How to crop, edit and share photos on iPhone and iPad

The iPhone has completely changed how we take photos. There is an old addage that the best camera is that one that you have with you. For most people today, that tends to be their iPhone. Luckily for us, a good part of Apple’s focus has been on empowering users with a camera whose quality rivals the absolute best point and shoots. So not only is the iPhone often always with us, it can also create some beautiful photographs. In recent revisions of iOS, there is so much more that you can do with your photos. Here’s how to crop, edit and share your photos on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

crop, edit, share photos iPhone

Managing and organizing your images takes place in the Photos application. Open up the app on any of your iOS devices and you’ll have access to your Photos that are both stored on your device and on Photostream. Open up any of your photos and I’ll guide you through how you can edit.

At the top right of the photo, you’ll see an edit button. If you don’t see any menu options, tap once in the middle of the picture. Once you select Edit, you’ll see a row of four icons. These are your editing tools, so let’s tackle them left to right.

Rotate photo: The arrow icon allows you to move your image counter-clockwise in 90 degree increments.

Auto-Enhance: The magic wand really is magic. It takes your photo and does it’s very best to improve upon the original. As you can see below, here’s a photo I shot of a cup of Starbucks. Which photo do you prefer? If you like the effects of Auto-Enhance, just click on the yellow save button at the top right of the display.

Auto enhance photo iPhone

Remove Red-Eye: When shooting in a dark environment, using a flash might be necessary. The unfortunate consquence is that it can result in red-eye, essentially ruining a perfectly good photograph. Don’t worry, there is hope. If you thought the Auto-Enhance tool was magic, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Tap the red circular icon with the slash through to activate the tool. Now tap once on each eye.

remove red eye iPhone

Tip: Using your thumb and index finger, pinch your fingers outward to zoom in on the eyes.

Bonus Tip: In some cases, the tool might incorrectly correct more than just the pupil, resulting in your loved one looking more like someone from The Walking Dead. Just tap again on the eye to remove the correction.

Crop Tool: The final tool available to you within Photos is the crop tool. Tap on the tool and you’ll see a grid over your image. If you’ll notice the four corners are thicker. You can ‘grab’ them with your finger and adjust your crop.

Crop photo iPhone

When cropping a photo on your iPhone, you’ll see an option below to Constrain. The tool above allows you to freely transform your image. Tap on the constrain option and it presents a few common sizes, some of which are great options if you have plans to print your photo.

Here are all the options, graphically represented.

Crop image size

  • Square
  • 3×2
  • 3×5
  • 4×3
  • 4×6
  • 5×7
  • 8×10
  • 16×9

How To Recover Original Photos On iPad, iPhone
When you take a photo on an iOS device, Apple saves that original image, regardless of the edits. While the tools above ‘save’ an image, they don’t overwrite the original image data which is saved. To revert a photo back to the original is easy, but requires different methods depending on whether you are on an iPhone as opposed to an iPad.

On the iPhone, you have to go to each tool and reverse course. If you want to turn off Auto-Enchance, tap the tool and then tap where it says Auto-Enhance On. This will change to off. In the case of the crop tool, you can select ‘Original Image’. Follow these steps for each tool you used when you first began the image editing process.

On the iPad, to recover an original photo is much easier. If there is a single edit, you can simply select ‘Undo’. To completely revert an image, select the ‘Revert to Original’ option in the top bar of the Edit Photo screen. If you have an original iPad, this option is not availble to you, as it’s an option for iOS 6 users only.

Restore original photo on iPad

Sharing Photos

Once your finished cropping, enhancing and editing your photo, you’ll probably want to share it. You’ve got options galore to share photos from your iPhone or iPad. To share a single photo, tap on the arrow icon. On the iPhone, it’s at the bottom left. On the iPad, it’s diagonally across from it on the top right. This button functions are identicaly between the two.

Mail: Sends an email with the shared photo. You’ll need to enter in the contact email address, a Subject and you can also include a personal message. Before sending, you’ll be asked what size photo you would like to send. If the recipient is using a large display or retina display iPad, they’ll appreciate a larger image. The larger the image, the more pixels and overall better image quality. Photos taken with the iPhone are roughly 1.6MB, so won’t take long to either send or receive. Photos offers the option to send these sizes:

  • Small: 39.6KB
  • Medium 98.7KB
  • Large 478KB
  • Actual Size 1.6MB

sharing photo email

Tip: To select more than one photo to share using email, tap on Edit and then the photos you would like to share.

Bonus Tip: When sharing photos using Mail, you are restricted to a limit of five photos.

The iPhone, we carry it everywhere and it delivers stunning photos that are often on par or exceed the quality of images found on point and shoot cameras. You can achieve amazing results using the iPhone, but in cases where your photos need improvement there are an abundance of editing tools that include auto-enchance, red-eye removal, cropping and photo rotation. If you’re unhappy with your edits, there are many ways to revert back to your original. With a plethora of sharing and image editing options, the Photos app is great for new and advanced iPhoneographers.

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