Life as a travel photographer—or even just a photographer who likes to travel—is full of change and movement. But that shouldn’t stop you from producing stunning, industry-standard images.

By becoming adept at travel photography and portable post-processing, you get to work on your image-making career without sacrificing your exploratory lifestyle.

Editing on the move is a skill that can make you a more adaptable and proficient photographer, no matter how experienced you may be.

Here, we’ll unpack the basics of portable post-processing and how you can master it while exploring the world!

What is Portable Post-Processing?

Portable post-processing is a term used to describe any photo editing process that happens while you’re on the go. It’s the kind of editing you might need to do if you travel a lot or your daily mission involves a fair amount of commuting.

Either way, it comes in handy when you’re a wanderlust-prone person who likes to shift their environment on a regular basis!

Unlike traditional, at-home post-processing, portable post-processing doesn’t involve sitting at a regular desk or having access to the tools you might be most familiar with when it comes to digital editing. What it does mean is that you have everything you need with you wherever you go.

Being able to edit your photos on the go means you develop a whole new range of post-processing skills while becoming better at focusing on your craft in the midst of movement.

7 Tips For Portable Post-Processing

Editing On the Move: Post-Processing Tips For Travel Photographers - The List - Frayed Passport

Photo by Jimmy Chang on Unsplash

Get a Photo Editing App that is Mobile-Friendly

If you’re going to be editing photos on the go, you’ll need a powerful but mobile-friendly photo editing app. Some post-processing apps are more conducive to mobile access than others. And those are exactly the ones you want to focus on if you want a more portable approach to photo editing.

Fortunately, loads of great options fit this description, such as:

  • Adobe Photoshop Express
  • Afterlight Photo Editor
  • VSCO
  • Pixlr
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Snapseed

All of the above apps are either designed specifically for mobile access or have been adapted to mobile screens. This makes them ideal for whipping out while you’re on the bus, on a plane, or staying in accommodation without your laptop.

They don’t take up too much space and are just as capable of helping you produce professional-level photos as the laptop and PC versions.

Become Comfortable with a Smaller Screen

Adjusting to using a much smaller screen can take some time.

If your experience with post-processing has been largely PC or laptop-focused, it might feel strange to be editing photos on such a comparatively smaller screen. But once you get used to it, you won’t even notice the difference.

Give yourself a couple editing sessions before you make a decision about whether portable post-processing is really for you.

Remember, the portable approach to editing doesn’t have to be final, either. It’s mainly just for making the most of moments in between your regular photography set-up.

Obtain a Strong, Sturdy Mobile or Tablet Cover

If you spend a lot of time doing portable post-processing, investing in a durable cover for your device is a good idea.

This will make your editing experience much more comfortable and protect your device from being roughed up while on the move. Especially if you’re shooting bustling cityscapes or in busy areas.

Whether you are using a tablet or smartphone, there are loads of sturdy covers that can bolster your portable post-processing journey.

It’s a bonus if they come with little thumb hooks or a stand that can allow your hand to rest while editing.

Stock up on Data

This is important, no matter what device you’re using to edit your photos while on the go.

Laptops, smartphones, and tablets all need internet connections to upload photos, research ideas, and occasionally install different plug-ins or extensions.

Making sure you have plenty of data purchased on your device of choice means you can continue your photographic journey. Whether you’re taking photos of landscapes or street scenes, you can even upload your final edits to your online portfolio with just a few clicks. This means the world gets to travel with you!

Talk to Other Photographers who Travel a Lot

Portable post-processing is an approach to photo editing that doesn’t work for some but works really well for others.

If you’d like to improve your travel-friendly post-processing skills, connecting with others who’ve embraced a similar editing stance can inspire you to keep at it and find ways to make it work for you as an individual.

Sync Your Camera Device to Your Editing Device

Laptops and PCs are often already integrated with your digital storage systems and editing software—but the same can easily be achieved with a smartphone or other type of smaller device.

Both Mac OS and Windows offer integration and synchronization options for image management and editing. Once they’re all connected, portable post-processing can become much easier and more intuitive.

Tap into a More Playful Side

There’s something to be said for working on creative projects while on the go instead of sitting in a static environment.

Editing photos while you sit on a train in India, a beach in Costa Rica, or wherever your heart desires can allow for more interesting approaches to post-processing to develop. This will take your photography in a new creative direction and help you experiment with different thoughts and ideas.

The constant refreshing of your environment means being perpetually exposed to new angles, colors, and scenes, all of which can be beneficial to your craft from both a technical and creative perspective.

Snap, Process, See the World

Becoming a pro at post-processing isn’t necessarily a skill that you acquire overnight. It can take a while to get used to, especially if you are mostly adjusted to working on photos from home.

However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you’ve remained landlocked for so long.

Using mobile-friendly editing apps, acclimating to a smaller screen, and embracing the photography community are all ways to become a portable post-processing pro.

Have fun and happy travels!

About the Author

Krista Walters has been an active editor and writer for 8 years. She typically covers topics around photography, graphic design, and UX research. When she’s not busy writing articles, she sometimes does illustration work for clients in need of creative flair.

Featured image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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