How to Fix a Bad Photo: Step-by-step Guide on Transforming Your Pictures With Basic Editing Tools


When it comes to pictures, Editing plays a very important part.

As much it helps to fix things, it also gives the picture it's photographer's stamp, his signature style.

Today, we'll be discussing simple basic edits that make all the difference. For each instance, I have a picture that illustrates the point made. All pictures in this post were taken with my mobile phone, Infinix Note 2.

Pin me pretty please!

This article is not necessarily for bad photos. It's just that sometimes, the pictures we end up with isn't necessarily what we had in mind. This post just covers how to tweak photos to your liking.

When I say basic edits, I'm referring to edits like Cropping, Brightening, Saturating, Lighting corrections, and the clone tool. I believe everyone should know how to manipulate at least three out of these five.

I'll be explaining based on professional and mobile editors. The mobile editor I recommend is Snapseed. Read about it in an article and a professional photographer recommended it. Haven't turned back since.

So let's dive in.

- Warm/yellow pictures (Picture too warm before/after editing).

The picture in the "before" isn't necessarily too warm but by the time I would have increased the brightness and saturation, it would've become too warm for my style.

If your using an editor that has the Temperature feature (mobile or otherwise) then yay! All you'd need to do is reduce the warmth to your taste. DOn't over do it though.

If you don't have the Temperature feature then don't fret. Just use your levels and make the picture have more blue in it. For a more detailed post/step-by-step guide on how to do this, read this post.

-Dull lifeless picture

 Honestly, all you need to do is brighten, contrast and saturate.

But do so along other edits like the temperature, cropping, etc. Adjust these features until you get the look your going for. If it all gets messed up and you don't like the end result, start again and keep at it until you get to your goal.

In the picture above, I might have lost the blue sky but I got my tree clear and crisp which was the general goal.

- To remove unwanted objects

This one is so easy. All you have to do is crop and use the clone tool.

The clone tool simply allows you to replace a part of your picture with another part, that is, "cloning".

In the picture above, I cropped out the part below then replaced the black parts above with the white sky. Done and dusted.

For a mobile editor like Snapseed, you just select the healing feature and do the same.

- When all fails, black and white.

Sometimes, you've tried everything yet the picture just isn't to your taste. The lighting is off, things are not quite right. The ultimate solution?

The black and white filter.

Trust me on this. Take a look at the picture above. The before isn't so bad but it doesn't look appealing. It doesn't even hold the mystery I love silhoutte pictures for. After cropping, straightening and applying the back and white?

Mysterious. Dark. Intruiging.

That's what I see. The black and white filter is also very good for pictures taken under bad lighting conditions.

- Use a professional editor

Even the mobile photoshop app ain't got nothing on the photoshop on a PC/laptop. You just can't compare.

The before photo above isn't so bad but you can't compare the quality of the after photo. It looks like it was taken with a far better camera.

Sometimes, a picture is so bad that i'd have to use snapseed for my stage one edits then edit with my laptop. Why the stage one? Sometimes, I take pictures and just can't wait to refine them.

There you have it people!

To be honest, I don't do major edits to my pictures, just basic stuff because my phtography style is taking things just as I see them then enhancing just a bit so that the originality isn't lost, things just look a little better.

My number one tip is this: Pay attention to your compostion. Composition simply means the way you arrange your subjects in the photo. This is what makes the photo. Every other thing can be edited.

If you don't quite nail the composition you were going for, the crop tool is your friend. It would help you rearrange things so use it wisely.

What is/are your favourite edit(s) and (editors)?

P.S: There are no affiliate links in this post.

P.P.S: All pictures were edited with except the third picture which was edited with Snapseed.

What photography post would you want next? A step-by-step post on how I edit my Instagram photos (mobile editor) or Tips for mobile phone photography?

Leave a comment/question, I'd love to hear from you!


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  1. Great job!super helpful...well done babe

  2. Great tips. Thank you.

  3. Enjoyed this. I need to get snapseed man! I use picsart and VSCO. Would love tips on mobile phone photography.

  4. Love this post, it's so detailed. Unfortunately I'm still struggling with I need help with that.

    1. Struggling with what exactly?

      I'll try and cover the basics and how to use to make graphics soon.

  5. useful tips Ijenna! I'll def check snapped out although i mostly edit using lightroom. thanks for sharing, your pic quality is definitely buff.
    What app did you use for your post image?

    1. Snapseed is a mobile editor.

      Thanks Love. I edit my pictures and make graphics with

  6. Thank you for the knowledge. Would make good use of it. 🙆

  7. These tips are quite helpful . Time to up my game....#smiles