Up until a few months ago, I had an elitist view and was of the opinion that my editing process on my 27-inch iMac was the “best” way to edit a photo. But smartphones have changed the game dramatically. Here I've shared some reasons to help you consider including or switching to your phone for your editing workflow.
The most used platform for consuming digital media in the world is unarguably the smartphone. Most consumers view photos, videos, and illustrations through social media apps or on websites accessed through their phones. This means that the display size of most photos is closely linked to the size of the popular phones’ screen size. And the screen size of phones are much smaller compared to laptops, desktops, and most physical media.
A photo with a complex composition that might have made for interesting viewing on a desktop screen might look too busy and flat on a phone. For example, in my experience, simpler compositions with rich contrast tend to fare better on phones. Does this mean you need to abandon your current workflow on the 27-inch iMac? Absolutely not. Instead, it might mean that you start including your phone in your editing workflow at the initial selection, cropping, and final preview stages for certain images.
All photos used in this article have been shot and edited on my iPhone 8 Plus.
Mobile apps like Adobe Lightroom CC (Mobile), Snapseed, Photoshop Fix, and Pixaloop have been continuously raising the bar for editing capability on phones. My personal experience of Adobe Lightroom on my iPhone as of late has been particularly satisfactory. Even selective edits like brushing, radial, and gradient filters are available on Lightroom’s mobile app and produce decent results. Combine this with mobile phones’ quickly increasing camera capabilities and it is easy to see how you can complete the loop from shooting to editing photos for certain purposes on your phone itself.
The images below were edited in Adobe Lightroom CC (Mobile).
Your phone goes everywhere with you. The laptop or tablet may or may not make the cut of the devices going with you on your weekend trip but your phone will certainly go with you. Plus, it’s most certainly lighter and doesn’t take up precious cabin luggage space. Not to mention that you can use your phone to edit while you’re waiting for the aircraft to takeoff or your local bus to move another inch in traffic whereas laptops are generally a bit more clunky and not always easy to recharge with a power bank. Hell, you can even edit using your phone while you’re getting bored listening to a bunch of normal mortals complaining about the weekend not being long enough.
This is by no means a blanket solution to all photography editing. However, given the above reasons, it might be worthwhile experimenting with involving mobile phones a bit more in the process wherever suitable. Have you ever tried editing photos on your phone? Share your experience in the comments below.