I Edited My Photos With These AI-Powered Apps: Here Were the Results

Key Takeaways

  • Enhance your photos easily with AI editing tools like Google Photos, Pixlr, Luminar Neo, and Fotor.
  • Google Photos, Fotor, and Luminar Neo all have AI enhancement features that will give you subtle changes for better results.
  • Experiment with different AI editing tools to adjust brightness, reduce noise, and remove backgrounds for improved images.

You can make your pictures look great with minimal effort using AI photo editing. Today, you’ll discover a range of AI editing tools I used to adjust my images, including auto-enhance, noise removal, and several other features. Let’s jump right in.

I tried two specific features in Google Photos: Auto-Enhance and tweaking the sky. Keep in mind that Google Photos’ AI editing tools require a Google One subscription.


The Auto-Enhance tool in Google Photos is similar to enhancement features you’ll find in most image-editing apps, including Adobe Lightroom and Canva. Here’s the original image that I used Auto-Enhance for in Google Photos:

Now, here’s what the image looked like after using Auto-Enhance:

An auto-enhanced image in Google Photos

The changes were subtle. Google Photos added some brightness to the image, and it also looks a bit punchier. Overall, I was happy with these edits.

The changes were also subtle on other pictures I tried Auto-Enhance with, but your mileage may vary as it depends on how much editing is needed for your original image.

Editing the Sky

Google Photos also uses AI to edit the sky in your images. You can choose from seven presets:

  • Vivid
  • Luminous
  • Radiant
  • Ember
  • Airy
  • Afterglow
  • Stormy

I used the same picture to try out sky editing. As I took the image on a sunny day, I was curious to see how it’d look with the Stormy filter…

A picture in Google Photos that has the Stormy filter

I actually quite liked how Google Photos desaturated and darkened parts of my image. Before trying the tool, I naively thought it was going to replace the sky with a stormy one; instead, they work more like filters.

The Afterglow Filter in Google Photos

You still have to think about the colors in your pictures, though. I tried Afterglow next, and the results weren’t so great. However, I believe this filter would work well if you want to improve your nighttime sky photography.

2 Enhance Your Images Using Pixlr AI

Pixlr is one of the best free Photoshop alternatives, and it has several AI tools you can use to enhance your photos. I tried three: Super Sharp, Noise Removal, and Generative Fill. Here’s how each of them worked.

Super Sharp

Below is the original image I edited with Pixlr Super Sharp, and I also used it for the other AI tools we’ll discuss in a moment.

A photo of a city skyline taken during the daytime

I noticed that Pixlr significantly compressed my image after uploading it, so that’s something to keep in mind. Here’s the result:

Super Sharp Applied to a Photo Via Pixlr AI

If you only have a free Pixlr membership, you get 12 coins for its AI features.

Noise Removal

You can remove noise from your pictures with Photoshop and several other tools. If you don’t know how to manually do this, consider starting with Pixlr’s Noise Removal feature.

When I zoomed into my picture, I saw that much of the noise that was previously there was now gone. Still, I personally prefer Photoshop’s tools for both smartphone and DSLR/mirrorless camera images—even if you have to pay for the software.

Pixlr's AI Denoise tool in action

Generative Fill

You can add generative fill to your pictures in Photoshop, but how does the tool work in Pixlr? To find out, I wanted to create an overcast sky effect in my images and gave Pixlr the following prompt:

Please replace the selected area with an overcast sky. I don’t want a huge storm; just gray clouds.

That didn’t quite work as planned…

Results of an AI-Generated Attempt in Pixlr

I then sought to ask a clearer prompt:

Please replace the sky in my picture with an overcast day

Again, this did not work as I wanted.

A second attempt to use generative fill in Pixlr

Adobe Express has a much better generative fill tool, so I’d recommend using that. I also gave the other Firefly AI features in Adobe Express a spin if you’re interested in using the app.

Luminar Neo is one of the most popular AI photo editing apps, and I tried editing some of my images with numerous of its tools. Unlike the other apps we’ve discussed so far, you have to download an app for Luminar Neo. After doing that, I tried out AI Enhance, GenExpand, and Relight.

AI Enhance

First, I tried the AI Enhance feature in Luminar Neo. Here’s the original image:

Photo of a city landscape on a river

Luminar Neo lets you choose how strong you want the enhancements to be. You can also determine how much you want to change the sky. I opted for subtle changes to both:

The enhance feature in Luminar Neo

Having the slider was quite nice, as I’ve often found it annoying that editing apps give you a default change. This time, I felt like I had more control.


Luminar Neo also has a Relight feature that lets you add brightness to different parts of your image. You get three sliders:

  • Brightness Near
  • Brightness Far
  • Depth

Depth is especially useful for choosing how much of your image you wish to brighten. I made a few slight changes to this picture, focusing mainly on Brightness Far. Here is my result:

Relight sliders in Luminar Neo

The Relight feature worked similarly to the exposure and brightness sliders that you see in Lightroom and Photoshop. I’m not sure that I would use it as a replacement for those unless I made the switch to Luminar Neo. Nonetheless, it’s a helpful feature.

4 Using 1-Tap Enhance in Fotor

1-Tap Enhance is one of Fotor’s free AI editing features, and I was curious to see how it would fare in comparison to Google Photos’ Auto-Enhance. This time, I used this picture:

An image of a kayaker on a lake

As you can see below, Fotor’s 1-Tap Enhance was pretty similar to Google Photos. Most of the changes to my image involved brightening. You do have to deal with a Fotor watermark, but you can always crop this out—I’d therefore recommend uploading and editing a picture that you later want to crop anyway.

An image enhanced with Fotor's One-Tap Enhance tool

5 Background Removal With CutOut Pro

If you’re looking for a fast way to remove the background from a photo, consider using CutOut Pro’s background removal tool. All you have to do is upload your image, let CutOut Pro do its thing, and within a few seconds, you’ll get a downloadable file.

The Background Removal tool in CutOut Pro

You can download your picture in JPEG and PNG. I was pretty satisfied with the result, so I would definitely recommend CutOut Pro for background removal purposes.

AI is a great way to make quick edits to your pictures, such as automatically enhancing them or getting rid of the background. Many are free, and even the paid versions often have free trials. Give each of these tools a try and see what you can come up with.

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