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Viral TikTok shows a secret iPhone trick that makes any photo look better

Updated 8 months ago
Published Apr 22nd, 2022 8:49AM EDT
A girl is shown taking a selfie with a smartphone
Image: deagreez/Adobe

While iPhone camera performance has improved drastically over the years, the built-in filters on Apple’s Photos app are surprisingly mediocre. Especially when compared to filters you see on apps like Instagram, Apple’s own offerings are decidedly uninteresting. Truth be told, if you’re looking to add some life to your iPhone photos, you need to get your hands dirty and adjust some photo settings yourself.

Thankfully, Apple makes this easy to do and a video that recently went viral on TikTok shows how easy it is to bring dull photos to life.

People love this iPhone photos trick

When I first saw this iPhone photo editing trick on TikTok, I was a bit skeptical. Though TikTok is a haven for iPhone tips and tricks, not everything you see on the site works as advertised. Nonetheless, I gave this editing trick a spin. And to my surprise, the end result was quite stunning.

If you want to take your iPhone photos to the next level, here’s how.

First, open up the Photos app and select a picture you want to improve. Next, tap the “Edit” button in the upper right-hand corner. From there, manually adjust the photo settings like so.

Raise the “exposure” and “brilliance” settings to 100. Next, lower “highlights” to -35 and decrease “shadows” to -31. Following that, tweak the “contrast” to -33. Now, lower the “brightness” setting down to -15.

Your iPhone photo may look a bit janky now, but you’re almost there.

Next, adjust the “black point” setting to 11 while bumping up the “saturation” to 11. From there, tweak “vibrance” to 9 and increase “warmth” to 11. And following that, turn up the “tint” to level 46.

Now, for the grand reveal, lower the “exposure” and “brilliance” settings all the way back down to zero.

See it in action

And just like that, you have a photo with much more vitality and life to it. The process above is admittedly tedious, but it’s shocking that the end result is superior to any of the built-in filters you find in Apple’s own Photos app.

This iPhone photos TikTok tip came from Hanna Ludwig and has already amassed more than 7 million views. You can check out the original video below.


More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.