Apps used for this shot

Portrait Lighting was introduced as a feature of the iPhone camera with iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. It’s an enhancement for photos shot in Portrait Mode. While it can make for a cool “photoshooting-like” effect, most results aren’t very good to be honest.
If you just enable Portrait Lighting you will end up with a washed out image with many artefacts on the edges. So the result still needs a lot of retouching. But when done right, you can achieve almost professional looking pictures.

With all its flaws, it’s still very impressive we can go from the original image on the left to the result on the right, all shot and edited on your phone in just a few minutes. These are fantastic times for mobile photography.

This is the untouched image when Portrait Lighting is enabled. As you can see there are some ugly edges we later need to retouch in Pixelmator.

But first we will make the eyes pop out. To achieve this, I desaturate everything but the eyes in Pixelmator (with the great retouching tools you can “paint” where you want to saturate or desaturate the image). Then I increase the saturation of the eyes. Also now you can clearly see the edges we’ll need to retouch in the next step.

There are different ways to remove those artefacts. You can paint over them with a soft black brush or you can increase the darkness on those spots.

One of my favourite tools in Pixelmator is the repair tool. It lets you magically wipe away unwanted pieces of your image. When I shoot pictures of my dog, she always has dirt or other “things” in her face. Those small details might seem unimportant but they devalue the quality of your photo. Erase them with the repair tool and it makes for an overall more polished look.

As for the rest of the editing I mostly use Instagram.
I love its simple yet powerful editing tools. Photos shot on iPhone often tend to seem washed out and lack contrast. That’s why increasing contrast is the first thing I do. Also I make it sharper and add structure (just play around with the structure tool until you get what you like).
It’s all about contrast. We want deep blacks and shiny highlights.

Thats it! I think it looks really cool. And remember, that’s all shot and edited on your mobile phone. In just a few minutes.

You can find more of Ora and me on instagram and if you have questions or feedback you can write us a message there too.

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May 7, 2018