Photography already occupies an irreplaceable space in the world of mobile telephony (it is estimated that Google Photos alone stores 136,000 million snapshots) and it is tremendously easy to take your mobile out of your pocket and immortalize any moment. However, the life of a photograph does not end there: once it is taken, it goes to the mobile storage and from there, possibly in an automated way, to one of the services that we have contracted in the cloud.
The process of taking a photograph usually follows this route:
- Taking the picture from the phone (only 7% of the snapshots are taken from dedicated cameras).
- They are stored on the mobile and from there, if there is a cloud service, they are synchronized.
- The user can subsequently edit them to eliminate duplicates or apply algorithms that improve the result of the photo.
This last step is decisive so as not to end up with an unmanageable amount of photographs that include memes, screenshots, accidental photos… The hygiene of the photo library is decisive so that memories can be consulted later without going crazy. How can the image gallery be put in order? We are going to review some tools with great added value.
GFPGAN, bring old photos back to life
Whoever keeps an old black and white photograph, already eaten away by moisture or discolored, should know that a new algorithm restores them completely free of charge and in open source. A group of Tencent researchers have created an algorithm called GFPGAN (Generative Facial Prior-Generative Adversarial Network, for its acronym in English) that “revives” old photos with surprising effectiveness. This system uses artificial intelligence to complete the damaged parts with surprising realism, although, yes, it can alter the content a bit in some cases.
Unlike other solutions that offer similar results, GFPGAN maintains the quality and resolution of the image, and is available to anyone who wants to try it at this link. The user is asked to upload an old photo — the results will be more visible the more deteriorated the image is — and after a few seconds, the system will return the photograph retouched by the algorithm in high quality conditions.
LunaPic, or how to remove the background from photos
A snapshot can be perfect in all its registers: lighting, focus, saturation… however, it can happen that at the moment of taking it a person passes by from behind or simply, the environment dims the photo. It can be fixed? In the cloud and totally free, we find the powerful LunaPic tool, which, among its multiple functions, has the powerful “Background removal tool”, which eliminates, with great precision, the background of the photo, leaving the outline visible. It should be noted that the result will be better when the focus of the foreground is sharp. RemoveBg also fulfills these functions.
FixThePhoto, for those who want professional results in a photograph
Until now we have listed totally free solutions available to all budgets, but it may happen that at a given moment we need a professional service for a specific photo, and this is where FixThePhoto comes into play. This paid service combines algorithms with the intervention of professionals to retouch and transform any type of photograph; Among its services are from the elimination of wrinkles, disheveled hair, restoration of old photographs, to retouching clothes that appear wrinkled in the photo. Naturally, they charge for each retouched photo and their clients include people who want to appear well in professional forums (LinkedIn profiles or company photos), to firms who want a touch of quality in the products they sell.
Hire a freelance professional service
Any of the solutions proposed above can be useful in the process of retouching and improving photographs, but, on occasion, it may be interesting to personally contact a professional to carry out the work. On platforms such as Workana or Fiverr, the client has access to a multitude of professionals who bill for work carried out based on its difficulty and experience. The principle is the same as in the previous solutions, only this time the relationship is at all times with a professional: contact is made through the platform, the work is presented and after validating the budget, it is delivered within the stipulated period. . These last two payment options are more aimed at professionals or those who want personalized work.
Google Photos, storage and touch up
The popular tool in the Google cloud and the destination for most of the photos among Android users, offers a powerful editor that allows us to retouch the photos at will. The first thing to know is that this service benefits from all the muscle of the Google algorithm. What do we mean by this? That a bot analyzes each photograph and in this scan identifies if they can be improved in terms of lighting, if it is taken vertically being landscape… The great news is this algorithm will automatically propose improvements to the image and if the user validates them , it will apply them instantly.
The not-so-good news is that this bot can misidentify legitimate content as illegal and lock out the user’s account, although such cases are anecdotal. In any case, in each photograph, the user will find a button in the shape of a square with two stars inside that gives him access to a series of filters with which he can personalize the photo. Among them, the “auto” will automatically improve the lighting and saturation conditions of the snapshot.