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Get creative with your smartphone camera using DIY methods

There are many ways to get cool snapshots using your smartphone camera, with a myriad of photo apps here to help you. You can even purchase various accessories for your camera to shoot macro or super wide-angle scenes. But why buy if you can use materials at hand to quickly and easily create means that will extend your camera's functionality? Did you know that a simple drop of water can help you shoot macro and any binoculars can turn your cellphone camera into a telescopic lens? Have a look at our roundup to learn other DIY ways you can use to get creative with your smartphone camera.

Microscope from a Drop of Water

A coin shot via a drop of waterA coin shot via a drop of water

This is the simplest DIY lifehack that requires only a droplet of water and... nothing else! Simply place a drop on the device's lens. You can use the opposite end of the ballpoint pen tip that will act like a dropper. The drop of water will stay on the lens due to the surface tension of water. Carefully turn the gadget over. Now the suspended drop serves as a magnifying glass on the lens. For better shots, try to create large and round drops for higher magnification and hold your phone steady. From my experience, the latter is really hard to achieve - my best snapshots were made when I placed my phone on the table and used it as a support. You can check out my shots of a coin taken using this free simple method.

Macro lens made of a Magnifying Glass

Macro lens made of a Magnifying GlassMacro lens made of a Magnifying Glass

Another way to get the magnifying effect with your smartphone camera lens is to actually use a magnifying glass. You can attach the glass to your lens with the help of an elastic band or simply hold it close to the camera. The greater the magnification of the glass, the more expressive effect you'll get. You can use this method to create astonishing artistic photos with small details and blurred background.

Sunglasses as a Filter

Using sunglasses as filterUsing sunglasses as filter

ou're probably already familiar with this simple lifehack. If you hold your sunglasses over your smartphone camera, you'll get a snap in interesting color tone. Try shooting some picturesque cloud scene using this method and the sunglasses filter will make the sky in your photos more contrasted and dramatic. Basically, the result depends on the color of your sunglasses and their filter type.

Binoculars as a Zoom Lens

Binoculars as a Zoom LensBinoculars as a Zoom Lens

If you own a pair of field binoculars, they can become a great means to get zoom shots with your smartphone. Just put the binoculars to the lens and you can take snaps of distant objects. You'll probably have to spend some time trying to find a better way to get hold of this construction and reduce the 'shaky' effect in your images. However, if you finally manage to hold your phone and the attached binoculars together (probably finding a great help in some handmade stand created out of a cardboard cup, for example), the result photos can be of quite decent quality.

Shooting via a Straw

Shooting via a strawShooting via a straw

If you're into experimental photography, have a look at the following method to get interesting snaps using a simple straw. Take a cocktail straw or any other long hollow object and try shooting through it. There are many methods of getting interesting snaps by covering your camera with various objects like a piece of cardboard or film. With a wide semi-transparent straw you can shoot colored abstractions or unusual portraits.

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