Editing images on iPad

Professional photographers might scorn this concept, but editing images on an iPad is not impossible. It is a great solution if you want to perfect images on the go, in situations when you do not have access to a computer, etc.


It is not advisable to use the camera on the iPad for taking the pictures, unless you can set the iPad stably on something and have good light. I have had a few images accepted that were taken with the iPad, such as this one,

Reaching For the Sky

but most have been rejected. Try to use a real camera whenever possible. I am in the rest of this article going to be talking about editing images that were already taken.

GREAT APPS TO USE for editing

Personally, I use two apps – both are free. My main app is ******** photoshop express (PS express), which I use for editing exposure, contrast, hue, saturation, etc. and also for cropping. The other app I use is called Aviary, and I use it for isolating objects, removing blemishes, and choosing focus. You can also use it for editing brightness, contrast, warmth, and saturation, but I prefer photoshop for that.

Another option is to buy the app ******** Photoshop Touch for $9.99. I have not tried it, but it seems to have many of the features of photoshop for PC. There are also many more options beside these, and if you have some other favorites, I would like to hear from you.

Swedish Tea Ring Bread


What I generally do to start with, is to take the image into photoshop and crop it as needed. For fixing light, etc., I do not like to use the preset "Looks" tab, so I will go to the sliders. Then I usually have to increase the exposure. I like to increase the contrast to give extra depth to the image. If there are any shadows, I will lighten those, and if needed, I will increase the saturation. Now, sometimes you have to play with the highlights, temperature, and tint too. If you are going to isolate the image (description follows) you might want to do that before doing these adjustments, as the background can be quite distracting.

Isolated Broken Cracker

ISOLATING AN OBJECT that is shot on white

This is the easiest way of isolating an object. Use this technique for images shot on a white background where the background has turned out discolored because of the lighting or white balance. Use ******** photoshop express to increase the exposure, contrast, and highlights. Play with the temperature and tint. To help a little, you can sometimes add the border called vignette, which gives the corners a soft white blur. If there are any minor dark spots or lines left, use Aviary to remove them with the white brush (description in next paragraph).

Banana Ice-Cream Pie Dessert


I use Aviary's drawing tool for this. This technique only works for uneven-edged things like a burger, pillow, etc. and not for straight-edged things, since you can never be fully accurate when drawing.

First of all, select the drawing tool, white color, largest size, and color roughly the area around the object to be isolated. Next, use the zoom feature (button with magnifying glass) to zoom in on the object's sides. Continue to color along the edges of the object with the largest brush, reducing the brush size for details. As follows are a few tips and tricks:

- When you color, make sure that you go a little on the subject, creating your own boundaries of the object so to speak, so that you are not left with any tiny remains of the background. Also, Aviary has a tendency to pull back the color from the object when you save the image, which will result in unpleasant edges, unless you make sure to go 'over the edge'.

- To mimic uneven edges, choose a smaller brush and vibrate your finger slightly as you move along the border of the subject. Make sure not to overdo this – use it only in areas where you really need uneven edges for the object to look real.

- For areas where you need a sharp corner of white, use the eraser tool to change the natural U shape of the color streak to a V shape.

- It may help to lock the screen rotation, as you will need to turn the iPad around as you move around the object. If the screen then suddenly changes direction, you will get a wrong paint stroke.

- If you are working on a complicated project, use the "done" button to save your work, and then again choose the drawing tool to continue. If you do not do this, first of all, there is the risk of loosing your work because of unexpected things; but also, there is no "undo" button, so if you make an error, the only thing you can do is to use the eraser or the "cancel" button, which will delete all unsaved work.

And lastly, do not worry if you do not follow the object's edge fully, as you only use this technique for uneven subjects where you will not notice minor changes in the edge. And if you need it, there is an eraser.

ISOLATING AN OBJECT another option

Another tool for isolating an object would be to try out the ******** Photoshop Touch app, which I have not tried yet, but I would really like to.


In ******** photoshop express, there is a noise removal option, which you can purchase, but there are also other ways to reduce noise. Of course, you should try to avoid noise in the first place, but sometimes it happens.

There is a tool called "blemishes" in Aviary, which you can use to blur/smudge the background and thus remove the noise.

Another option is to use Aviary's focus tool to place the focus on the object and blur everything else, thus removing noise in the background.

Danish Bread Bun with Seeds

Lastly, you can also use the clarity slider in ******** photoshop express to lightly blur the whole picture, but this is not advisable unless you have a very sharp picture with minor noise.


I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial. I understand that the ideal would be to use photoshop on the computer, but ideals cannot always be followed, and that is why I shared these techniques with you. God bless!

Photo credits: Moonbeamimages.
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February 06, 2014

Thanks for sharing, I didn't know this.


February 05, 2014

Thanks for sharing!


February 02, 2014

Thanks for taking the time to write this. Very informative with programs for the iPad I wasn't aware of. Thank you.


February 02, 2014

The article is really useful. Thanks.