AARP Eye Center
Anyone who has reached for a smartphone to capture an awesome sunset may have experienced this annoying issue: the dreaded green dot.
Pointing your phone at the sun often causes the uninvited eyesore that shows up in your sunset, hence the reflection. And it's something that can easily be fixed with a photo accessory.
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Most common smartphone photo problems can be solved with a small investment. Consider these.
1. Keep a lens cloth handy
Problem: Your images look blurred or spotted and you don't know why.
Solution: Clean your lens!
The phone that has been banging around your pocket or purse will produce way better photos once the lens has been wiped off and cleaned. An inexpensive microfiber cloth ($5 to $12 for a pack that contains several) also can be used to get the smudges off your tablet or laptop.
2. Shade your lens from direct sun
Problem: That green dot appears every time you try to photograph a sunset.
Solution: The JJC Anti-Reflection Camera Lens Hood for iPhone and Android phones sells for $20 and can block out the sunset dot to save the day. To use it, slide the phone into the chassis, so the gadget window covers the phone camera and provides shade. You can use it handheld, but it will work even better with the addition of an accessory below.
3. Mount your camera for stability
Problem: Panoramas aren't level, and videos shake.
Solution: A mount or grip, such as the $30 Movo PR-3, can help with panoramic shots, which are expanded wide-angle photos. These require you to pan the camera from left to right on the straight line displayed in the phone camera.
Better yet, a grip can help eliminate camera shake for steadier videos. It also doubles as a light mini tripod, with legs that extend from the bottom of the unit. And it has a “cold shoe” that lets you connect an accessory light or microphone to the top of the unit. That's helpful for taking pictures of products but probably not so for a family-history video. It won't reach the eye level needed for interviews. For this, you should consider purchasing an additional mini tripod for $20 to $30. Screw the bottom of the grip to the tripod and you'll be closer to eye level.