Post production on an iPhone

Post production has to be one of my favourite aspects of the journey of a photo. With technology progressing the way it is you have to ask the question “what will this process look like in the future?” About 14 years ago I did a diploma in graphic design and while that is not my career (as much as I would love it to be) this gave me the passion for what we could do to express our vision. 

With devices like the iPhone and iPad Pro we are now seeing these devices coming close to par with our traditional laptops and desktops. While I still prefer to do post production on my iMac due to the software itself and the fact I’m working on a 27″ screen with a secondary 20″ screen there is always times when i want to start working on a photo. I decided to show what that process looks like. Whilst not my most favourite photo it shows what can be done. 

First off the equipment I used today….

canon gear for landscapes
I am shooting on my canon eos M3 using a canon 10-22m, nisi 10 stopper, a 1.2 grad filter and my new mofoto globe trotter tripod. 

Due to having the 10mm lens this really allows me to capture a massive amount in the one frame. 

It was extremely bright and sunny so I shot at f22, ISO 100 and exposed the shot for around 35 seconds. This is what was produced. 

boat on a beach
raw camera shot

You will notice the grad filter has given me too much darkness at the top and the boat has some real issues showing the details because of the shadow. If I let it go any longer the right hand side of the shot would have blown out too much. 

As the M3 has wifi built in I can transfer direct to my phone using the canon app. 

Best I select “Lightroom” from (what feels like) 7896 apps on my phone. πŸ˜‰

lightroom app iphone
adobe lightroom

Anyone that has used the desktop version of light room please don’t expect the same control and options as you get on the full software however this does a pretty damn good job considering I am on a mobile phone πŸ“± 

iphone screenshot of lightroom
The key areas I used and selected were “crop” to adjust the phone by about 1.2 degrees then moved onto my edits. From here once again there is no magic formula but rather what sits well in your eyes. I adjusted my shadows, clarity, vibrancy and saturation. Looks ok from here except that dark sky. So next we are selecting “local adjustment”. 


You will notice the gradient select, this will allow me to adjust the top area exposure without blowing out the other areas of the photo. I then adjust my exposure up just a little to give it balance to the rest of the frame. 

The end result is….

boat on a beach
This photo was never around composition or trying to capture a vision, if that was the case I would have shot it differently but I wanted to run through what can be achieved now in the palm of your hand (in fact I am also writing this on my phone sitting in the car….. try doing that 15 years ago πŸ˜‚)

So here is the comparison side by side. 


Not a huge change but just enough to get more pop and balance out of the shot. 

I hope this has sparked a few ideas for people or helped in some way. 


Joshua Beniston

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