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How to Pretty Up Your Photos With Google’s ‘Portrait Lighting’ on Pixel

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Gif: David Murphy

Who needs the newest Pixel, anyway? Google is now rolling out its “Portrait Lighting” feature—previously announced during the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 launches—to older devices. I just fired it up on my Google Pixel 3 XL, and found it a great tool for artificially tweaking the light source of your portrait images.

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To get started, first make sure you’re running the latest versions of Android (Android 11) and the Google Photos app (updated Oct. 19, 2020). Pull up the app, and then find a portrait mode photo you’ve shot with your device. You can also use pictures you’ve shot with other smartphones—like a Samsung, or even an iPhone.

One quirk I found is that Google, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to acknowledge that an image taken using an iPhone’s own “Portrait mode” is, in fact, an image of your face. On the other hand, it didn’t have any issues recognizing my face when I took regular selfies on iOS, as well as selfies or “portrait” pictures on my Pixel 3 XL or Samsung Galaxy Note 20.

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Also, I’m using my words carefully here, because you won’t be able to adjust the lighting for just any photo taken in “Portrait” mode. Take a lovely, blurred-background photo of your favorite plant, for example, and Google won’t offer you the to option to tweak its lighting. As Android Police reports, Portrait Lighting is a faces-only editing feature:

“What matters is that the photo contains an obvious face, whether it’s a proper portrait or (sometimes) a full-body photo, it contains one person or two, the face is looking straight at the camera or angled away, and so on. You’ll have to trust Google’s AI/ML to recognize the proper circumstances, because if you don’t get the option on a specific pic, there’s no way to force it”

These oddities aside, adjusting the lighting for faces in the photos you’ve taken is a pretty simple (and fun) task. To get started, open a picture of a face in Google Photos. Tap on the “edit” button, which looks like three sliders, located at the bottom of your screen. Scroll right a bit until you’re on the “Adjust” section, and you should see a new option for ”Portrait light.” If you don’t, your image doesn’t qualify. Sorry.

Illustration for article titled How to Pretty Up Your Photos With Googles Portrait Lighting on Pixel

Screenshot: David Murphy

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Tap on it, and you’ll now be able to pick a direction for your image’s artificial light by moving the superimposed circle on your shot. You can also adjust the strength of the artificial lighting using the slider at the bottom of your screen. Tap on “Auto” if you want Google Photos to pick what it thinks is the best version of Portrait Lighting for you.

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Screenshot: David Murphy

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Now, all you have to do is play around with your lighting until you’re happy with the results, tap on “Done,” and save a copy of your newly edited image—or do more editing before you finish up.

If you’re feeling lazy, I’ve also found that using the “Portrait” option under the “Suggestions” section is a great way to quickly tweak your lighting and blur the background of an image otherwise shot sans bokeh. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it can produce pretty decent results.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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