Lightroom mobile – photo editing for beginners

Integrated cameras in today’s smartphones are significantly improving. Yes, it is physically not possible to achieve the same professional image quality comparing to DSLRs or Mirrorless cameras with high-quality lenses.

However, smartphone producers install more lenses to smartphones to allow you to make more sophisticated photos for landscape or portrait, for example. The sensors are improving too. You have apps that can even shoot in RAW format.

So there could be a reason to take a picture and edit it for a kind of serious usage. Moreover, you can edit these photos directly on the smartphone. 

Let’s have a look at the workflow I used for editing, and it was by using Adobe Lightroom for mobile.


Open, Crop and Straighten the image

First of all, let us start the app, so tap the Lightroom icon on your phone. Now let’s find an image we would like to improve. I’ve chosen it from the Camera roll as I am using the iPhone in my case. Tap the image and make your first evaluation.

So in my case, I have a portrait-oriented landscape shot. I want to make it more vibrant, increase the contrast, and emphasize some colors.


At this stage, it would be ideal for applying a Lightroom preset. You should install a preset to your Lightroom mobile before that, of course.

The very first thing is to straighten the horizon. Go to the Crop menu. Now you can rotate the image until your horizon is aligned with the leading net lines. I won’t be cropping the image in my case, so for cropping, I am done.

Light settings

In the Light menu, you will find the classical sliders you know from photoshop or Lightroom for desktop. Generally, the app itself is very intuitive to navigation and if you have some experience from the desktop version you’ll be able to progress very quickly.

So I decided to play with the Highlights and I decreased it very subtly. Next, I go to the Shadows and increase the value slightly to bring light to the darkest parts of the image.


The last step in the light submenu will be to decrease the Blacks slightly to make the image more contrasty by increasing the differences between Blacks and Whites.

Color setting in Lightroom mobile

Let’s switch to the Color Submenu. First of all, I’ve decided to decrease the Temperature slider by a couple of points. This is very subjective, of course. Your artistic feeling could be completely different, and you might increase the color temperature, and it is ok, of course.

So by decreasing the color temperature setting, I want to achieve more bluish feeling as the dominant part of the image is the sky and the lake.

Then I increase the Vibrance. This naturally emphasizes the colors.


Let us click a small colorful ring on the right side of the color submenu called Mix. This is a very powerful option to manipulate each color separately. It is the HSL menu well known from the Lightroom desktop version.

So I will choose the Orange color tone and play a little bit with the Hue. I have moved it more towards the reds. 

Next, I go to Blue color tone and using the Hue slider. I make it more cyan toned. Also, I use the Luminance slider while the Blue tone is selected and decrease it a little bit to make the sky deeper and darker.


Effects submenu in the Lightroom mobile allows you to set parameters like Texture, Dehaze, etc.

So I increase the Texture as well as the clarity to bring more details in the foreground bushes mainly. Finally, I play a bit with the Dehaze setting and increase it a bit to achieve even more darkness and contrast to the sky.

I also bring the vignetting. This feature is a personal preference. Some photographers don’t like the vignetting at all, but again, it is up to you.

So Increase the vignetting slightly, finetune the midpoint and increase the Feather to make the vignette more subtle.


In the Details menu in the Lightroom mobile app, you can increase the sharpening. Here you have to be careful and don’t go too far.

So I increase the sharpening a bit to emphasize, even more, the details of the foreground bushes.

Optics settings in Lightroom mobile

Optics submenu allows you to Remove the Chromatic Aberration.

This is what I usually do every time. It will help you to remove the fringing in most contrast parts of the image.


There is also a possibility to enable the Lens corrections. Still, in this particular image, I will leave it because I don’t want to change the overall geometry of the image at this stage of editing.


So we are done with the editing, and now we would like to share our image.

There is a lot of option on how to do it. This time I’ll choose the Export As option. Jut tap the share icon on the top of the screen, and it will take you to the sharing options screen.

Here I choose Export As. Now you can select more options. First is the File type. As I want to have the maximum possible quality, I will choose the TIFF format.

In dimension, I will choose the Largest available dimensions. Then tap the ok icon and will take you to the sharing options menu. So I select the Mail option and send it.


So you can see it is possible to make a serious and comprehensive image editing in the Lightroom mobile.

We were able to set very detailed parameters as we were in the desktop version of the Lightroom.

For sure, there are situations you need to make more complicated corrections, and in such a case, you will switch to Lightroom desktop or Photoshop.

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