Have you ever taken a cell phone image that came out too dark, noisy or not pretty enough for your needs. With this quick tutorial, you will learn how to edit a crappy cell phone image into a decent image. Here’s the final product in a before and after view.

AJBuruca-CellPhoneImage-QuickEdit-Lightroom4-BeforeandAfter

The Story:

I originally took this cell phone image with my iPhone 4 in August 2011. I was in Cedar Hills, Utah when this amazing sunset was happening. I did not have my camera batteries charged and I was so upset. I decided to take a few with my iPhone, and saw that they didn’t work out to well. Now a little over a year later, I have become a confident photographer and decided to play around with these old images.

Step 1:

After capturing your image, you want to load it to your computer. For this tutorial, I used Adobe Lightroom 4. Adobe lets you try out any of their products for 30 days for free as a trial version. I opened it up in Lightroom and started playing around with the settings. To edit this image, I used the Adjustment Brush that looks like this, it is located on the top right of the Lightroom screen.

AJBuruca-Lightroom4-AdjustmentBrush

This brush allows you to just select certain portions of the image to edit. You want to start off with the darkest part of the image, in this case, the house or the bottom of the image. For your individual image, you will have to adjust the settings yourself, but here is a look of what I did for the bottom part of the image.

AJBuruca-Lightroom4-EditPanel

Step 2:

You want to repeat this process for the sky, playing around with the saturation, contrast etc. Below is an image with the mask overlay (red) to see what areas I worked on for the sky.

AJBuruca-CellPhoneQuickEdit-Lightroom4Brushes-RexburgPhotographer

The dots that you see throughout the image above are the areas where I applied that adjustment brush. Once you are finished with the edits, and are happy about them, you can export the image via FILE-EXPORT.

Be aware that because the image was taken with a phone, the quality of the image isnt entirely the best. Editing can only do so much.

Here is the final product:

AJBuruca-FinalEditLogo-CellPhoneImageQuickEdit-RexburgPhotographer-RexburgPhotographers

Happy Editing!

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Creative Commons License
Edit Your Cell Phone Picture in 2 Easy Steps With Lightroom 4 by AJ Buruca is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International