How to Clean Up an iPhone Photo Using Photoshop

Learn some quick tips to clean up an iPhone photo with Photoshop!

The iPhone camera has continuously improved since its arrival in 2007. Although the camera quality has gone from two megapixels to twelve megapixels somehow we still manage to sometimes end up with photos that could be better – whether wit’s due to blurriness, lighting, and even graininess. There are many ways to improve the image quality of your iPhone photos, but one of the best ways is by using Adobe Photoshop. Here are a few ways to clean up an iPhone photo with Photoshop.

Content Aware Tool

Have you ever taken a picture, only to realize that it looks like a pole or tree is sticking out of someone’s head? When you’re not paying attention to the composition of your photo it is easy to not realize distracting backgrounds such as pools, trees and other unwarranted distractions. Luckily, Photoshop allows you to get rid of these distractions. You can use the content-aware tool in Photoshop to remove any large unwanted image elements. The content-aware tool uses surrounding image content to figure out what the photo would have looked like if the unwanted, distracting objects were not there. The tool then removes and repairs the area of the photo seamlessly. If you’re looking to replace smaller areas such as blemishes you can use either the content-aware tool or the Photoshop spot healing brush.

Brightness and Contrast

improve iphone photos

Some photos just don’t come out as bright as we would like them to. In Photoshop, it is very easy to make your images brighter and add contrast to the colors. In order to change the brightness and contrast in Photoshop, open your image and go to image > adjustments > brightness > contrast. After clicking on brightness and contrast you can easily move the slider either to the left or right to get your desired look.
If you just want to brighten or add contrast to one part of your photo, you can duplicate your background layer, create a layer mask, edit the brightness and contrast of the duplicated layer, and then, while on the layer mask, paint with a black brush on the parts you don’t want to add brightness and contrast to.

Noise Reduction

Even though the camera files from the iPhone have vastly improved over the years, sometimes you still get those photos that are kind of dark and grainy. In photography, the grain or pixilation in a photograph is called noise. There are two types of noise, color noise and luminance noise. Photoshop allows you to easily make the noise in your photos less noticeable. To do this open Photoshop > Click Photoshop > Preferences > File handling > Camera Raw preferences > JPEG and TIFF handling >Automatically open all supported JPEGs and TIFFs. Once you open your photo Photoshop will automatically open Camera Raw so you can begin to edit the noise. On the sidebar you can see the sections sharpening and noise reduction. You can adjust the sliders in the sections until you achieve your desired look.

If you have the Creative Cloud edition of Photoshop you do not need to open your photos in Camera Raw first. Instead, you can open your photo and go to image size where you will find a noise slider. You can also go to Filter > Sharpen > Smart sharpen. All of these options allow you to see a live preview of your photo as you adjust the noise sliders so that you can easily decide what you want the photo look like.


Whether you are a photographer or someone who just enjoys taking nice, clutter-free photos for Instagram, Photoshop can help make your pictures stand out. Once you’re done making your photographs look like they were done professionally, it’s time to display them. You can display your photos either online, throughout your home on frames, or on a digital photo frame in your office or workspace.

This post was written by Bobbi Phelps. Bobbi Phelps produces content on behalf of the digital picture frame specialists at Nixplay. An avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves exploring, hanging out with her dogs, and binge watching shows on Netflix. Tweet her @Bobbi_Phelps or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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