How to use iOS 8’s new Photo Editing tools

The Photos app includes a number of new photo editing features, which Apple says will allow users with whatever skill level to create photo masterpieces.

I’ll walk you through all the new photo editing features in iOS 8.

Layout Changes

The first thing you will notice is the auto-enhance and the red-eye correction options have been moved from the bottom to the top.

Smart Composition Tools

The image rotation option which used to be available at the bottom left corner is now integrated in the image composition tools found below the image cropping editor.

When you open the new composition feature while editing the image, it automatically adjusts images to straighten horizons using the built-in accelerometer and provides the ideal crop as you can see below. It doesn’t work in all cases, but we think it’s something to do with the angle at which you take a shot, and the image includes a clear horizon line.

iOS 8 Photo Editing features - Crop mode
iOS 8 brings new editing tools including auto straightening to the Camera app

You can drag the circular dial to straighten the photo manually, or use the rotate button to rotate the photo by 90 degrees.

Smarter Adjustments

The real fun begins when you start to play with the intelligent adjustment controls. You can access them via a new knob-like button. You can adjust Light, Color and B&W by choosing any of these and turning a dial to increase or decrease each of these parameters. With Light and Color, you’ll find that your chosen adjustments are applied with a delicate touch, instead of merely turning up the exposure or boosting only the saturation. With B&W, you’ll be able to see a diverse range of B&W treatments as you dial the effect up or down — it’s kind of like playing with the Curves tool in Photoshop.

Intelligent adjustment controls
Intelligent adjustment controls let you make fine tweaks easily

So what’s really going on under the hood here? Within each of these three controls, you’ll find a bunch of individual parameters to tweak. Under Light, for example, you’ll find Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast and Black Point — and you can adjust them all one by one. When you tweak the main Light control, all these parameters are being adjusted with a view to preserve the fidelity of your image as far as possible. But if you feel like the effect is overwhelming, you can drill down into those parameters to get just the right look.

iOS 8 Photo Editing features - Smart adjustments
Adjust your photos till they look just right

Here’s a video walkthrough of the new photo editing features:

The new photo editing tools makes it very easy to straighten photos, enhance blue skies, make colors pop, or convert your photos into richly toned black and white. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

In addition to the Apple-designed filters and editing tools, iOS 8 also allows other app developers to create filters and editing tools that you can use in photos. But we will cover how that works in a separate post in the future.