Newer Mobile Phone Cameras are no Toys! Be a better photographer with your smartphone and Lightroom Mobile

It is estimated that by the year 2017, 2.7 billion photographs will be taken every day.  Nearly 80% of those images will be taken with a mobile device.  It's a staggering number, but it's not surprising.  Think about your everyday sojourns into the world at large and how commonplace it has become to walk past a young couple taking a selfie or someone snapping a photo of an item for sale on a bulletin board.

In 2002, Nokia released its Nokia 7650 cell phone.  With a resolution of .3 megapixels, the Nokia paved the way for phones to come.  Flash forward to 2016, and we have the impressive iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 with rear camera resolutions above 12 megapixels and an impressive array of professional features including full manual control and RAW image capture.

The smartphone camera may no longer be considered a novelty; in fact, there are serious photographers using these devices in some very interesting and creative ways.  For instance, photographer Julian Calverley has published a book called "#iPhone Only" collecting some stunning examples of what can be achieved on a mobile device.  

I captured this prairie landscape as a DNG (or RAW) file on Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge this summer.

I captured this prairie landscape as a DNG (or RAW) file on Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge this summer.

Harnessing the power of Lightroom's non destructive editing, I processed this image on my iPad in about 20 minutes, making use of basic adjustments, color adjustments, and local adjustments to bring out the detail in the building.  In my video playlist at the bottom of this article, I demonstrate my process.

Harnessing the power of Lightroom's non destructive editing, I processed this image on my iPad in about 20 minutes, making use of basic adjustments, color adjustments, and local adjustments to bring out the detail in the building.  In my video playlist at the bottom of this article, I demonstrate my process.

Since its introduction in 2006, the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom application has  been an industry standard for digital photographers and a crucial element in their post production workflow.  Its mobile counterpart has only been around for a few years.  When the app was first introduced, I recall looking on it admirably, but ultimately I defaulted to my much more full featured desktop version for serious image processing.  However Adobe's recent updates to the app are quickly closing the gap between the mobile and desktop versions.

The app now features a built in camera with full manual controls and the capability to shoot in RAW image format if your phone supports it.  The iOS version has recently introduced local adjustment tools including linear selection and radial selection which allow you to fine tune isolated segments in your image.  While you can work with the app easily on an Android smartphone or iPhone, it's a true joy to use on an iPad or iPad Pro with its larger screen and intuitive touch interface.  You will need a Creative Cloud membership to take advantage of this awesome tool, but you can download a free 30 day trial on Adobe's website and give it a try.

In my four part series, I run you through a practical demonstration of some of the major features of Lightroom Mobile including RAW camera capture, basic adjustments, local adjustment tools, color correction, and more.  You can check it out by clicking on the playlist below.

Color Adjustments in Lightroom Mobile on your iPad in 147 Seconds

With an iPad and Lightroom Mobile, you hold incredible image optimization power in your fingertips.  Color selection, adjustment, and refinements are all super easy and extremely impressive using Adobe's powerhouse mobile app.  Join host Alan Griffith in this third tutorial in a three part series on the power of editing using Lightroom Mobile.