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How to edit photos with iOS 8's Photos app

Here at Macworld we’ve talked a lot about iOS 8 and its new features. One of them that I wanted to focus on today is the Photos app and the editing capabilities you find there.

Unlike in the past where Photos was basically just a shoebox for holding your images, you can now perform some cool image manipulation there. Let’s take a look.

We’ll start by launching Photos. Here’s my image. We start by tapping on Edit. The top tool is the magic wand. Using it Photos will make its best guess at how it can improve your image. If you don’t want to use it, just tap it to turn it off.

The first thing I’d like to do is crop my image, so I tap on the crop tool and I see a wheel on the left. You use this wheel to rotate your image. To crop your image, just drag on its corner handles, use your finger to drag your image into position, and then tap on another tool.

The next tool includes preset filters. If you’d like your image to look as poor as snapshots taken in the 50s and 60s, go ahead and apply one of these filters by tapping on it. If you’re not happy with them, tap on None to remove any applied filter.

I find the next set of tools the most helpful. The first is for adjusting things like brightness, exposure, shadows, and black point. To make an adjustment, just pull down or up on the thumbnail strip. The small dot in the middle of the strip marks where the strip was set before you made an adjustment.

If you’d like to adjust parameters individually, just tap on the menu icon and you can choose what you’d like to adjust. I’m big on adjusting shadows and highlights so I’ll do that now.

You can compare the edits you’ve made to the original by tapping and holding on the image. While I hold I see the original. When I let go, there’s the edited version. I haven’t adjusted much so the change is subtle.

I can also adjust contrast and black point. I can then change saturation, color contrast, and cast—so make images cooler or warmer.

You can also select Black and White and adjust the kind of black and white effect you get. To undo that effect, just tap on B&W.

When you’re ready to save your edited image just tap Done. You can then use that image as you would any other.

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