Create #9: Mobile Phone Photography

By Gillian Allard

In my last Create activity, we looked at taking photos from unusual angles. In this one, we are going to explore how to edit your photos, using some of the edit functions on your phone. Editing enables you to change how the original photo looks, e.g. by making it brighter, cropping out bits you don’t want  or changing the tones and colours.

Although this activity has images for an iPhone, the same tools are available on most mobile phones with a camera.

Cropping allows you to select the area of a photograph you want to keep and crop out (exclude) what you don’t want in your image. For example,

  • Open Your Photo Library/ Gallery to find the picture you want to edit.
  • Tap the photo, then tap Edit in the top right-hand corner.
  • Tap the crop and rotate icon
  • Tap the Preset icon
  • Choose the preset size you want to use to crop your picture by swiping your finger across the screen
  • Tap the Preset icon
  • Choose the preset size you want to use to crop your picture by swiping your finger across.

Activity Guide

Click the button to download this activity guide as a PDF. If you would like to receive one of our Activity Packs in the post, please email with your full name and address, including postcode.

You can improve and enhance your photo, i.e. change the brightness, shadow detail, highlights and much more, by using the Adjustment tools.

  • Select your image and then open by tapping Edit in the top right-hand corner
  • Tap the Adjustment icon
  • The first option is the Magic Wand tool which is the Auto version of photo improvements
  • To see all the options, swipe the circles (your adjustment tools) to the right; they will illuminate along with a series of line of dashes
  • Continue to swipe your finger across the circles to access any of the options such as Brightness, Shadows etc
  • Then tap on any one
  • Swipe your finger back and forth across the dashes left to right to increase and decrease the intensity or brightness
  • You can alter each single image using multiple options e.g. Brightness, then Contrast, then Highlights, until you are happy with it
  • Also try Saturation, Tint & Vibrance to alter the colour, Sharpness and Definition to add clarity.


If you would like to add subtle changes of tone, or make your images black and white, your mobile phone will have a series of  preset ‘Filter’options for you to try.

  • Open the photo you would like to alter from and press Edit
  • The Filter option will appear, and you need to tap on it, to select it
  • You can increase or decrease the intensity of the filter by swiping left to right
  • Press Done when you have finished.

Remember you can always Revert to the original later, if you decide you don’t want to keep the changes you’ve made.

Other Related Activities

Pixlr in action

Over the last couple of weeks, photographer Gillian Allard’s Create posts have introduced Pixlr, a free app used for editing photos on our mobile phones. She has also been running…
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