Photography: Mobile Editing

Lightoom mobile photo editing tutorial

According to the weather folks, the next few days will be warmer than the last few weeks. By warmer I meant low 40F or 6C.

While I have the want to wander, I have not the will power to go into the cold to just walk about and snap photos. So instead I’ve been scouring my camera roll, finding some warmer weather inspiration and playing with a few new software that I have been testing the last few days.

Today I want to share a bit about photography and address the most frequently asked question on my Instagram feed: What camera and filter I use. If you keep reading, I have a few other bits to share a video tutorial.

Mobile photo editing is only getting better! For basic Instagram, Facebook or blog posts, there is no need to purchase a high-end photo editing software. What you can download via your phone app store, for FREE, will be sufficient! Let me show you how!


I mostly use the iPhone 6s (upgraded to the XR) for daily wanders and Nikon D300 for portraits, flowers and places I may want to print and hang on our wall one day. The D300 is a dSLR and I pair it with one of these lenses: Nikon 50mm f.1/8, Nikon 85mm f.1/4, and Tamron 17-50mm. I’d love to upgrade to a full-frame when I ever get back to working full-time again but until then, I rather use the extra cash to wander.

Update: October last year I purchased a Pentax Lumix G85. I LOVE it and I only use the kit lens.

Presets, Actions and Filters

Photos from my dSLR are edited in Lightroom. I bought and use VSCO presets for Lightroom on the iMac. But often time than not, I just manual edit and then copy and paste the settings onto the rest of the photos taken on that day.

If I feel the mood, or the photo could do with some major removing of a bush or tree or swapping eyes (kids blink waaaay too often ?) I’d use Photoshop. I do have a few actions, some of my favourites are Paint the Moon and Florabella, but rarely use them. When I do use them, I use these actions lightly on each photo. When I edit manually, like Lightroom, I only do a bit of a simple and clean edit and that’s it. To make it easier, I saved that simple edit of mine into an action. This way I can just load the photo into PS, swap some eyes around and then push a button for the action to run and be done.

When comparing my editing style to putting make-up on, I try to go for the simple and natural look. I use make-up to hid small imperfections and to enhance a few bits and bobs. I am not one who put a quarter inch of foundation and blend in four different eye shadow colours.

When I photograph using the iPhone, 90% of the time I edit in Lightroom (free app). The 10% are spread out between VSCO (for facades) and aColorStory (for colourful photos). I use VSCO and aColorStory, also SnapSeed (super rare) for educational reasons than need. I just want to make sure I keep up with the technology.

I edit on the iPhone slightly differently I think compare to the dSLR photos. With the dSLR I have so much more control of the lighting where the phone you can only poke around the screen so much. I can get a bit heavy on the iPhone editing. Maybe I am just not that great at it or maybe it’s the phone’s limitation. Whatever it is, now and then I push a few options way to the left or to the right.

Photo Distortions

I photograph a lot of facades and sceneries and lens distortions caused by wide-angle lens are always present in my photos. Instagram has the ability to straighten out and adjust the perspective.

Instagram Adjust Tool

I use it a lot, it’s not bad in my opinion. But now and then I need more and a paid app called SKRWT does the job beautifully — iDevice | Android

Here is a great demo video on SKRWT’s features

Simple Editing

I am going to grab one of my photos and show you the Straight out of Camera (SOOC) image and the edited version.

Lightoom mobile photo editing tutorial

Then a tutorial on how I achieved the above look. Oh, do note that this is my first video tutorial in a looooong time and using a software that I just downloaded yesterday. I’ll keep practising and I hope this part will get better as I keep creating videos to share with you all.

I did post this photo on Instagram today. You may notice that it looks slightly different. The difference is that after I finished editing in Lightroom for mobile, I took the photo into SKWRT to straighten it out and then crop some. I also always find something to edit once on Instagram. So I messed a bit more with the brightness, structure, highlight, shadow and sharpness. A little IG quirk I suppose ??

That’s all I have to share today. I’ll chat with you again another day!?





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Mobile Phone Photo Editing

By Savitri

A wife, mom, traveler, photographer, geek and lifelong learner.


  1. I have Lightroom but never use it and I need to. I’ve been using the window free photo editing software because it’s so fast but Lightroom will be so much better. Thanks for the push to learn Lightroom!

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