5 Smartphone Hacks that Help You Take Better Pictures

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Smartphones have drastically changed the way we communicate with each other on a daily basis.

They give us the ability to capture moments instantly without the need for bulky camera equipment or the need for a separate camera.

We put together a list of some pretty cool smartphone hacks that will help you take awesome smartphone photos you’ll be thrilled to share.

Let’s check out some smartphone hacks!

Five Smartphone Hacks For The Smartphone Photographer

Taking better photos on your smartphone is way easier and more possible than you think!

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Crop, Crop, Crop!

Do you use the zoom feature on your smartphone camera often?

Consider cropping more often than you use that zoom feature. It’s very common for people to use the zoom feature when focusing on a subject, especially a small one.

While zooming definitely works for professional-grade cameras, the same effect doesn’t translate well for smartphone cameras. When you zoom using a smartphone camera, the image quality degrades significantly.

And nobody like a fuzzy, blurry photo.

Instead, crop your photos when you’re beginning the editing process for your photos. The subject you’re photographing will be clearer and your photo will come out much better.

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Investigate Editing Apps

Smartphone photographers that take memorable, clear, beautiful photos always edit their photos in some way. There are quite a few editing apps out there that you should check out– and yes, they’re free!

These apps are free, easy to use, and are worth trying out:

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Snapseed

Snapseed is an all-purpose photo editing app that is great for correcting and enhancing. A few features of this app include:

  • Frame and text options
  • Crop, straighten, rotate, and correct perspective
  • Exposure and color adjustments
  • Brushing and smudging tools
  • Easy color to black-and-white editing

Snapseed also has some vignette and filter features as well, and is available for iPhones and Android phones.

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VSCO

If you love filters, VSCO is the app for you. Just a few features of this great editing app include:

  • Typical image adjustments like exposure, color, cropping, etc.
  • Easy one-click presets
  • Adjustable filter visibility
  • Multiple presets and add-ons available to download
  • Photo sharing abilities within the app

Internet acting slow? No worries– VSCO can run offline with the exception of photo sharing. This app is available in the App Store and Google Play.

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Pixlr

Pixlr is great because it is versatile. Not only is this app a great phone app for editing, but they also boast a desktop version that can be used in-browser. Think Photoshop, but totally and completely free. A few features include:

  • Basic photo editing like cropping, sharpening, color correction, etc.
  • An Express version that has hundreds of filters, stickers, and effects on top of basic photo editing abilities

Pixlr is available for Android phones and iPhones.

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Consider Downloading A Separate Camera App

This may seem a bit redundant; why should you have an additional camera app when your phone camera app works perfectly fine?

However, your phone’s built-in camera app may not have pro features that can help you take better photos.

Check out these camera apps:

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BestMe Selfie Camera

If you’re crazy about taking selfies, this selfie camera app may be a good choice for you. BestMe Selfie Camera includes:

  • Over a hundred filters, stickers, and emojis
  • Typical editing abilities you’d find in an editing app
  • Selfie stick support

Developers for this app have also said that they will eventually implement a real-time filter for recording video. BestMe Selfie Camera is available for both Android and Apple phones.

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Camera FV-5

This camera app comes in both a free and paid version. Camera FV-5 has a ton of features that are similar to professional cameras, including:

  • Adjustable exposure settings
  • Shutter speed
  • ISO
  • Light metering and calculating
  • White balance
  • RAW and PNG support
  • Crop grids
  • Live RGB histogram

This camera app is great for photographers that want to have total control over the photos they take with their smartphone. Camera FV-5 is available in the App Store and Google Play.

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Camera Zoom FX

This camera app is free and has a paid version too. Camera Zoom FX has a little bit of everything and would work great for smartphone users that don’t want to download a bunch of separate apps. A few features include:

  • Manual camera controls like ISO, focus, shutter speed, etc.
  • RAW support
  • HDR
  • Time lapse
  • Panorama photo capabilities
  • Live effects
  • Basic editing features

Camera Zoom FX is available for all phones and we suggest shelling out the money to buy the full version– it is totally worth it.

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Lighting Is More Important Than You Think

Whether you’re a professional photographer, filmmaker, or designer, you know how important lighting is for creating a piece of visual art. Lighting is important for modest smartphone camera users, too. Beautiful photographs have fantastic lighting.

You don’t have to go to school or take lessons to understand the fundamental basics of lighting. There’s a ton of great resources on the internet that can give you a good idea about how lighting works. Here are a few basics:

  • Control exposure. Exposure is the amount of light in a photo. Too much exposure makes a washed-out photo, and too little exposure makes a photo very dark. Before you even take the picture, take a few test pictures to see if adjustments should be made beforehand.
  • Control ISO. ISO is the photography term for light sensitivity. Check your camera app to see if you can control light sensitivity and set it to the lowest possible value to avoid graininess and discoloration.
  • Be mindful of direction. Light sources behind and in front of your subject can make the image look totally different. Experiment with positioning light sources to see what looks best.

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Avoid The Blur

People tend to think that blurring and vignette effects are the best way to focus on a specific subject. However, that’s not entirely true– overusing blur can make your photos look pretty cheesy.

Adding blur with an editing app can be an even bigger catastrophe. Lenses naturally blur when focusing, but adding in a blur can look unnatural and too uniform.

To make viewers focus on the subject, try keeping the subject as centered as possible in the frame. Also, try cropping properly as well.

Start Snapping!

We hope these smartphone hacks can help you change the way you take smartphone pictures. Now you can be your own professional photographer with the awesome technology your smartphone offers.

Whether it’s helping you be more productive or getting you to the gate with the ease of a seasoned traveler, our New Life Hacks have you covered.

Do you have a smartphone photography tip or hack you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments!

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