Editing Photos During A Hike (Lightroom)

Editing Photos During A Hike (Lightroom)

Have you ever taken a photo while hiking but it needs to be slightly altered in someway? While on a long hike it can be hard to access a computer to just lift the shadows or reduce the exposure of an image. Luckily, Lightroom has a mobile app that is powerful enough to make these minor adjustments. And it it free!

Lightroom one of the major parts of what I think makes up the best hiking apps.

Have you ever wanted to add a bit of yellow to a sunrise?

Or bring out the shadows?

Or bring out the true colour of the rock?

Here is how I edited this photo from Teton National Park while on trail.

Step 1: Import photos to Lightroom


Step 2: Click on the “Light” icon and press “Auto”. This will alter the basic functions of the image to what Lightroom suggests. This step will give you a good idea if this photo is worth pursuing as it should be close(ish) to the final product.


If you have decided that the image might be good and is worth developing, continue to Step 3.

Step 3: Click on the “Crop” icon.


First, straighten the picture. The “Straighten” icon can work, but manual seems to be the usual way to get it right.

Second, crop the image to the area that you want. Make sure that you change the bottom right icon from original dimensions to custom.

Step 4: Go back to the “Light” icon to refine


I often reduce the “Exposure” slightly (often 0.1 to 0.3) over what the app auto generates. I do this to bring out the sky or light beams. It does make the image darker and to counter this, I almost always increase the “Shadows”.

The other option I alter is the “Contrast”, but do not often touch the “Whites” and “Blacks”.

Step 5: Adjust the “Colour”.


The Auto on this section usually boosts the “Temps” a long way to the warmer yellows , so I usually “Auto” adjust and then manually adjust the yellows “Temps” as needed.

Step 6:

Sometimes you want to only alter given colour. This is often making the red wildflowers brighter, or reduce a oversaturated colour. In this case, I thought that the sky was a bit bright and detracted from the rest of the image so I reduced the saturation (colour intensity) of only the blues in the image.


In this case it also slightly faded the colours of the back left rock face as they were cast in a blue hue, and I felt that this drew the eye more to the setting sunset and the centre of the photo.

Step 7:


I usually boost the clarity for a slightly sharper image, and I will occasionally use the dehaze when the wildfire smoke is in full force.

Step 8:

The last editing process step is to change the highlights or the shadow colours. The highlights are where the sun is hitting the photo and the shadows are in the shade.


At sunset it often beneficial to boost the yellows.

Step 9:

The last step is to save the photo. Hit the top right icon and then save to device. Now you can share and enjoy.

Here are the rest of the apps I use when hiking: The Best Hiking Apps