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The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

Altered images

Smartphones are great assets for us as researchers, allowing us to capture video and images in the moment wherever we are. Indeed, the camera element of my phone is probably one of the best tools I have in my pocket.

Sometimes, though, we need a way to alter the images we take on them, and not in the simple ‘jazzing up via Instagram filters’ way. So I’m grateful that the image editing software on our mobiles now makes that process all pretty simple.

One of the best I’ve found is Fotor, which is available free on iOS and Android. It has the standard tools for colour, saturation and the like, along with the fancy filters for Instagram-like images, but what I find most useful are the focus and pixelate functions. These are excellent for highlighting an area of an image you want to draw attention to, or adding anonymity quickly and easily. There’s an online version too, which also has slightly fancier options, such as selecting only certain colours within the image.

As qualitative researchers we tend to be creative, and I find these simple editing apps really let us go to town


Colin Rice
Research Director, Discovery

This article was first published in InBrief magazine, August 2017
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2017