Last week I received this email from one of my blog readers and thought is was a good one to share.

“Hi Linda, I have really been enjoying your blog posts about using the iPhone camera. I have tried several of your tips and my photos are actually starting to look better. My continuing problem though is that often times my pictures are blurry. Any tips or recommendations you can share to improve the clarity? Thanks, Barbara M.”

There are two probable causes why cell phone images turn out blurry. Either the lens has something fogging it or the camera was not completely still when the button was pushed. Either way, both causes are easy to fix.

 Three tips to help prevent blurry cell phone images.

  1. Clean off the lens. When was the last time you cleaned your cell phone lens? Weeks ago? Rarely? Never? Think about how much dust, dirt and grease from finger prints can accumulate on the lens when it is stuffed in your bag, stuck into the car cup holder or laying around on the kitchen island. Professionals clean their DSLR lenses before every shoot yet I questioned several of my friends and family members and they told me they never clean off the iPhone lens. Yikes! I was shocked. Just use a soft damp cloth and periodically whip it clean. At least you will know it’s not grease or dirt on the lens making your photos blurry.
  2.  Anchor yourself. If you are shooting in low light or outside on a windy day, or simply not standing perfectly still then there is a higher likelihood your photos will be blurry. There are several “tricks” I use in these situations. First off I assume a very wide stance to really anchor myself. If there is something to stabilize myself even more, like a doorway or a wall, I brace myself further by leaning on that. Lastly, I actually hold my breath at the exact moment I take the photo being very careful not to move the phone even the slightest. Small actions like these can make a big difference between a sharp and blurry photo.
  3. Use the iPhone earbuds to take the photo. This is a trick I only recently learned myself. The iPhone earbuds can be used to trigger the camera simply by moving the volume button on the cord either up or down. This will prevent the cell phone from shaking because you will not be pressing on the phone itself to take the photo. I’m not sure if this works with older iPhone models but it works on my iPhone 6Plus.
iPhone earbuds

iPhone earbuds

If your photos are STILL blurry then the next step would be to use a tripod. There are grips you can purchase that will attach your iPhone to a standard tripod. I personally don’t use a tripod since I think it defeats the whole purpose of using the iPhone which is ease of portability. Under certain circumstances though such as very low light, a windy day or night photography, then a tripod is the way to go.

So Barbara and anyone else who struggles with blurry photos,  I hope these tips solve your problem.

Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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