Taking Cell Phone images to the next level with Nik Software and Photoshop

Cell phone photogaphy

 Taking boring Cell phone images is a thing of the past.

Many of us take photos every day and post them to our social media pages. Some are great, other, not so much.
In this tutorial I am going to show you that with a little effort you can take your Cell Phone Photos to the next level. It just takes a bit of effort.

1. Take the Photo

The most important aspect of this exercise is to firstly take a photo worth sharing. Once you have done it, drag it to Photoshop and let’s start editing. For this, you need the free Google plugin called Nik Collection, once installed we will need a few presets we are going to tweak. For this we will use outdoor landscape specific presets. Let’s have a look:

2. Editing your photo

Clicking on Color Efex Pro 2 will open up the following screen:

Add the following presets in this order to create a Custom recipe.

  1. DETAIL EXTRACTOR
  2. PRO CONTRAST
  3. HIGH KEY
  4. FOLIAGE
  5. POLARIZATION

Next, expand each preset by clicking on the small triangle next to the name and get your base settings as follows. Adjust to taste and photo relevancy:
Detail extractor:

Pro Contrast:

High Key

Foliage

Polarization

Now before clicking the OK button in the Bottom Right Hand Corner, click the SAVE RECIPE instead and give it a name. This way you can call up that same Recipe any time in the future and tweak the settings:
Your image will now look like this:

Next we are going to get rid of some of this noise that the Detail Extractor generated:

Head over to your main Nik panel and click the Dfine2 button:

This will open up a new window. Nothing to do here except click OK once it has computed

Right, time to crop this image. Click the crop tool and insert a friendly size for FB or any other social media upload as this example shows. I set my crop size to 3000 x 1750 pixels for this Landscape photo:

3. Making it special

At this point you could post this image as is, but let’s give it some funky Effects just for fun.

I duplicated the topmost layer twice and added some faux Tilt Shift effects for my personal final touch by adding some Gaussian Blur and a gradient Layer mask.
Have fun and start posting some Spectacular photos…..

Tilt Shift Meadow

Tilt Shift Meadow