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Significant advancements in technology have allowed cell phones to do more than just make phone calls. The integration of apps and touch-screens have allowed manufactures to consolidate the use of individual gadgets into one sleek, portable, pocket sized device. Now that we literally have this technology in the palms of our hands, it's allowed us to perform certain tasks more efficiently, without the use of a desktop computer.

Prints on Wood understands this technology, and we encourage the use of it. That's why we'll be publishing a new series teach-savy blog articles, helping to shed some light on how to edit photos and images solely with the use of your smartphone. In 2013, a study released in December stated that over 300 million iPhones are in use around the world. To put that in perspective, that's roughly one iPhone for every man, woman, and child in the US.

Given the user-friendly interface and popularity of the iPhone, this week we'll show you how to edit pictures taken with your phone using Apple's Photos application.  A perfect way to get the look you want on your next wood print order.  To begin, make sure that your phone's operating system is current and up to date. (Currently iOS 7.0.4)

Now access the Photos application by selecting the Photos icon on the touch screen. Once open, select the photo you would like to print. For this exercise, I'll be using an image of my friend's (handsome) son. Once your image is selected, it should enlarge with a white header/footer appearing on your screen.

To access Photos editing features, touch Edit at the top right of your screen.

photo-1After pushing Edit, the header/footer should turn black, and 5 icons should appear at the bottom of your screen.

photo 2

As we move forward, lets go over each icon and one by one to get a feel for it's use.


The Rotate tool at the bottom left of the screen is pretty self explanatory. It rotates your image 90 degrees counter-clock wise.

As you can see, the picture of my friend's son is sideways. That's because I turned my phone to take a landscape photograph. If your image is like mine, just keep on tapping the Rotate icon until the orientation of the photo is to your liking.

Once you have the image the way you like it, tap Save at the top right hand corner of your screen.


The Auto-Enhance tool (2nd icon from the left) automatically adjusts the lighting, color, and contrast of your image. Tapping on the Auto-Enhance icon once adjusts the image, tapping on it twice removes these effects.


As you can see, the image on the left is slightly warmer.  Depending on the quality of your photo, these effects can be negligible. I happen to prefer the image with Auto-Enhance, so to apply this effect to my photo, I'm going to tap Save on the top right corner of the screen.

FILTERThe Filters tool (center icon) displays several colored variations of your photograph that you can scroll through at the bottom of the screen.


After using Auto-Enhance on my image, I'm happy with the look of my photo. I'm choosing not to use a filter for this print, but feel free to use these filters at your discretion. Remember, filter's can enhance the look and feel of the image, so take time playing with these effects and select the best one for your image.

Once you have selected a Filter to your liking, you can tap APPLY to save these changes to your photograph. Since I'm not using a Filter, I'm going to tap Cancel on the top left corner.


The Red-Eye Removal tool (2nd icon from the right) does exactly what is says, it allows you to remove any red-eye effects that can occur when using a flash in a low-light setting.

My photo was taken in natural light, so this effect is unnecessary for my wood print.  For those using a photograph with any unwanted red-eye effects, the Red-Eye Removal tool works similar to Auto-Enhance. To use this effect, after tapping the Red-Eye Removal icon, tap each red eye in your photograph. If you make a mistake and tap the wrong area, you can simply tap the same spot again to remove the effect.

REDThe Red-Eye Removal tool has an auto-detect feature. As you can see, the eyes of my friend's son are ridiculously blue, so even when I tried to use the filter for the sake of this article, I was unable to do so. If you felt the need to use the Red-Eye Removal tool, just tap Apply in the top right corner to save this effect to your image.


The Crop tool (far right icon) is the most advanced of the image effects available in Photos. It cuts down the excess areas in the photograph, allowing you to focus on a central point in the image.

When you click on the Crop tool, a grid should appear over the photograph.

photo 6

As you can see, there's 4 thick brackets in the corners of the grid. Think of these as handles that allow you to adjust the dimensions of your image. Tap and drag on these handles to manipulate the shape and size of the grid. The grid represents the Live Print Area of your image. This means that everything inside of the grid is what will be printed, everything outside of the grid will be omitted.

As you might notice after playing with the grid handles, it's a bit tricky to get an exact specific shape. If you're planning to post this image online, it's not really an issue. If you want to submit this image for a custom wood print, then this can be problematic.

If you look at my example, I tried to zero in on the face of my friend's son, but some how managed to flubb it all up. : /

photo 7Whoops

This is where the ASPECT feature of the Crop tool becomes invaluable. By tapping Aspect on the bottom center of the screen, a menu appears with several different image dimensions.

photo 8

Selecting any one of these dimensions will constrain the size of the adjustable grid to reflect your selection, accurately cropping your image to the dimensions of your choice. Since 8x10 happens to be the standard dimensions for headshots, lets go ahead and select those dimensions for this exercise.

photo 9

Now the dimensions of our grid is a perfect 8:10 ratio, unfortunately, the focus of your image may shift after using the Aspect feature like mine has. Don't panic though, this problem is easily corrected. You can tap + drag the image inside of the gird to adjust it's placement in the Live Print Area.

photo 10

Using the lines of the grid as a reference, I shifted the desired focal point of my image using the tap + drag technique to be centered inside of the Live Print Area.

I really like the placement of my image, but I feel that it's a bit too large for my custom wood print. If you find yourself in a similar situation at this point in the exercise, you can adjust the size of your image by Pinching the image. Taking your thumb and index finger, use both fingers to tap the screen inside of the grid. Once both fingers are touching the screen, you can swipe them in a closing motion to shrink your image. On the flip-side, if you feel the image is too small, use the same Pinching technique by swiping both fingers in a opening motion.

photo 11

You'll now see that I have cropped my image to the exact dimensions I'd like to have it printed, in addition to adjusting the placement and sizing my image to fit comfortably inside the Live Print Area. If you're like me and have your picture exactly how you want it, tap Crop in the top right corner to save these effects to your image.

photo 12

Now just tap save again to apply all of the effects you used during this exercise, and voilà! We used the Rotate tool, Auto-Enhance, and the Crop tool to create a lovely image that would make a perfect custom wood print/lasting gift!

Keep in mind that these tools are very user friendly and simple to use, but it will take several attempts to get a full grasp of the range of each effect. So be patient and do a couple of small scale projects and tests before committing to using all 5 effects in one sitting.

If you take your time and consult this How-To one step at a time, the entire process should become more uncomplicated with practice.


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