How to Apply Filters and Tweak Contrast in Your Photos App on iPhone

If you’re not one to splurge on third-party editing apps, but you would still like the benefits of being able to apply filters to your photos or tweak their contrast and color, then you’re in luck! Your iPhone’s built-in Photos app already has all the tools you’ll need to create just the right image you want. Here’s how to apply filters and tweak contrast in your Photos app on iPhone.

How to Apply Filters & Tweak Contrast in Your Photos App

  • Open up your Photos app and choose the photo you'd like to edit.
  • Tap the icon at the bottom of the screen that looks like three horizontal lines with a circle on each line.
  • To apply a filter to your photo, tap the filters icon at the bottom, which looks like a venn diagram with three overlapping circles. Here you’ll be able to scroll through a small collection of filters, ranging from Mono to Instant.



  • If you want a little more control over your edits, select the manual adjustment icon (illustrated by a dial). Here you’ll be given three options—Light, Color, and B&W.


  • When you select the down arrow by Light, you’ll be given the option to adjust brilliance, exposure, highlights, shadows, brightness, contrast, and black point.
  • When you select contrast (or any of the other options) a dial will appear at the bottom that allows you to adjust the contrast by scrolling either left or right—left to tone contrast down, and right to intensify it.

  • The Color option lets you adjust saturation, contrast, and cast.
  • The B&W option lets you choose from a variety of black and white adjustments.


You can play with the various options to see what you like and don’t like. If you hold your finger on the photo you’re editing, it will show you the original. Once you've finished editing your image, select Done to accept your changes or Cancel to discard them. And if you decide, at any point, that you want to return to the original image, simply go to edit the photo again and tap Revert.

Top image credit: perrunjela /

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