Tech Guide

Here are two cool iPhone camera tricks you're probably not even using

Key Points
  • The iPhone has a lot of neat tricks to help you improve your pictures.
  • Burst mode is one tool you can use, and you can also turn photos into GIF-like loops.
Close up on iPhone camera
Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images

You don't need to be a professional photographer to take some pretty cool shots with your iPhone. You just need to know where to look on the device so that you're using the right options to get the best shot. This isn't about applying filters. Rather, there are two things you can do to almost immediately take cooler pictures.

Burst mode

Use burst pictures so you can pick the best one.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

I forgot about this until I was messing around with my iPhone this morning, but it's really useful for making sure you get the right shot, particularly if you have a baby in your arms or a dog that won't stop moving. Here's what you do:

  • Open the camera app on your iPhone.
  • Instead of tapping the shutter button just once to take a picture, hold it for a few seconds.
  • Your iPhone will snap several pictures per second.
  • Now, when you go back to review the picture, tap "Select.." at the bottom of the screen.
  • You'll see every picture your iPhone took while you were holding the shutter button down, all in a span of a few seconds.
  • Pick the best option, like the one where your baby is smiling or the picture that captures your friend hitting the water after jumping from the dock.

Always swipe up!

Swipe up on an image to find fun effects.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Another trick is to always swipe up when you're going through your pictures. Apple lets you do a lot of fun things with your pictures, including turning them into a loop, which is particularly fun when goofing off with friends. Your phone will save it as a GIF.

Note: this only works with Live photos, so make sure you're not using portrait mode.

To do this:

  • Take a picture on your iPhone.
  • Open the picture you just shot.
  • Slide up on the iPhone screen with your finger.
  • Under effects, select the one you want, like Live, Loop, Bounce or Long Exposure.

And then you can make a picture like this:

My dog Mabel in bounce loop.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
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