely eliminate drunk dudes photo-bombing your family beach portrait with just a few screen taps. Here’s an overview of what you can do.

In short, apps that include AI tools often analyze images and make adjustments based on what a good-looking photo should look like—sometimes even while you’re taking the photo and the camera software is processing the file.

Artificial intelligence software detects the subject of a photo and automatically enhances the light and colors around it. If you want to remove an object from a photo, the software copies the pixels of a portion of the image and uses them to blend and fill in the background where the object used to be.

phone from apple, Google and Samsung These include the company’s own photo-editing apps, which use AI to enhance pictures, but you may get additional features depending on your hardware model.

For example, some Samsung Galaxy phone models have a object eraser option.Google’s latest Pixel phones including software and built-in tools “Deblur” images to remove background distractions and adjust the look of portraits. (This yearThe Magic Eraser feature has been added to android and iOS google photos Subscriber’s App google one Cloud storage service. )

On the left, Google Photos on the Pixel 7 has a button to “unblur” the subject — or intentionally blur the background of a busy portrait. On the right, Apple’s iOS Photos app can adjust the depth between a photo’s subject and its background to vary the blur.Credit…Google; Apple

If your phone’s default editing app doesn’t include the controls you crave, you can download a third-party app to get the job done; many are dedicated to making your self-portraits look good.Among the many software options available for Android and iOS is Adobe’s Photoshop Express or lighting roomfree in-app purchases; Lightroom Skew More geared towards advanced photo editing work. touch up ($15 per year) is another dedicated editing app.

Adobe Photoshop Express (left) and Google’s Snapseed software (right) are two of the many photo-editing applications used to fix and enhance images.Credit…Adobe; Fastcast

If you don’t want to spend money or extend the steep learning curve while experimenting, Google’s free Snapseed app android and iOS is a solid all-around editor Online Help Guide.

Blurry photos can be caused by faulty autofocus, shaky hands, or a dirty camera lens, but you can sharpen the photo after the fact. Some dedicated apps “deblur” photos by using AI to reconstruct the image and add sharpness and clarity.options include photo masterbilled at $6 per month for android and iOSand Remini, or $5 per month. But if you have an editing app, you probably already have a tool to fix blur, like the Unblur option available on recent Google Pixel models.

For iPhone users, in the photo app, clicking Edit and moving the Clarity slider may help with slightly blurry images. Adobe Lightroom and Google’s Snapseed work similarly: click the Details tool and adjust the available sliders.

For subtle adjustments like smoothing out skin blemishes or retouching old family photos, most apps offer a “healing brush” tool that copies or blends surrounding pixels to remove blemishes. Just select the tool and set the brush size – using a brush that is too large will pull in pixels from other parts of the image and distort things.

As cameras and software get better at capturing images in low light, red-eye in flash photos is less of a problem than it used to be, but some apps (such as Adobe Photoshop Express) still include a dedicated tool to remove the diabolical retinal reflection.

The Eraser tool removes objects that distract from the subject of your photo. Power lines, street signs, trash cans and annoying people can all disappear from sight. Some apps, like Google Photos, will even automatically suggest elements to remove from a picture when you tap its Magic Eraser button.

To manually remove objects with the Eraser Tool, place your finger over the item you want to remove from the image. It may take a few swipes to completely remove the object. In some cases, you may need to experiment if the software does not produce seamless results.

Blurring the background of an image can also minimize distractions.these two Photos for iOS and google photos App includes tools for editing portrait background blur.

All in all, AI can do wonders for photos that are considered imperfect due to technical or compositional issues (or simply vanity). But it’s also important to remember that these manipulated images are also their own artificial reality.

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