iPhoneography Tutorial | Part 2


Hello there! You can find the first part of this tutorial, here: iPhoneography Tutorial | Part 1. If you haven’t read the first part yet, you probably should. The second part is about editing, wich is, in my humble opinion, an equally important side of photography.

Part 2

How to properly edit your phone photos

First of all, forget about filters. Not forever, filters are cool and I like them too, but applying a filter should be the very last step in editing. There are a few great apps out there that have all the tools to do what’s need to be done. My two favoured ones are VSCO X and Instagram. Yes, Instagram app has really amazing editing tools. I can’t say the same about its filters, unfortunately. I used it for a long time until I finally installed VSCO and eventually upgraded to VSCO X (it’s not that expensive and the filters are actually useful and pretty).

So, you begin with adjusting the brightness and contrast. Almost all photos need a brightness boost and a contrast adjustment. If the pic is too warm, use the temperature option to make it cooler. Yellowish photos happen especially when you shoot in artifficial light. If you’re like me and can’t resist snapping a pic of your adorable kitty in a poorly lit room, then you’ll need all the help you can get to fix it. Just make sure the photo is as crisp and clear as possible, and thus saving it will be a piece of cake.

A really neat and useful feature that you can find in good editing apps such as VSCO and Instagram, is the ability to brighten up only the shadow areas, or darkening only the highlights – these are a life saver. Also, the ability to straighten and distort – in VSCO, its called skew. This is extremely useful in a photo that has many lines that are not right. I regret deleting the original photos of the following examples. These houses were crooked in real life and inevitably became even more in the photos, but I was able to make them look decent with the help of the skew option. Aren’t Romanian crooked old houses just beautiful? 🙂

A saturation boost is also good, but not too much of it, especially when it comes to portraits.

After editing the basics, you can move on to filters. Like I said, filters are awsome, especially VSCO filters. But the key is moderation! Think of filters as make up for photos. You don’t want to use too much, because you don’t want to look fake, like a porcelin doll. You want to look fresh and natural. So apply the filter only on a good, clean photo and lower its opacity if it’s too much. In the following example you can see a picture of my cat Felix, before and after the filter. It’s great, but I had to brighten up the picture a little before applying the filter, then lower the filter’s opacity to 80%.

You can go further and add film grain, it looks great on some photos. Or apply an overlay, like clouds or stars. I do it in Photoshop, but there are apps that allow you to do this directly on your phone.


Obviously, a photo will not require each and every one of these steps. And don’t forget that moderation is key for a well balanced and beautiful photograph. A thing I usually do is not just post my pics on social media immediately after I take them. I wait for a while before posting them online. After a few hours, or even a day or two, I see it differently. If I love it, it’s a keeper. And also, remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder – what’s beautiful for you, may be average for others, and vice-versa. It’s OK, though. After all, you take pictures for yourself, for your soul. Sharing and likes should not count that much. Like I said in the first part, being famous on Instagram, is like being rich in Monopoly. 😉 Have fun snapping, editing and experimenting with filters, and thank you for reading. I hope you found my tutorial useful.

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No rules weekend blog party @ Sincerely Paula


  1. Jeanna
    on 24 February 2018  3:06 pm Reply

    These are some great tips and I learned that about saturation and find myself these days desaturating more than saturating. I really need to use overlays, the cat in a box photo looks fantastic.

    • Ramona
      on 25 February 2018  4:45 am Reply

      I agree about saturation. Using layers is not very difficult. And thank you!

  2. Pat
    on 24 February 2018  3:20 pm Reply

    Very good observations and photography tips, Ramona. I find that cell phones take wonderful auto photos and software editing apps such as Snapseed so a good job auto-editing. When I post on Instagram I like to do my own editing and not rely on Instagram filters. I find I can get better quality that way.

    • Ramona
      on 25 February 2018  4:46 am Reply

      Snapseed is a great app. Thank you!

  3. diane
    on 24 February 2018  5:41 pm Reply

    Thanks for these tutorials they are very helpful. I have a phone app called Snapseed its free and very good.

    • Ramona
      on 25 February 2018  4:47 am Reply

      I am so glad! Snapseed is great too!

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