Part 2 of iPhonography – editing your photos on your iPhone!


“What is the best camera to use?” And the answer is simply “The that you have with you at the time!”
And these days most everyone has a mobile phone with a camera as part of it. One member of AUSOM, who shall remain nameless, has a mobile phone that is more like a camera that he can also make phone calls with.

But the point is that just about everyone has a mobile phone with a camera that they carry around with them. So this is a series of articles to get you to using all the controls on your iPhone camera, then using the iPhone to edit your photos, and finally looking at some of the phone apps that you can add to extend the capabilities of your iPhone for shooting and editing your images.

These notes are based on an iPhone that is using IOS 8. So if you have an older iPhone, some of the features described here may not appear on your phone. What better excuse to give to your partner so that you can buy a new iPhone 6.

Add on notes for Part 1
Part 1 appeared in the July AUSOM News It was a description of the basic controls that come with the iPhone camera. Since then I have found out two items of interest.

(1) Try to get the best light possible for your shots. Any low level of lighting will give you an
image that is so grainy that not much can be done to improve it. So always try to have a good source of light. The flash on your iPhone is not really that powerful.

(2) It is possible to select a filter before you take your photo. Here is how.
(a) Open up your camera app.
(b) In the lower right hand corner you will see three circles (red, green and blue). Tap on this with your finger. You get a screen that has nine different versions of your soon to be taken photo.
They range from Mono to Instant. Try to tap on Chrome. The screen changes back to a single image of what you are focusing upon. Note that if you tap on the Normal mode in the middle square, the three circles change to shades of grey. This lets you know that you are in normal mode.

Image 1 - Nine filters

(c) Take your photo.

Part 2 – Editing photos on your iPhone
A word of caution
Once again I urge you to back up any original photos on your iPhone that you want to edit. For myself, I simply import the images from my iPhone to my desktop computer. There are numerous other ways to perform a similar backup. But I don’t know them well enough to pass them onto you. I am still on my beginners license for my Apple iPad and iPhone.

Using the magic wand enhancement tool.
(1) Open up the image that you wish to edit. I am using a shot of my mentor – Dilbert.

(2) You will notice a magic wand icon in the upper right corner.

Image 2 - Dilbert and red circle arond the magic wand

Dilbert and red circle around the magic wand.

(3) This is similar to the Photoshop Elements magic button (Instant Fix) that says basically “Please make my photo look different.” Not necessarily any better, just different.

(4) So click on the magic wand icon. It will turn blue to indicate that it is on. Normally all that you may notice is a slight change in the contrast and a boost in saturation.

(5) To turn off the magic wand tool, just click on it again. It will change from blue back to white.

(6) Click on Done to take you back to the start.

Using the crop tool
(1) Click on Edit again.

(2) Click on the crop tool on the left along the row of icons at the bottom (cancel, crop tool,
filters, general adjustments). It looks like this.

Crop tool with white adjustment frame and angle of rotation.

Crop tool with white adjustment frame and angle of rotation.

(3) Let’s give Dilbert a tilt to the right. Click and drag on the +20 and move your finger to the left. It stops at 45 degrees. You can reposition Dilbert’s head by tapping and dragging with your finger.

(4) You can also click on the icon on the left that looks like a square and has a curved arrow on one corner. This will rotate the image 90 degrees.

(5) Adjust the crop by dragging on the corners of the white outline with your finger tip. I feel like my finger tips are the size of hams. I have better luck with the top corners of the white cropping frame than with the bottom corners. Here is Dilbert after being rotated and cropped.

(6) You can also click on the aspect ratio icon on the right side of the screen. This will constrain your crop to one that you choose such as square, 2:3, right on to 9:16 aspect ratio.

Dilbert rotated and cropped.

Dilbert rotated and cropped.

(6) Remember that the Reset button can be your best friend when using the crop tool.

(7) Click on the done button.

Using the Revert button
(1) Each Edit that you do (filter, crop, etc.) is non destructive. You can always go back to the start by tapping the Revert command.

(2) We get a warning. If you pick revert now, you lose all the edits that you have done before.

Image 5 - Revert Warning

Revert Warning

(3) What the heck? Click on Revert to original.

(4) Argghh!! What have I done? Woe is me.

(5) Boy, I am glad that I backed up the original images on my desktop/external hard drive/Dropbox/iCloud/Flickr/etc.

Using the Light Adjustments
So far we have covered the basics of the magic wand, cropping and the revert tools. IOS 8 has added three more tools for Light, Colour and Black and White. The icon for this is on the right and looks like a circle with dots around the outside. Refer back to the second image with Dilbert to see it marked on the photo in the lower right.
(1) Tap on the icon. And you get this:

Image 6 - Showing Light, Colour and B&W tools with red circle around the Light expand symbol.

Showing Light, Colour and B&W tools with red circle around the Light expand symbol.

(2) Tap on the expand symbol for Light and you get a choice from Exposure to Black Point.

Image 7 - Showing subcategories of the Light tool with red circle around the word Exposure

Showing subcategories of the Light tool with red circle around the word Exposure

(3) Click on the word Exposure and you get a slider that appears at the bottom of the image.

Image 8 - Showing slider control for the Exposure tool with red circle around the properties list.

Showing slider control for the Exposure tool with red circle around the properties list.

(4) Move the slider back and forth from right to left and vice versa until you are happy with how it looks.

(5) Hold your finger tip down on the image and it will change back to the original so that you can see the before and after.

(6) There are two ways that you can adjust the other categories. The first way is to click on the properties icon circled in red in the image above (looks like three parallel lines with bullet points in front of them). The  other way is to drag upwards with your finger
tip along the red vertical line in the middle of the slider to get from one property to the next.

(7) Click on done and you are!
In conclusion
I hope that you have a chance to try out the new features of IOS 8 for taking and editing images with your iPhone over the next few weeks.

Use the opportunity to show off to your friends. Take their photo, then show it to them as the before. Then edit it in your iPhone with one of the filters. Then go to the light and colour tools and tweak the photos so that the after portrait looks great. And you are only talking about a few minutes time to do all this!. Then hit the share button and email the portrait to your friend.

For further information, here are some good sites to go to.
(4) This is the most comprehensive site that I came across.
Please email me at

That’s all, folks!



About woldham

Concise! Retired and loving it!
This entry was posted in iPhone, iPhonography, Post Processing. Bookmark the permalink.

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