Enlight App Tutorial: How To Create Stunning iPhone Photo Edits

Enlight is a powerful iPhone photo editor app for enhancing and manipulating your images. From basic exposure adjustments to creative masterpieces, Enlight combines a huge range of editing tools into a single app. In this tutorial you’ll discover how to use Enlight to really push the limits of your iPhone photo editing. You can even follow along with your own iPhone photos in our step-by-step video demonstrations.

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How To Navigate The Enlight App

While there are many editing features packed into the Enlight app, it has an extremely well designed user interface which makes it a delight to use.

The important thing to remember when using Enlight is that you can easily access the main menu of editing tools by tapping the Menu icon (three lines) at the top right, or by swiping left across the screen:

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the features that Enlight has to offer, just tap the Enlight icon at the top left of the screen where you can take a tour of Enlight and access some useful tutorials:

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From here you can also access the app’s settings. This offers a number of customizable settings, including the ability to set the files size and image format (including TIFF files) when you save or export your edits:

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Enlight also has a really useful and intuitive Help feature that can be accessed whenever you’re using any editing tool within the app. Simply swipe down from the top of the screen to access the Help feature for that particular tool:

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How To Edit Photos In Enlight

Enlight integrates your iPhone’s photo library right into the app’s interface, making it quick and easy to grab the image you want to edit from the Photo Drawer at the bottom of the screen.

You can also expand the Photo Drawer by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This fills the entire screen with your photos, making it easier to scroll through your images:

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To open a photo from a different album, just tap the Albums option at the top left of the photos screen.

In the following sections you’ll learn about the eight different editing tools available from the main menu: Canvas, Image, Filters, Tools, Artistic, Brushes, Text and Finalize.

1. Canvas

The Canvas option in the edit menu has three tools: Crop, Skew and Refit.

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The Crop tool lets you remove the edges of your image using one of many standard aspect ratios. You can also rotate, flip and straighten your image.

The Skew tool offers the ability to apply perspective corrections to your photos. In addition to horizontal and vertical adjustments, you can also adjust the level of lens distortion.

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The Refit tool is quite unique and allows you to essentially move elements of your photo closer together without stretching or skewing those important elements. This feature requires a fairly simple background to be truly effective, but it offers potential not found in other apps.

Press “play” on the video below to learn how to use Enlight’s Canvas tools to crop, skew and refit your iPhone photos:

2. Image

The Image option in the edit menu contains three tools: Adjust, Clarity and Target.

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These tools are used for enhancing your photos by adjusting properties such as exposure, contrast, color, sharpness and clarity.

The Target tool allows you to apply targeted edits to specific regions of an image.

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You can make adjustments using either the customizable presets or the manual adjustment tools – simply select Presets or Tools from the bottom of the screen.

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From basic edits to more advanced features like Curves and Split Tone, these tools provide you with a huge range of photo editing possibilities.

Watch the video below to learn how to use the Image tools in Enlight to enhance your iPhone photos:

3. Filters

The Filters option contains a variety of preset filter effects that you can use to change the look and feel of your photos. There are three categories of filter: Analog, BW and Duo.

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Analog has a good selection of film-like filters for creating vintage or analog-inspired images. BW is for converting your image to black and white.

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The Duo feature allows you to tint your image with a blend of two different colors that you select. You can adjust the type of overlap and blending before fully applying your edit.

Again, you can either use the customizable presets or the manual adjustment tools to create just the look that you want.

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In the video below you’ll discover how to use Enlight’s filters to change the look and feel of your iPhone photos:

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4. Tools

The Tools option in the edit menu has four different tools for manipulating your images: Mixer, Reshape, Heal and Tilt Shift.

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The Mixer tool lets you blend photos together to create unique double exposure images like you see in the example below.

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It works by layering one image on top of the other, and then adjusting how much of the bottom image shows through to the top by way of a masking brush and various blend mode settings.

While this feature doesn’t offer the same amount of image control as dedicated apps like Superimpose and Union, it covers all of the basics quite well and ensures you don’t have to save your images and open them in yet another app to combine them.

The Reshape tool is for stretching and reshaping elements in your photo, and the Heal tool is for removing unwanted objects and blemishes.

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The Tilt Shift tool lets you selectively blur your image to create a tilt shift effect. This selective blurring creates the illusion of a shallow depth of field which can make your scene look like a tiny scale model.

This feature functions just like the tilt-shift tools in other editing apps, but it also has a radial blur filter which creates a blurred vignette around the edge of your photo.

You can see all four Tools options in action in the video below:

5. Artistic

If you want to push your creativity even further, you should definitely try out the Artistic tools in Enlight.

Here you have three tools: Painting, Urban and Sketch. These artistic options can be used to transform your photos into fantastic pieces of digital art.

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You can easily turn your photos into beautiful paintings or pencil sketches using either the presets or the manual adjustment tools which allow for a high degree of fine tuning.

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The Urban tool can be used to apply fun and creative urban art effects, from grungy textures to graphic and text-based graffiti-like art.

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Watch this video to see how you can apply these artistic effects to your own iPhone photos:

6. Brushes

The Brushes option lets you draw and paint on your photos. This section has two tools: Doodle and Effects.

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The Doodle tool has a selection of basic brush types that you can use to draw on your photos with your finger or a stylus.

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The Effects tool has a collection of different graphics such as abstract patterns, bokeh, bubbles, hearts, snowflakes, leaves and birds that you can quickly and easily apply to your image.

7. Text

If you like to caption your images or otherwise enhance them with text, you can easily do this with Enlight’s Text tool. There are three text options: Type, Decals and Meme.

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The Type tool offers full control over the wording, style and placement of text. After tapping the Type tool, press and hold on the text box that appears to access the keyboard and type your text.

After adding text to your photo, you can move it around and customize it using different font styles, colors, drop shadows, blending modes and more.

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For something a bit more stylized, the Decals tool allows you to apply pre-made “stickers” with a variety of common phrases.

Like the Type tool, you can adjust the size of the Decal text, change its color and reposition it wherever you like.

Finally, the Meme tool makes it easy to create your own thematic memes for sharing on social media.

8. Finalize

The last option in the editing menu is Finalize. This section contains four tools: Border, Frame, Instafit and Collage.

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These tools can be used to add some final touches to your images before printing or sharing.

The Border and Frame tools give you the option of applying a classic or decorative border to your photos. They’re fully customizable so you can change properties such as color, width and opacity.

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Instafit can be used to position your photo on a square background for sharing on Instagram (even though you can now share non-square images to Instagram).

The background that you position your photo on top of can be a solid color, a pattern, or a blurred version of the photo itself.

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Last of all, the Collage tool lets you combine several photos into a variety of different collage layouts. This is a great option if you have a series of photos that would look good displayed together.

How To Apply Selective Edits With The Mask Tool

You may have noticed that when you’re using certain editing tools, a “Mask” option appears at the bottom right of the screen.

The Mask feature is a powerful tool that gives you the the ability to selectively apply your edits to just certain parts of your image.

For example, you could apply the black and white filter to certain areas of your photo, leaving the rest in color.

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To do this you simply apply the effect you want to use on your photo, then tap the Mask option on the bottom toolbar.

You can then use the masking tools to selectively apply your edits to certain portions of the image using your finger as a “brush.”

In the video below you’ll learn how to use the Mask tool to apply selective edits to your iPhone photos:

As you grow more comfortable with Enlight, you’ll find the ability to apply edits selectively with the masking brush is one of its most powerful features.


While there are many great iPhone photo editing apps out there, Enlight manages to combine a huge range of adjustments, filters and artistic tools into one single app. It has almost everything you could possibly need, all in one single package.

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Whether you want to make simple adjustments to exposure and color, or get creative with painterly effects and text, Enlight will satisfy most of your photo editing needs.

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You can download Enlight for $3.99 from the App Store. This is a bargain considering how many great editing features are included within the app.

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  • Elaine Taylor

    Was wondering whether to get this app. Think I will now. This is a great article. Cheers Rob!

    • Rob DePaolo

      Thanks Elaine! I have a feeling that Enlight will be well-suited to your style too. Let me know what you think! 🙂

  • Adrianna

    I learned something today. Another great utility that is must have for digital photography is Binfer. A nice photo sharing tool to add to the list.

    • Rob DePaolo


      I’m not familiar with that app, nor can I find it on the app store. If you have a link, please share it so that we can check it out. Thanks!

