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Here’s How to Take Superior Pictures With Your Smartphone

Smartphones have great cameras built in, yet tapping a button on the screen often sends a small quake through your device and you wind up with a blurry picture. Fortunately there are plenty of easy ways to get around frustrating quirks and nail that shot.

iStock/Thinkstock

Give Your Phone a Moment

It’s important to let your phone adjust to the lighting conditions. When
you first pull up your camera app, don’t snap immediately—the picture
could come out a bit discolored or otherwise weird-looking. Instead,
give the camera a second to adjust.


iStock/Thinkstock

Tap to Focus

It’s obvious but easily forgotten. Anytime you’re taking a picture on
your smartphone, don’t forget to tap your finger on the area you want to
have pop in the picture. Doing so ensures that you’re capturing Grandma
with her piña colada and not the seagull tearing at bread a few feet
back.

Claire Benoist for Reader's Digest

Try a Clip-on Lens

Sure, you can zoom in with your phone’s built-in camera, but the reality
is, your phone’s equipment is only cropping the image: It lacks the
parts to zero in properly, so zoomed pictures turn out grainy.
For a true zoom, you’ll want to buy a snap-on lens for your phone. They
run the gamut from $15 to more than $100, so make sure to read product
reviews to find the right one for your phone.

iStock/Thinkstock, Logo image courtesy Androidslide

Use an App

Your phone comes with a basic camera app, which generally provides a
no-frills point-and-shoot experience with limited ability to edit
photos. You can do better. Look for options that allow you to eliminate
camera shakiness and to substantially edit a picture’s appearance to get
the color and sharpness you want. Those who use iOS can get all of this
with Camera+, while Android owners can opt for Camera Zoom FX.

iStock/Thinkstock, Logo image courtesy VSCO Cam

Filter, Filter, Filter

Instagram is so popular, in part, because of its addictive filters that
let you put a different spin on photos—vintage, comic book, you name
it. But there’s no need to lock yourself into the social-networking
service: Other apps offer plenty of customizable filters. Try VSCO Cam,
available for most iOS and Android devices. Not only does it offer a
bevy of built-in options, but it also allows you to purchase others
(such as specific packs for, say, “Portraits,” “Faded and Moody,” or
“Bright + Warm”) for a small fee.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest