Shooting on your iPhone can take a little bit of getting used to, but even more than that, learning how to edit properly can take a "meh" photograph and turn it into something truly spectacular.
Before you go thinking that you'll need to download Photoshop or Lightroom to get good at editing, read through this list, because we have five convenient, quick editing tips that'll turn your iPhoneography into a professional-looking work or art!
- Slap a filter on it!
- Pick the best of the best
- Contrast yo' life!
- "Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal"
- Experiment, experiment, experiment
Slap a filter on it!
One of the absolute easiest ways to edit your iPhoneography pictures is to simply add a preset filter overtop of your image and call it a day!
VSCO is one of those apps that reigns supreme as the ultimate filter database, giving you access to dozens and dozens of free filters while offering purchasable bundles of specific filter types in order to tweak and edit your photography.
If you find a filter you like (C1, C3, and 06 are particular favorites for me while I'm editing quickly in VSCO), then it's really simple to find it, tap it, save your photo, and start posting: no pesky level-tweaking, no adjustment of brightness or shadow, just a beautifully editing image that took you less than a minute to put together.
Pick the best of the best
Sometimes editing a photo isn't as much about the editing as it is about the photo (if that makes sense…). I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're going to have to quickly edit an image, make sure it's the best one you've taken.
A lot of people think that bringing a blurry or a less-than-stellar photo into an image editor is going to suddenly turn it into a work of art, but that honestly couldn't be further from the truth. When you're snapping your iPhoneography pics, it's better to take your time and get the initial image as perfect as humanly possible before rushing off and throwing it into an editor.
Think of it like this: you can have all the beautiful paint and art supplies on the planet with all the top-notch brushes and sponges at your disposal, but if the canvas is dirty or ripped or disheveled, then you'll never be able to paint the perfect painting.
Contrast yo' life!
When some people hear the term "photo editing", they instantly think about apps like Photoshop or even the more advanced adjustments in the Photos app, but trust me when I say simply adjusting your contrast can make all the difference in turning an image from a 3 to an 8.
By playing around and adjusting contrast specifically, you get to tweak the overall look and feel of your image: a higher contrast will make lines more sharp and dramatic, darkening shadows and bringing out little details you may not known were even there, while lowering the contrast softens an image, making the colors look a bit more intune and the feel of the picture resemble more of a watercolor painting of sorts.
While messing with contrast is one of the many, many ways you can get a bit more professional with editing your pics, you can also experiment with things like brightness, shadow, saturation, and so much more!
"Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal"
Have you ever been on Instagram and have seen someone upload an image with a filter or a specific effect that catches your eye, and in that moment you're like, "OOOH. I want to do that!"?
Well… then do it!
Copying someone's editing techniques or asking them what filter they're using will only help you develop your photo editing flow even better, so in our opinion it's totally worth it to ask!
Ask that Insta-famous friend what their favorite filters are. Ask your photographer friends what settings they adjust to get that stellar shot. Creep through different photo accounts and find a little inspiration to steal away for yourself.
Experiment, experiment, experiment
Change filters. Play with your settings. Overlap different images. Get weird, get wild, and start experimenting with your iPhoneography!
One fantastic thing about having an iPhone is that you can capture these beautiful shots almost anywhere, and then you can instantly start editing and messing around with your images: so why not take advantage of how convenient everything is and experiment with your editing?
Layer one filter on top of another. Isolate color. Add Emoji. Turn yourself into a cartoon character: experiment with your editing!
What are your quick editing tips?
Are you someone who prefers to slap a filter on it and go from there? Do you prefer spending some time tweaking levels and little details in your iPhoneography snapshots?
Let us know your editing techniques in the comments below and we'll be sure to try 'em out with our own iPhone photography!
Master your iPhone in minutes
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Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau