Discover how to take great photos with the camera built into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on your phone or tablet.
A hand holds a phone while taking a photo of a lighthouse

Open the Adobe in-app camera in Lightroom on a phone or tablet

Often when you go to capture a special moment, the lighting conditions aren’t ideal. An overcast sky, a room too dimly lit, or fluorescent lighting can adversely affect your photo.

The Adobe in-app camera in Lightroom for mobile helps you take better photos instantly with options to optimize exposure, apply creative presets, and compose your shot.

Open Lightroom on your mobile device. Tap the Camera button to open the Adobe in-app camera.

The default camera mode is automatic, which is excellent for quick shots. To switch to a shooting mode that gives you more options, tap the camera mode button and select Professional.

If your phone has the capability to capture raw files, you can choose between capturing DNG raw files or JPEGs with this in-app camera. Toggle the File Format switch at the top of the screen to switch between these formats anytime.

A phone screen on the left shows the Camera Icon in Lightroom, and a phone screen on the right shows the camera interface

Select a white balance setting

White balance is a camera setting that adjusts for lighting in order to make the colors in your images as accurate as possible. The Professional camera mode offers the ability to change the white balance setting.

Under the live view of the scene, tap the WB (white balance) icon. Then tap an icon for one of these white balance options:

  • Auto White Balance (AWB)
  • Incandescent (Light bulb), or Fluorescent (Horizontal light bulb) for indoor scenes
  • Daylight (Sun), or Overcast (Cloud) for outdoor scenes
  • Custom white balance (Eyedropper), which you set by aiming your camera at a neutral-colored surface

This photo was taken outdoors, so we selected the Daylight white balance option to adjust for the outdoor lighting.

Two side-by-side phone screens, the camera image on the right of the lighthouse has a blue color cast removed

Compose your shot with an overlay grid

The Lightroom camera has several grid overlays to help you compose and frame your shot. Tap the three dots in the upper right. Then tap the Grid icon to display grid options.

The Halves grid divides the frame in half, vertically and horizontally. The Rule of Thirds grid divides the frame into thirds for a classic approach to composition. The Golden overlay is based on another classic composition guideline—the golden ratio. There is also a Level overlay, which uses the device sensor to help you align the camera with the ground for shots with a level horizon.  

Tap the Rule of Thirds icon. Compose your photo by placing your subject along or at the junction of the lines.

To hide the grid overlays, tap the Null icon in the Grid & Level display, and then tap off that display. Tap the three dots again to hide the horizontal menu.

Two phone screens with an image of a lighthouse; the screen on the right has a grid overlay

Apply a shoot-through preset

A preset is a combination of settings that gives a photo a desired look. A shoot-through preset is applied to a photo during capture. You can preview how Lightroom’s shoot-through presets will look on a photo even before capture.

Tap the Preset icon on the bottom right to display the shoot-through preset thumbnails. They include High Contrast, Flat, Warm Shadows, High Contrast Black and White, and Flat Black and White. To preview one of these presets on a photo, tap its thumbnail. Leave the preset active and press the Capture button to take the photo with the preset applied. When you edit the photo after capture, you can change any of the settings that the preset applied, which means you can always return to your original photo.

The Preset icon turns yellow when a shoot-through preset is active. To preview a scene with no presets, tap the striped thumbnail on the left to deactivate the presets. To hide the thumbnail previews, tap the Preset icon again.

Two side-by-side phone screens, the camera image of the lighthouse on the left has warmer tones

Capture the photo

Tap the white Shutter button to capture a photo of your scene.

Tap the image thumbnail in the lower left to view the most recent photo, or tap the X in the upper-left corner of the screen to exit the in-app camera and work with your photos. The Adobe in-app camera automatically saves your photo to All Photos, as well as to a Lr Camera Photos album, which you can use to quickly access all photos you have captured with the in-app camera.

Tap the X icon in the upper-left corner of the screen to exit the in-app camera (left) and work with your photos in the Lightroom Camera Photos album (right)

Experiment with different camera settings

Try different settings in Lightroom’s in-app camera to create a great photo at capture. The photos you capture with the in-app camera, as well as all the edits you apply to them in Lightroom on your mobile device, automatically sync to Lightroom on your desktop, your other mobile devices, and the web.

Before and after images of the lighthouse, the before image is colorful and the after image is black and white
05/13/2020

Photographer: Seán Duggan

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