Lightroom Mobile: How to Get Beautiful Edits Using LR Mobile App

Editing photos in Lightroom Mobile

How to Edit in Lightroom Mobile

We all love our camera phones and most of us use them to capture images on a regular basis nowdays.  With the increase of photos, the use of mobile editing has absolutely skyrocketed!

Lucky for us, Lightroom has created a marvelous option for those who want to edit with their mobile devices on the go.  And learning to use the Lightroom Mobile App will help you create beautiful edits no matter where you are or what mobile device you are using.

This tutorial will teach you the basics of editing with Lightroom Mobile and is a GREAT place to start:

Clean & Colorful Lightroom Presets

Where to Find Lightroom Mobile's Editing Tools

Once you have downloaded and installed the FREE Lightroom Mobile app, the first thing you need to do is open the app and select the image that you want to work on.

You will find all the editing tools at the bottom of your mobile screen.  Keep in mind, you can swipe right or left to navigate through the various options and also note that once you make an adjustment to any of the sections, a small dot will appear below the name of that particular section.

LR Mobile Editing

In my opinion, I don't feel like the various editing options at the bottom of the screen are set up in any logical order.  Although this may be because I'm so used to the editing workflow setup found in the desktop version of Lightroom.

This means that I'm not going to recommend to start with the very first editing icon you see at the bottom of your screen.  However, if YOU find that the order of icons at the bottom of the screen seems logical to you, feel free to work in that order.  I'm just sharing what works best for me.

Mobile Lightroom Presets

With the addition of presets to the mobile workflow, Lightroom has made it really easy to keep your editing workflow consistent and simple, so I like to start with the preset section

Lightroom does come with some default presets, but I don't use the them very often because they are not great.  My FAVORITE MOBILE PRESETS are the Pretty Preset Millennium Collections.  If you like rich, earthy tones, the Dark and Moody Collection is a one of their top sellers.  My personal favorite is the Clean and Colorful collection because they fit my style better.  Everyone has their own favorite, so start with a collection that fits your own style.

If you haven't installed your presets, go ahead and do that first before we start editing.  I you need help intstalling your Lightroom Mobile Presets, CLICK HERE.

Lightroom Editing in Mobile

To open the presets panel, simply tap on the "Presets" icon which looks like two overlapping circles.  Navigate to your favorite collection and tap the preset you want to use.  You will see how the preset alters your image.  If you like how it looks, tap the checkmark to apply it and exit.  If you want to try some other presets, go ahead and click on those before making your final selection.

How to Edit Pictures in Lightroom App

Note that once you start editing with a particular preset collection more than others, Lightroom will learn it's a favorite and will open that collection automatically when you tap the "Presets" icon - no need to locate it every time.  Super handy!

Edit the Light

After applying a preset, I recommend clicking on to the "Light" icon.  You will find several very important editing functions in this section.

This is where you will find the Exposure slider, which will change the overall brightness of your image.  Moving the slider to the right will brighten you photo and moving the slider to the left will darken it. 

Exposure is one of the most important parts of a great photograph, so getting it right is critical.

How to Use Lightroom App

The next sliders in this section will help to fine tune your exposure by adjusting the contrast as well as the light and dark areas of your image independently.

    • Contrast is the tonal difference between the light and dark areas of your photo.  To increase or decrease the contrast of your image, just move the Contrast Slider left or right.

The Highlights and Shadows Sliders will allow you to recover any blown highlights or shadows. 

    • To brighten the highlights on your image, click and drag the Highlights Slider to the right. 
    • To decrease the brightness of the highlights, click and drag the Highlights Slider to the left.
    • To add a little brightness to the shadows of your image, click and drag the Shadows Slider to the right. 
    • To darken the shadows, click and drag the Shadows Slider to the left.

I often use these sliders together by brightening the shadows (dragging the slider to the right) and decreasing the highlights (dragging the slider to the left) on my images.

Lightroom Mobile Guide

If you aren't seeing all the sliders I mentioned above on your mobile screen, try swiping up on the area where the sliders appear and you should see these options hiding there.

Editing Color

"Color" is another Lightroom Mobile section that can make a big difference in your mobile workflow.  This is where you can add a pop of color, adjust your white balance, and more.

How to Master Lightroom Mobile

When you open the "Color" section, the first two sliders you will see are Temp and Tint.  The Temp slider will help you adjust the warmth or coolness of your image.

    • If your image is looking a little on the blue-side (too cool), add some warmth by moving the Temp Slider towards yellow. 
    • If your image is looking a little too warm, add some coolness by moving the Temp Slider towards blue.

The Tint slider will help you adjust how green or red your image looks.

    • Like blue and yellow, green and red counteract one another so if your image looks too red, move the slider towards the green and vice versa.

If you are having difficulty choosing the best adjustment here, or you are doing too much guessing and making a mess of the color (it takes time to develop an eye for "seeing" the color), you can use the dropper icon on your screen to help you set the white balance. 

Edit Like a Pro in Lightroom Mobile

To use the dropper method, start by zooming in on your image and locate a neutral gray color (a shade of gray or white works best, like teeth or a sidewalk). 

Lightroom App Editing

Next, click on the dropper icon at the top-right of the panel above the sliders and move the dropper over the neutral gray area that your previously located on your image.  Note that you can move the dropper around to different spots (neutral grays) on your image until you feel like you have the right balance of colors.  Once you find a good white balance, tap the check mark on the screen to lock it in.

For more information on editing color in Lightroom, CLICK HERE.

Exporting Your Image

While editing is important, sharing your edited images is of equal importance.  Once you finish your edit, you can easily save and export it so you can share it on your favorite social sites. 

To share, simply tap the square and up arrow icon at the top of the screen.  When you tap on that, several options will open up.

    • Choose "Export to Camera Roll" if you want to save it with all your photos.
    • Choose "Share To" to quickly text it to a friend or to share on your favorite social site.
    • Choose "Export to Files" to save it directly to the files on your phone.

Lightroom Editing Tips Mobile

If you want more control over the exporting process, choose "Export as".

Mobile Photo Editing Tutorial


It's hard to believe that we now have such powerful editing features on a mobile device, but I'm so happy we do!  We can quickly add presets, adjust exposure and color, and share images all from one convenient and powerful mobile app.

Whether you're a veteran Lightroom desktop user or a casual photographer editing family snapshots, you will find that the FREE Lightroom Mobile App is a POWERFUL tool that can beautifully transform your images with just a few simple adjustments.

Do you have any questions or comments about Editing in Lightroom Mobile?  Just leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you!  And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)! 

Mobile Lightroom Presets