The big web editor update for Google Photos that was promised a couple of months ago is now widely available it seems. When opening Google Photos on the web and accessing one of your photos, you should be prompted with a little blue notice in the top right corner to “Try the new editor.”
Back in June when Google announced the incoming update, they said that we would soon find controls over portrait light, blur, sky, color focus, and HDR. Here are the details of those changes, all of which are showing live in my account, but I do have a Google One subscription:
- Click Portrait light to adjust the position and brightness of light to portraits of a person.
- Click Blur to adjust background blur.
- Click Sky to select from several palettes and adjust the color and contrast in the sky.
- Click Color focus to desaturate the background, but keep the foreground in color.
- Click HDR to enhance brightness and contrast across the image for a more balanced photo.
These changes have introduced a re-order of the tabs you see when editing too. The Suggestions tab is now first with all of the Google One filters you can use right away on a photo. The options appear automatically and may be limited depending on the photo or lighting.
In addition to the Suggestions tab being first, the Tools tab will give you more controls over select edits, like Sky. In the image below, you can see that Google is letting you use the Sky tool to manually change the sky style in photos that have a sky. In this tab, you should see options for Blur controls too, or Portrait lights, again depending on the photo.
And finally, the Crop tab now offers several ratio presets or you use a Free tool to manually adjust a crop. You can still use the rotation tool below the photo if you need to.
This new editor really should be available to just about everyone. To get the most features, you will indeed need a Google One subscription. You can see those plans here, with options starting as low as $9.99/mo.