  • Fardeen Beharry

    is it better than snapseed??? i mean its a paid app 3.99. what features are so unique to this app. and does it justify the cost? its it the ultimate editing app on the iphone? i’m a little apprehensive

    • Fardeen Beharry

      just purchased the app, i am not so impressed with its price, i will stick with my snapseed and camera + editing features. this app crashes too much on my 4s when i try to save. only the mask feature is intesting to me, the rest is easy found in free apps. i do hope this app gets improved with additional features with time. i consider my purchase as an investment for future updates and knowing the price will be up soon

    • Rob DePaolo

      Hi Fardeen,

      The app store does indicate that Enlight is optimized for iPhone 5 and newer, so that might be part of the problem. It also required iOS 8.1 to function properly. Is your phone fully updated? Are you planning to upgrade your iPhone in the near future? If you are, I’m sure that you will have a much better experience with Enlight after doing so.

      While this app does a lot, no app is perfect for everyone. That’s one of the things that is so great about mobile photography. There are so many apps available that we are all almost sure to find a handful that work well for our individual needs. Snapseed and Camera+ are also great apps. If the large number of free apps offer enough functionality to meet your editing needs, then that’s great! It’s all about what YOU need as a photographer.

      I would be hard pressed to say that ANY app is the “ultimate” editing app for iPhone users. It really depends on your needs. To be honest, while Enlight has quickly found a permanent place on my iPhone, it still hasn’t replaced my go-to app for 90% of my editing. That’s not to say that Enlight can’t do what I want it to do–it certainly can–it’s more a matter of my typical workflow and how I prefer to manage my editing process.

      Let me know if you have any specific questions regarding the app, and I will be happy to help you out in any way that I can. Cheers!

    • Fardeen Beharry

      Thanks a lot 🙂 I do plan to upgrade in the future. I do love the masking feature.

  • Denise

    There are 2 Enlight apps in the App Store by different developers. Both have the exact same information and photo examples. One is for iPhone and the other is for both iPhone and iPad. What is going on?

    • Rob DePaolo

      Hi Denise, I don’t see the other version that you are referring to. Did you use the link in the article above? I’ve checked the app store on my iPhone, iPad, and Desktop just in case one of the versions you mention was device-specific (as often happens), but I still couldn’t find the other version. Can you provide a link? Thanks!

  • puerh

    Thanks for the tutorial! I bought the app Friday and spent the weekend playing with it. Love it and can’t wait for part 2.

  • Great tutorial. Thanks Rob.

  • Gilly

    Hi Rob – I seem to be acquiring a number of apps as I work my way through the available tutorials. You mentioned in this one on Enlight that while you use it, it hasn’t replaced the one you use for 90% of your editing, care to share what that one is? My hope is to develop a good workflow that has me well versed in 3 or 4 apps. Thanks for a great tuturoial, next up putting it into practice.

  • Merian

    Hi Rob, is it possible to remove people that are in the picture? I hope you can help me?

  • Sue

    Anyone know how I delete an entire photo?

  • Mike Weston

    One point to note when considering this app alongside others (e.g. Snapseed) is that it can’t export full high resolution images (e.g. Those from a dslr). The image resolution is limited to iPad or iPhone res.

  • Christina

    At a purchase price of almost $7 Australian I am a little concerned about the comment regarding the export resolution. Can you tell me at what res we can export please and where in the app can we change this. Great informative tutorial.

    • Hi Christina. I’m glad you enjoyed the tutorial. Images are saved at full resolution, so if you edit an image in Enlight it will be saved with exactly the same number of pixels as the original image. You can change export quality in Enlight’s settings by tapping the far left icon at the top of the screen and then going to Settings. Hope that helps.

  • Hello – is there a way to view a photo’s edit history? I have customised a duo filter for a photo a few months ago and I would love to get the parameters to apply the same filter to a few other ones.
    Thank you!

  • Leola

    Can I add Enlight as a photo extensions under More in the native Photo App on iOS 10?

  • T Mung

    Can I use Enlight to crop photos to other shapes – like circles or ovals?

    • Enlight doesn’t have this option, but the Frames tool in the Afterlight app lets you crop to different shapes. Here’s a tutorial that shows you how to do it: http://iphonephotographyschool.com/afterlight/

    • T Mung

      Thanks Kate, I’ll definitely check that out. I’m finding that cropping to shapes other than the traditional photography rectangles or squares is a little harder to find. I appreciate your post.

  • Ashley Kahoonei

    Can u save or send ur work to google drive or email

  • Sally Harrington

    How do I change the background so that it is one color covering the entire background?

  • I can’t find my saved pics in Enlight

  • Nayotay

    Is there a way to flip a photo in the opposite direction?