These Simple Tricks Will Make You Into An iPhone Photography Pro

The iPhone’s camera can shoot at an impressive 8 megapixels in size, making it a good replacement for most small digital cameras. Then consider that you almost always have it with you. And let’s not forget there are loads of apps that can extend the camera’s capabilities. Now you’ve got a powerful photographic device on your hands.

Apple devices famously come with minimalist manuals, if any at all. And maybe you’re not the most experienced photographer in the world.

Fret no more. Here’s your bootcamp for instantly taking better pictures with your iPhone.

Always have it with you.

Obvious? You bet. Just remember the best camera is the one you have with you.

Hold it steady!

The best bet here is to brace it against something sturdy -- a railing or streetlight, for example. Nothing can ruin a potentially great photo like blurred action right through the middle of it.

Use a tripod mount.

If you have shaky hands or still just can't seem take a steady picture, just use a tripod mount. We recommend the Glif, available here for $20.

Put your finger on the shutter release button before framing the shot.

The phone won't actually take a picture until your finger comes off of the button, so why not trim another step off of the process? This is just one more trick in helping you take a steady photo.

Stop using digital zoom!

It will pixelate your photos, and that looks amateurish. Digital zoom works by blowing up your picture, it doesn't actually refocus the lens to zoom in.

Instead of zooming in on your iPhone, just move closer to your subject.

Whenever possible, get the sun behind you.

Photographing into the sun will overexpose your photos, and that looks tacky (unless you're aiming for a specific style, of course.) With your back to the sun, your subject will be lit up nicely, which sets the stage for a great photo.

Use some funky angles.

Sure, we're all tweeting pictures of our lunch, but yours can be the best. Instead of a standard overhead shot, tilt your phone askew. Mix it up with different angles -- it's an easy way to stylize whatever you're shooting.

How about an iPhone SLR mount?

Why not go all out? You can buy an adaptor that will let you use a nice SLR lens with your phone. Check out this one for $250. (You have to provide your own lens.)

Our own Nicholas Carlson gave his iPhone the SLR treatment -- here are the photos he took.

Use other cool apps

Quadcamera is a cool camera app that shoots continuously and churns out a series of pictures as if they're film cels.

Pano stitches together multiple photos to make huge panoramic shots.

Camera+ is perfect for someone wanting a little more control and functionality out of their iPhone camera.

Self-conscious about how you look? You need FaceTune, an app for smoothing out wrinkles and otherwise touching up your face.

And Pixtr provides single-touch face Photoshopping if you want to look more like a model.

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