Hey guys! Do you take a lot of photos with white backgrounds, plates, or other objects? If you’re looking for an easy way to whiten backgrounds of your photos (or maybe even your teeth), here’s an app you can consider checking out. This is great for editing photos for your Instagram, blog, YouTube thumbnails, and other social sites for color correcting and brightening. And as of the writing of this post, it’s free (with in-app purchases).
An App with a “Whiten” Feature
So what’s the app? It’s called Facetune. While it has many editing features, I’ve been using it for primarily one simple purpose – to whiten specific sections of my photos on my iPhone using their “Whiten” feature. Though I also occasionally use the Facetune sharpen (name is “Details” on the UI) feature. Oh, and I use the “Erase” functionality, but consider that hand in hand with the two features I just mentioned.
Since these are the two features I use and am familiar with, I’ll reference this functionality throughout the post, though there is additional functionality available, including smooth, defocus, filters, and frames.
Why Whiten Your Photos
My Two Main Uses
While there’s any number of reasons you may want to whiten your photos, I primarily use this app to
- color correct white backgrounds that have a color cast or look almost gray and dull
- whiten teeth*
*Though I’ll admit, I rarely edit teeth because I’m often too lazy to do that and am okay with my photos not looking perfect. I mean, who is, riiight?
If You Do These Types of Photos, You May Want This App
This is excellent for:
- flat lays
- food photos (for example: when you use white plates or have a marble background)
- people photos (group shots, selfies where you want to whiten teeth)
- Instagram grid consistency
- general color correction and brightening
Your Light Source May Add Color Variations to Your White Backgrounds
More likely than not, I’m using Facetune to get my Instagram grid looking more consistent and bright. If you really compare your photos with white backgrounds, you may notice they do not look cohesive when placed side by side.
Just because you take a photo of something on a white tablecloth/piece of marble/whatever background, doesn’t mean that background will come our white in the photo you capture. You see…
When you shoot under different light conditions, white backgrounds can take on the colors of the lights you’re using. Traditional bulbs put off a yellow cast, while natural light can sometimes add a blue cast. And for whatever reason, I’ve found I’m able to color correct where, for example, my food looks great, but the marble background still looks off.
This app somehow magically makes any white background white again where your light source casts blue, yellow, or who-knows-what color on it.
Why I Like This App
There are many reasons I like Facetune:
- Editing is fast– it only takes me a couple minutes to edit my photos
- It’s easy to use – just use your finger to brush the areas you want to whiten (or sharpen)
- You can control the level – move your finger more slowly for a more prominent effect
- It looks natural – the subtle edits look bright while still being pretty natural (unless you go too crazy with your brushing)
- You can zoom in/out – when edges are difficult, use two fingers to pinch/zoom in and out to edit specific areas
Basically, this app makes editing photos on the go a snap when I want to post a photo to Instagram quickly. And it helps give my Instagram grid a more even and consistent look.
A Quick Note on Pre-Editing
99% of my photos on my blog, Instagram, and almost everywhere else are edited. I’m pretty sure few content creators use unedited photos. Typically when I edit a photo with Facetune, I’ve first edited it with Afterlight (on my phone) or Lightroom (on my desktop – which I then transfer to my phone for further editing). This editing will help brighten white backgrounds, plates, etc.
While most photo editing tools will help brighten your photos, I’ve found that Facetune is especially good at removing colors that can sometimes show on white backgrounds of photos, depending on the light source.
In the sample photos that follow, you’ll notice a slightly blue cast on the background on the first example (hummus), while the second (bubble tea) has more of a yellow tone.
How to Use Facetune with a Sample Photo
Here’s a photo of some delicious hummus at Kitchen Istanbul (San Francisco) that I enjoyed with dinner the other night. My seat was near a window where I had some really lovely, natural light.
As I noted above, I like to do as little editing to my photos as possible. Some photos need more work when, especially when the lighting is poor. In this case, the lighting was really good. Though I still applied editing. Above is a before and after collage with the photos side-by-side so you can more easily see the differences after editing.
Here’s what the photo looked like straight from my iPhone X – no editing.
Before using Facetune, I edited this photo in Afterlight to brighten, reduce contrast, add saturation, and sharpen.
Using the Facetune “Whiten” feature is the last thing I do to my photos when I choose to use it. In the above photo, I’ve only whitened the right side. The edits are relatively subtle, which I actually like. Not only does it make my life easier, it tends to look more natural too.
And editing in this app is a breeze.
How do you use Facetune?
Simply use your finger to brush the area you want to apply the Whiten feature.
Move your finger more slowly to apply more intensity.
Make a Mistake?
You can use the Erase tool to remove any areas you didn’t mean to brush.
And here’s the final photo. I’ll be posting this on Instagram shortly. Woop!
Once you’re done editing, you can export the photo by clicking on the top right button. I usually choose “Save to Camera Roll” because I have another app I use to plan my Instagram grid. And if I’m sending it back to my laptop, I prefer to Airdrop it from my Photos to my computer.
Another Example Photo – Stacked for Comparison
Here’s another photo where I followed the same steps as I used in the previous example. This bubble tea (by Boba Guys – the best!!) was taken with natural light, near a window. I stacked the photos a little closer for you so you can see how the photo changes with edits.
Note: The difference in the backgrounds between the second and third photos is relatively subtle, but I sort of like it that way.
Want more? If you really want to whiten your background (or teeth or whatever) further, you can export the photo, open the edited photo, and whiten it again.
More Photography Tips
If you’re wondering why your photos are dull and lifeless, I wrote this post to help you
You can also check out all my posts related to Photography here
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