Editing Photos without the Shop on the Tab 4 NOOK

By Corey Sandler

The Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK camera is very basic, but it’s nevertheless a camera, and the photographer’s eye matters most. But even the best photographer needs to go into the darkroom — or now, the digital darkroom — to adjust brightness or contrast. The Photos app, from Google, does all that and so much more.

Editing with the Photos app

Display an image by tapping the small version. Then tap the Edit (pen) icon at the lower left.

Controls are at the bottom of the screen:

  • Auto. Experiment with two settings: Normal and High. An icon at the top center lets you flash between the enhanced and original versions. To apply the settings, tap the check mark; to cancel the effect, press X.

  • Crop. Drag a handle at the corner, top, or bottom to crop the image. The section of the image that will be removed gets dark. When finished, tap the check mark to accept or tap the X to abandon the crop.

  • Rotate. You can rotate the central part of the image as much as 45 degrees left or right.

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  • Looks. Tap the rainbow icon centered above the image to go back and forth between the adjusted and original file.

  • Tune. Touch and hold anywhere in the image; swipe down to display a menu that offers brightness, contrast, saturation, shadows, and warmth. Select one and move your finger off the menu. Then touch the image and swipe left or right to apply one of the adjustments on a scale from -100 to +100. The 0 point represents the unadjusted image.

  • Selective. This control — not well designed in the current edition of the app — allows you to select an advanced effect and apply it to parts of the image. You might want to wait for the next release of this app before wasting time here.

  • Details. Choose between two types of image sharpening. Touch and hold anywhere in the image; then swipe down to show the menu. Select a tool, and then swipe left or right to apply it.

Slide the tools at the bottom of the image to the left to fully display eight more options. They include Vintage, Drama, Black & White, Retrolux, Center Focus, Tilt Shift, and Frames.

Adjustments you make using Photos can be cumulative; you can move from effect to effect and keep adding changes. When you finally save your image, it’s a copy of the original; the unedited version is kept, too.

For this image, from the slaver island of Gorée in Dakar, Senegal, the photographer adjusted contrast and then applied an orange filter to enhance the contrast.

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Sharing and archiving

You can share any image from the Photos app by tapping the Share (two-pronged) icon at the bottom of the picture.

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A quick trip into Settings lets you save every photo you take with the Tab 4 NOOK to your Google+ account. And there, the cloud has another, more powerful editor called Auto Enhance. For auto backup, tap the Menu icon in the upper right and then turn on the option.