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How to Get Started Using Lightroom Mobile

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Adobe has been making changes to Lightroom over the last couple of years. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of Lightroom CC.

Lightroom CC is a condensed version of Lightroom Classic for your desktop, and along with Lightroom CC came Lightroom CC Mobile for your phone.

The mobile version offers a great deal of editing power in your hands. But setting it up can seem confusing. Let’s break it down and get you editing!A before and after photo of a landscape image edited with Lightroom mobile

Loading Lightroom on Your Phone

Lightroom CC and CC Mobile are both free. They do require an Adobe subscription in order to sync up together. More on syncing later, but let’s set up the mobile app on your phone first.

The Lightroom CC mobile app can be found for iPhones, Androids, and iPads. The app is free to download and use, but having a paid subscription opens up extra features.

The free app alone is quite powerful, but having the paid subscription can bring worthwhile benefits for heavy users. As a paid subscriber you’ll get mobile access to selective edit tools, the ability to edit raw files, and the ability to sync your mobile app to any desktop version of Lightroom.

You’ll also get a set of programs that come with the Photography Plan from Adobe and all their accompanying mobile apps that can be synced.

 

A screenshot of the Lightroom mobile home screen showing your folders for organizing.
The Lightroom mobile home screen shows your folders for organizing.
A screenshot of the lightroom mobile gallery
The gallery screen also has the icons at the bottom to import or take photos.

Editing a Photo

Once you download the app on your phone, open the app to get started. On the bottom right corner, you’ll see two icons. The left one is to add existing photos from your phone. The other is to take a photo with your phone to automatically bring into Lightroom.

Once you bring a photo into Lightroom mobile, you’ll have access to loads of settings that can be adjusted. All of your adjustments can be found at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see selective edits on the left if you have a paid subscription.

There is an option to Auto edit. But with so many tools at your disposal, it’s easy to get creative! The last section of tools on the right is for presets.

Lightroom CC mobile does have some standard presets installed that can be quite handy.

You can actually add your own presets from Lightroom Classic into Lightroom CC Mobile! To do this, you want to first import those presets into the Lightroom CC desktop version. Then you can sync the desktop version to your mobile app.

A screenshot of editing with Lightroom mobile
Basic lighting controls are on sliders like the desktop version.
A screenshot of editing with Lightroom mobile
Color effects can quite easily be managed with the app’s tools.
A screenshot of editing with Lightroom mobile
The effects section has tools for things like clarity and vignette.
A screenshot of editing with Lightroom mobile
Presets can also be used in Lightroom mobile!

Sharing and Organizing

Once you have a photo edited, you can easily save and share it! Click on the share icon at the top right of your screen. You’ll have options on what to do with the finished photo.

You can share to social media, save it to your phone, open it in another app, send it for editing in another app, or export the original file.

The icons at the top right also are great tools for syncing and organizing photos. The cloud icon allows you to pause syncing or download the original file to your phone. The final icon on the right has options for settings, organization, view options, and slideshows.

This final icon also gives you the option of creating a new preset from the edits on the current photo! This would create a new preset that would exist in your mobile app. You can then sync it to the desktop version if needed.

Organizing your photos is quite simple on the app as well. You can use the icon on the far right to send a photo to an existing folder. If you want to create new folders, go to the app home screen and click on the + sign.

Name your new folder and click ok. It’s that simple! You can now add photos to that folder after editing. Or you can directly import photos into that folder before applying any edits.

A screenshot of editing with Lightroom mobile
Sharing and organizing is made super simple within the app as well.

Taking a Photo

Lightroom mobile gives you an impressive amount of options for controlling setting while taking a photo! When you click on the icon to take a photo, the app goes into camera mode.

To the left of the shutter button, you’ll see three basic settings – Auto, Professional, and High Dynamic Range. Auto mode is ideal for those who want to take a quick snapshot without worrying about controlling settings.

High Dynamic Range is ideal for situations with harsh sunlight or heavy shadows.

The Professional mode is the one that gives you the most control. Within Pro mode, you can control the white balance, ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and manual focusing.

In all modes, you have a set of tools at the top of the screen! You can select between saving the photo as a JPEG or DNG, choose the photo ratio, set a timer, apply a grid or level, show any clipping, and control the flash.

The Lightroom CC mobile app provides incredible tools to control the camera. Much more so than the standard camera on any cell phone.

A screenshot of editing with Lightroom mobile
Camera settings can be adjusted by selecting Professional mode and selecting from the tools at the bottom of the screen.
A screenshot of editing with Lightroom mobile
All camera modes offer basic tools, like grid and level overlays, at the top of the screen.

Conclusion

The Lightroom CC Mobile app is a powerful photo editing app to have, whether you have an Adobe subscription or not.

It’s a fantastic tool for having control as you take photos, for organizing your current photos on the phone, and for syncing photos between the desktop versions of Lightroom and your phone.

As Adobe continues to develop its Lightroom programs, the features are bound to just keep improving!

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