7 Pro Tips For Smartphone Photo Editing

Everybody can do photography these days with smartphones and tablets in everyone’s pocket. Technology has become so advanced that you can do wonders just with your smartphone camera. However, there are instances where the photos you take might require some tweaking because of poor lighting, unbalanced composition, and more.

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If you want to get good-quality photos that require minimal input during editing, you might want to review some photography tips to help you out. However, there are instances where no matter how advanced someone’s skill is in photography, the photos taken will still require editing. There’s no denying that editing works magic for photos. One look through Instagram will show you how much difference it makes. With these, here are seven pro tips for smartphone photo editing:

1. Do not be afraid to crop

The first thing you should do with almost every photo is crop it to make the image’s subject more prominent. Don’t worry about losing too much of the original photo because smartphones are equipped with huge megapixel counts, so you’ll still get a lot of detail in your picture even after making some changes.

Cropping your photo is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to make a huge difference. Aesthetically, it can enhance your photos by creating balance in the layout, drawing attention to what you want the viewer to see, helping with orientation (making sure subjects aren’t obscured when the photo is shot from an angle), and improving color (if you’re shooting in too much contrast or the wrong light sometimes just cropping can help to balance things out).

The next thing to do is try to fill up the frame completely. Leaving too much empty space or cutting off part of your subject can result in an image that doesn’t draw the eye, which is important, especially if you’re uploading it to social media.

2. Maximize your smartphone’s native app

If you’re using a smartphone with a built-in camera, use its native app. For example, most phones today come ready to shoot at just the right angle and have plenty of filters that can add an artistic touch to your image. There are also built-in tools that can help you out with your photos without getting heavy-duty editing software.

Many smartphones even come equipped with High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode. One simple tap will take three different exposures of the same photo and combine them into one image, representing the best exposure levels possible for each area in the picture. It’s a convenient tool if your photos come out with either too much light or too little.

You can also enhance how vivid and crisp your pictures look by adjusting the image’s contrast, brightness, saturation, etc., within your device’s camera app. Many apps offer preset modes, but you can also make your adjustments. You’ll get the most out of the camera by making manual changes rather than relying on preset modes, which will give you a more customized look.

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Image by pexels.com

3. Do not be afraid of editing applications

If you’re not familiar with using editing software and feel like you’ll mess things up if you try because there’s too much manual work involved, that’s okay. Plenty of editing apps can automatically optimize your photos without much input, but they all have different settings, so you need to find one that works for you.

If you aren’t comfortable with editing software yet, it might be a good idea to start playing around with some smartphone apps first before trying more advanced software.

Numerous great editing apps are in the market now—from entirely free ones designed to do simple tasks like darkening or lightening parts of an image, or adjusting contrast and saturation, to more advanced software allowing you to work on specific areas with professional tools.

4. Think about lighting

Another critical step in editing a photo is making sure it looks good under different lighting conditions. Not everyone has the luxury of controlling where they shoot photos, but you can recreate specific lighting with smartphone editing applications.

To do that, you’ll need to adjust the image by changing its brightness and contrast. Keep in mind that if your photo looks good on a smartphone screen, it might not look as lovely printed out or viewed on another device running on different technology, so consider this when making changes.

Ideally, you should avoid making changes across the entire photo’s brightness and contrast. It allows you to be more precise when editing. For example, if there is just one area that has too much light or not enough light, first figure out why it looks unbalanced (e.g., maybe your subject is wearing a dark-colored shirt in front of a dark background, so you need to either lighten the subject or darken the background).

5. Consider your background

If you take a picture of a person in front of a busy, distracting background, it might not stand out as much as you’d like. To improve the background without changing the focus of your photo, try using a solid color contrasting the rest of the scene to create some contrast and draw attention to what you want to be noticed.

Sometimes cropping out part of the background can make a subject stand out more too, but you need to make sure that your photo doesn’t end up looking unnatural after cropping. Think about what you’ll need to remove for this type of edit.

6. Be selective with your editing

Lastly, don’t spend too long editing your photos, or it might end up looking fake, and no one wants that for their social media presence. It’s crucial to find the right balance between good lighting, good camera quality, and editing so you don’t have to edit too much in post-processing because you can end up with an over-processed-looking image.

Color editing works well for many photos, but it can have a negative effect on others, so use your best judgment. Instead of going overboard trying to fix every flaw in an image, choose just one or two things that you want to improve and go from there. It’s okay if the lighting isn’t perfect or if you’d like the photo to be crisper, but you don’t want to try and change too much else because it might look fake.

A people taking a photo shot
Image by unsplash.com

7. Be patient with yourself

You can never cram enough learning for photo editing, especially when you’re using a smartphone, so don’t try and rush your progress. You need to have a solid base understanding of various skills because even if you’ve been using editing software for a long time, there’s so much more you could learn about how it works for different situations.

It’s okay if you’re too busy or don’t have enough time to learn all the different available tools. There’ll always be something new that you can learn, but at least understand the basic concepts of what makes for good lighting and how editing software works before tackling more complex tasks like improving specific parts of an image or editing particular elements of a photo.

Final thoughts

Now that you know these tips for better smartphone photo editing, go try them out. Even if you don’t own a high-quality camera, or your lighting isn’t perfect, you can still produce great-looking images with the right apps and some basic photo editing knowledge to help out.

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