Photoshop Express is a free, pared-back version of Adobe’s industry standard photo editor designed for making quick tweaks to images before you share them on social media.
It’s ideal if you want to pretend that sunset yesterday was a little bit more dramatic, the sea was a little more blue when you were on vacation, or you weren’t holding your phone at a jaunty angle while taking that mid-party selfie.
Photoshop Express is available for Windows, iOS and Android, and is designed with touchscreens in mind. That means nice, big buttons and no fiddly menus (the full-fat version of Photoshop would be a nightmare to navigate with fingertips).
Photoshop Express is incredibly easy to use – just open a photo, or take a new one if you’re using a mobile device, and you can begin editing. There’s a crop tool, and options for adjusting contrast, exposure and white balance. You can control these manually, or use the Auto option to optimize your picture with a single click.
Look a little further and you’ll discover a global contrast tool that affects all colors in the image, clarity (which targets midtones), and vibrance (which affects the most saturated areas). The exposure tool has sliders for enhancing the whole image, or just the highlights or shadows, and the white balance settings let you alter the temperature and tint (or color cast).
Next, it’s time to experiment with Photoshop Express’s Looks. These are Instagram-style filters that apply color, noise and vignette effects to give snaps a touch of retro style. Most of the options here are free, but some are only available as in-app purchases, and if you use one, you won’t be able to export your picture until you’ve paid.
Finally, you can either save your finished image to your device or share it straight to Facebook. It’s a shame there’s no support for other social networks and you can only export in JPG format, but Photoshop Express offers a good range of tools that help even the clumsiest sausage fingers achieve stunning results.
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By Cat Ellis
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