Edit­ing pho­tos and videos on your iPhone

Make what you shoot the best it can be with sim­ple but ef­fec­tive edit­ing tools

Mac Format - - BACK ISSUES -

The best thing about tak­ing pho­tos and videos on your iPhone is that you can quickly and eas­ily edit them to en­sure they are the best they can be be­fore you share them. There are some sur­pris­ingly use­ful tools built into iOS to let you do this, and there’s a wealth of other apps and ser­vices you can use.

Let’s start with pho­tos. Even be­fore you press the shut­ter, you can ap­ply fil­ters to your shots; tap the three over­lap­ping cir­cles at the bot­tom-right cor­ner of the Cam­era app and you’ll get a live pre­view of the eight fil­ters you can ap­ply. Tap the one you want, and when you hit the shut­ter, that fil­ter will be ap­plied – you can change it or re­move it en­tirely in the Pho­tos app af­ter­wards.

Sim­ple ed­its

The Pho­tos app is where you make most ed­its. Se­lect an im­age and tap Edit. Here, you can have the iPhone try out some com­pletely au­to­mated cor­rec­tion by tap­ping the magic wand icon, ap­ply or change a fil­ter by tap­ping the icon that looks like three over­lap­ping cir­cles, crop and straighten the pic­ture, or tweak the colours and ex­po­sure.

When you tap the crop/ straighten icon in the bot­tom-left cor­ner, you might no­tice a wonky pic­ture straight­ens au­to­mat­i­cally; iOS analy­ses and ro­tates the im­age to straighten the per­ceived hori­zon. If it gets it wrong, or you ac­tu­ally want a dra­matic an­gle, tap ‘re­set’.

To crop, use pinch and un­pinch ges­tures on the photo, or drag an edge or a cor­ner. A ‘rule of thirds’ grid ap­pears, help­ing you to make your com­po­si­tions more in­ter­est­ing and dy­namic. Rather than po­si­tion­ing the fo­cus of your shot dead cen­tre, crop the shot so that it’s roughly at one of the four points where the lines in­ter­sect.

You can also snap the as­pect ra­tio to a stan­dard pre­set – tap the icon at the bot­tom-right cor­ner. By de­fault, iOS de­vices take pho­tos with a 4:3 as­pect ra­tio, but if you plan to print them, be­cause the stan­dard 6x4-inch for­mat is 3:2, it might be worth man­u­ally crop­ping so you can con­trol the re­sults rather than have the top and bot­tom sliced off. You can crop for other rea­sons too; you might find 3:2 just more pleas­ing – it’s what pro cam­eras tend to shoot, af­ter all – or have taken a shot that lends it­self more to a widescreen 16:9 crop. Which­ever you choose, the orig­i­nal is still there, so you can re­crop, or re­move the crop en­tirely, later on.

Make light work

Now we come to ad­just­ing colours. Tap the icon that looks like an old­fash­ioned knob on an am­pli­fier and three con­trols ap­pear: Light (for bright­ness), Colour (for sat­u­ra­tion) and B&W. Tap one and then drag the long strip of ad­just­ment pre­views left and right to change the im­age. (What the B&W fil­ter is do­ing is chang­ing what colours in the orig­i­nal be­come what shade of grey in the mono version.)

What you might miss is that you have more fine-grained con­trol over the ad­just­ments you can make. In­stead of tap­ping Light, say, tap the down­ward-point­ing ar­row to its right and then pick Ex­po­sure, High­lights and so on to tweak in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics. Al­ter­na­tively, use the main Light ad­just­ment to get things roughly right, then tweak by tap­ping the list-like icon at the right to re­veal the in­di­vid­ual con­trols.

You can also tap the icon that looks like three dots in a cir­cle to get ac­cess to the edit­ing tools from cer­tain third-party apps. Not all you have in­stalled will be avail­able here, but try tap­ping More and check­ing ones you ex­pect to see aren’t turned off. You might have to go into the apps the old-fash­ioned way, though.

You can edit video too. The Pho­tos app can only trim the start and end points: grab ei­ther end of a clip and drag it to­wards the cen­tre. Paus­ing for a mo­ment zooms in to give you finer con­trol. Once done, you can trim the orig­i­nal or save it as a new clip. You can also ei­ther switch to the iMovie app for fur­ther edit­ing, or tap the ‘dots in a cir­cle’ icon and choose iMovie for sim­ple crop­ping, fil­ters, ti­tling and scor­ing with­out leav­ing Pho­tos.

Most ed­its you make on the iPhone are non-de­struc­tive, so you can edit with­out los­ing qual­ity

Taken a wonky shot? No prob­lem, now iOS will straighten it up au­to­mat­i­cally.

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