Editing is crucial for making your photos stand out, so using the right tools when editing your photos is important. When I started my macro photography Instagram page, I edited on Snapseed. It’s a really great app to start with. Later I switched to Polarr, while finally transiting to Adobe Lightroom. If you haven’t already, you can read about top 5 editing apps that I use for my photos in Instagram. And now Lightroom is my daily driver when editing photos for the 95% of editing cases. In this blog post I will share some Lightroom mobile tips that I didn’t know at first, but learned/acknowledged later.
Disclaimer: some of the tips include functionality that is accessible only in Lightroom’s paid version. Be sure to get your hands on the version to try all these tips out!
#1 Changing the color of an object
I quite often alter the color of the flowers in my photos. Some – just a little bit, but some – quite a lot. An example is when I made red tulips blue.
If you use Lightroom, you most probably know about the HSL slider. It allows you to change the tones of each color a little bit. While you can do that, the change is quite minimal if you want to transit from blue to orange color. The best case would be purple or slightly pink flower.
What I do after changing the color to the maximum Lightroom allows is – export the photo and import it back again. You will be able to repeat the process of altering colors. Repeat the exporting and importing until you arrive to the color you wanted the object to be.
When repeating the described steps on the photo above – the photo will alter in the following way:
While you might think that the result is ready – it’s not. When zooming in the details – you can see that the color transitions look awful. To change that – head to the selective editing section and choose a brush tool. Draw over all the lines where you want to even the colors out, and choose the Moire to the maximum. This will average the color throughout the whole selection and remove the visible transitions.
With some more adjustments in Lightroom and PicsArt app, this is the result that I got:
Take in mind that repeatedly exporting and importing a photo can worsen the quality of it, so don’t use this method if you plan on using the photo at its full resolution and zoom in later. This method will still work for Instagram photos, because the photo gets resized and, if done correctly, people won’t be able to see the quality loss.
Also take in mind that if you have a color in the background of the subject that you plan on altering across, the background color will change as well. In that case this method won’t work. In my case while transiting from blue to orange – green wasn’t in between.
#2 Smoothly cloning a large area of the photo
Adobe Lightroom has a healing brush with which you can select an area to remove, and choose an area to take the information for replacing from. While I suggest using healing tool for removing unwanted objects from your photos – if the object is quite large part of your photo – it can get more challenging. You can switch between “Heal” and “Clone” modes in the tool to choose whether the app should clone the selected area on top as it is, or smooth it out so that it’s the same brightness and color as the part of the photo you’re healing.
If you try to use the “Heal” mode for removing such part of a photo – it will turn out as a smudged original color. Red in this example. It does not work at all in this case. In such cases I suggest combining both “Clone” and “Heal” mode. Here’s how:
The way I removed the corner area was by using the tool with the “Clone” option first. That forces the background color to change from red to yellow. After that I used the healing tool. Since there is no more red background – it will smooth out the new background color.
With the healing tool it will be a little bit tricky to get the background look non-smudgy and quite realistic. I spent a little bit of time doing that. But when done correctly – people won’t suspect that there was something different underneath.
#4 Applying a filter on top of a filter
Do you know the feeling when you almost have the edit as you want it, but would like to have a little bit of filter on top? But you don’t want to select a preset, because it overrides all your adjustments/previously selected preset? You can actually apply a filter on top of you presets. Lightroom have this thing called “Profiles”, which are filters and work similar to presets. While selecting a preset will override the whole edit – profile goes over your edit and does not change the setting sliders. You can also choose how much of the filter you want there to be (opacity slider).
#5 Selective editing tricks
Discovering selective editing changed my editing experience a lot. Before getting my hand on Lightroom selective editing (which is a paid feature), I used Polarr app, which allowed me to do one free selective editing export a day. But I’m not going to talk about Polarr here, rather than Lightroom selective editing tricks that I didn’t know about when I started using selective editing.
Duplicating the adjustments
You can very easily duplicate an adjustment by holding down your finger on the dot and choosing “Duplicate”. Afterwards you can relocate it and resize it (if it’s a radial adjustment). You can afterwards, of course, change the settings that you duplicated.
Resizing the brush
When I started using Lightroom selective editing and healing – I thought there was only one brush size. That’s why I kept using Snapseed’s healing tool. Little did I know that the Lightroom brush can be resized by dragging your finger upwards or downwards from the brush selection spot. See the video to better understand:
Same is with changing brushe’s hardness (middle icon) and opacity (bottom icon). Same settings apply to the eraser tool as well!
Erasing a part of linear or radial adjustment selection
If you use selective adjustments a lot, like me, then you must have came upon the struggle of the radial adjustment being on a part of a flower when you wanted it to be applied only on background. You can delete unwanted parts of the selective adjustment! Just select the eraser tool and delete them. Choose a smaller brush size to be more precise.
One thing that I haven’t found out is how to alter the deleted area if you have tapped on the check icon. The only way is to undo and do it again. If you know a way to restore a part of the deleted radial adjustment – hit me up on Instagram!
Navigating in the image while zoomed in
The last tip about selective editing I have for you – is navigating in the image while you are zoomed in. If you try to navigate just by swiping (as you think it could work) – you’re just drawing the adjustment on the image (just like I did in the video). Instead use two fingers as if you were to zoom in or out. Only slide them evenly to navigate.
While I learned and acknowledged these tips from my own experience – maybe I saved you some struggle by revealing them earlier. Perhaps you are not an Adobe Lightroom user and I have interested you in being one. Nevertheless editing is fun, and its secrets shouldn’t stay secrets. Wishing you a nice day and see you on my next blog post. While you’re waiting, be sure to check out what I have achieved with editing in my latest 10 before and after photo edits blog post. Also don’t forget to check out my macro photography Instagram if you’re new to this blog. 🙂