The PicMonkey App Gets Levels and Clarity: Let There Be (De)light!

We’re never ones to rest on our laurels here at PicMonkey. First of all, it sounds uncomfortable: isn’t that like sitting on a bush? Second, we spend too much time thinking about you guys and how to make your photo editing lives better. We can’t slow down!

So here’s the dealio: we just released a new version of the mobile app for both iOS and Android. Alongside some effect-tinkering and general embetterment, we also launched two new adjustments (which live, unsurprisingly, in Adjustments): Levels and Clarity.


If you’re familiar with our Levels tool from the online editor, you may be expecting a multi-levered, histogramtastic complexityfest. But mobile works a little differently: instead of trying to cram the entirety of Levels into your phone or iPad, the to-go version highlights the midpoint slider.

This approach means that Levels on the mobile app works on your midtones, those in-the-middle grays. Think of this slider as showing you the average of your photo’s tones: When you pull it left, you’re pulling your average gray darker; pull it right, and your average gray is lighter. The end result is a bit of a subtler approach to changing light and dark tones in your image.

What’s the difference between Levels and Contrast? And where does Brightness fit into all this? Basically, Levels should be your go-to for correcting under- or overexposed photos, since it affects tone without washing out your colors.

Contrast, on the other hand, is a good adjustment to use when you’re looking for an artsy effect, since it impacts your photo’s saturation in a big way. Brightness, meanwhile, works wonders on photos that are kinda murky overall, since it lightens your image evenly.


Thank you mobile phone, thank you iPad, thank you Clarity, thank you editing with apps …

Unlike Levels for mobile, the new Clarity adjustment is basically exactly the Clarity tool from our online editor. Clarity is a yippee-skippee-terriffy tool for replacing foggy blurriness in your image with delicious crunchy texture, since it works by creating contrast between an image’s midtones.

Clarity, Sharpen, Unsharp mask: what’s the difference anyway? We touch on all three in our photo editing jargon article.

Bonus lightning round: Share the App

Like the PicMonkey app? Wanna get your friends in on this moustache-adding, effect-painting, draw-ifying magic? Now you can! Head to Settings and scroll down, and you’ll find a little band of text that says, “Share the love, tell your friends” (or a pithier “Tell your friends” for you Android folk). Hit that, and you’ll see a menu of ready-steady-shareable options you can send via text, email, or social apps.

We tried to make these guys fun and entertaining, so let us know how you like ‘em! And of course, let us know how you like the app in general. We’re constantly working on new features and have no plans to slow down (see: laurels, resting on, lack thereof), so stick around and see what strikes your fancy.

Being a photographic master is easy when you have the right tools. Get a PicMonkey membership now!

Elisa Chavez is a content writer here at PicMonkey, where she hopes to change the world one dinosaur selfie at a time. She is also a nationally ranked slam poet, champion shopper, and doting dog mama.