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Smartphones & gadgets

There are 4 kinds of Live Photos on your iPhone – How to try them all

You’ll never miss a photo opportunity thanks to your smartphone. This is both a blessing and a curse. While it’s nice to capture those special moments, there’s probably a lot of footage on your phone that you could do without, especially duplicates.

You could have two or three screenshots of the same thing. You may have found that perfect moment and taken a bunch of near-identical photos. All this takes up storage space, cluttering your device and slowing it down. Tap or click here for tools to help you find and remove duplicate photos.

Apple’s Live Photo feature lets a single photo act as a still image and a short video, complete with sound. When you snap a photo with this feature, your camera records what’s happening 1.5 seconds before the picture is taken as well as 1.5 seconds after. Perhaps you’ve used Live Photo before. But did you know that there are multiple formats?

What to do with Live Photos

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Live Photos are like micro movies. You can grab still images from them, use them as GIFs, capture long exposure shots or just share short videos of anything you want. You can use Live Photos on iPhone 6s and later.

The feature is on by default, and you can tell by the concentric circle icon at the top of your device’s camera app. You can tap it to turn it off (a slash will appear through the icon), but after you snap a shot, it will turn on again.

Live Photos take up more space than regular images, so you’ll want plenty of storage space to enjoy them. Tap or click here for five photo storage options beyond Google Photos.

To turn off Live Photos and only use it when you want, go to Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings and toggle on the switch next to Live Photo. Now you can turn the feature on and off as you please.

1. Live

Let’s start with your standard Live Photo. To take a Live Photo, make sure the feature is on, then hold your phone still and snap the photo as you usually would. The Live Photo appears in your albums as a thumbnail, but you can press and hold it to play it. Share it with people as you would any photo or video.

Apple

Tap Edit to make changes to the Live Photo, including filters and cropping options. You can tap the Live Photos icon and select a frame, then tap Make Key Photo to save it as the thumbnail image. You can also mute the sound from here.

There are three additional formats you can play with. To get to each one, tap the arrow pointing down next to the Live icon in the upper left of a Live Photo. A menu opens up and you can choose either Live, Loop, Bounce or Long Exposure. Let’s take a look at each.

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2. Loop

Apple

Loop turns the Live Photo you love into a video loop. The beginning and end of the short clip are blurred for an interesting transition. Loop automatically removes the audio, and you can’t change the key photo.

3. Bounce

Bounce plays your Live Photo normally, then replays it in reverse. It works much the same as Instagram’s Boomerang effect.

The Bounce feature mutes the sound of your Live Photo and cuts out some of the footage. With a bit of practice, you’ll get the timing down.

4. Long Exposure

Long Exposure combines your entire Live Photo footage into one photo. As you would with a DSLR camera, use this setting to capture movement. If you want to catch a bird in flight, this will be the one to use.

You can also take a picture of a still image against a moving background. For example, catch your friend standing at a busy city sidewalk. Long Exposure shots work best when the camera is as still as possible, so a tripod will help here.

RELATED: Digital Life Hack: Simple ways to hide your risque or otherwise personal photos

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