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7 secrets to taking great photos on your iPhone

Image stabilizer, HD video, extensive editing — modern smartphones are compact cameras and photo labs in one. By following a few tips and using the right apps, you can take photos like a pro on your iPhone.

1. Sharp shots without a tripod: Leaning on something and trying to relax is the best way to avoid camera shake when taking long exposure photos. Try taking a deep breath and then breathing half out to make your body feel less tense. Third-party photo apps such as Camera+ and ProCamera work best when the phone is held relatively still.

2. Less is more: In a good photo, there should be as little as possible that distracts from the subject. So you should get close to the subject or shoot it against a blue sky.

3. Don't get too close: Big noses, comical face shapes - this can happen if you get too close when shooting a portrait picture. This is because the short focal length of a smartphone camera can lead to distortion. Better to keep your distance and crop the photo during editing.

4. Use the grid: It's possible to straighten crooked photos in the edit, but parts of the photo will be lost. Instead, you should activate the grid of vertical and horizontal guide lines when you're taking the photo. Some camera apps use the phone's location sensor to display a spirit level.

5. Adjust exposure: If it looks like a photo is going to be over or under-exposed, you can touch the screen to focus and then use the sun symbol to adjust the exposure — pushing it up will brighten the picture and pushing it down will make it darker. But remember that if you refocus, the exposure will need to be adjusted again.

6. Learn from your good photos: Apps like ViewExif display your photos' metadata, for example the aperture and exposure time and other settings.

7. Use extensions in the Photos app: In editing mode in the iPhone app, there's a round symbol with three dots in the upper left corner. If other photo and camera apps are installed on the phone, you can access many of their features from here. Or you can transfer the photo to those apps to continue the editing there.

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