Tips & Guides

How to Use iPhone’s Photo Editing Tools

Most people don’t bother too much with editing photos. They just click a snap and are happy sharing it on their social media profile. Apple’s superior camera technology ensures that you get a good picture nine out of ten times. However, with everyone going crazy about Instagram and selfies and groupies, photo filters have become something of a must in order to look your social media best. There are many apps out there that have massive editing features on offer. But did you know that your native Photos app in the Mac as well as iOS also offer considerable editing options?

Well, here’s a quick guide to exploring those features. Let’s start with the basics:

Basic Crop and Rotate:

Most of you will of course be aware of this feature. We are still including it because it’s a highly underutilised feature. A little bit of “horizon-correcting” or cropping out that weird photo-bomber will go a long way in enhancing the appeal of your candid shot.

photo in the camera roll and click that tiny “square” icon you see below the image.

iPhone camera edit crop
The Adjustment Panel:

This section lets you selectively lighten only the shadows, darken only the highlights, boost contrast, change color saturation, and do lots of other things to make your photos more striking. Since the screens on iOS devices are so small, it takes some tapping to reveal its controls.

Here’s how you find it.iPhone camera edit adjust

Tap the icon circled here (left image) to open or close the Adjustments panel (right). Tap the adjustment of your choice (say, Light) to open its smart slider and make the changes according to your preferences.

Using the Smart Sliders:

Smart sliders are smart because dragging one adjusts a slew of other settings (called sub-sliders) behind the scenes. These are great for quick, basic adjustments. To use a smart slider, tap and hold your finger atop the tiny row of thumbnails beneath your image and then drag left or right.

Pro Tip: Drag your finger left or right across the image itself, not the slider.

Using Filters:

Instagram style filters are readily available right inside your Photos App. Just click on that three-overlapping-circles icon. From iOS 9, you can also add third party filters to further enhance the experience.iPhone camera edit filters
Reverting to Original:

You can undo changes you’ve made with the Light and Color smart sliders and their sub-sliders by tapping Cancel, and then tapping Discard Changes in the confirmation sheet that appears.

Alternatively, you can undo specific changes by moving each smart slider (or sub-slider) that you changed back to its original position, which is indicated by a gray dot above the slider itself.iOS camera editing

Here the B&W smart slider was used to turn the image into a black-and-white (left). To turn off the black and white effect, tap the B&W label circled here (right).

As you can see, you can do most of your basic editing (and enough of your pro editing) without actually using any third-party app. So go ahead – happy exploring and merry clicking!!

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