How the iPhone 8 and iOS 11 could make you a better photographer

Apple’s (AAPL) iPhones have been at the forefront of smartphone photography since the beginning. And with the 10th anniversary iPhone coming in just a few short weeks, Apple is gearing up to prove it’s got the best camera tech around.

While we don’t yet know the specifics of the iPhone 8’s camera — how many megapixels it captures, what kind of optical zoom it will offer — we do know the kind of software updates Apple is bringing to iOS 11 to improve how you shoot and edit your photos.

Here’s how Apple is putting photography front and center in iOS 11.

Portrait of an iPhone

Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus sports two distinct camera lenses: a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens with a 2x zoom. By combining the two, the company is able to create a bokeh effect, in which the subject in the foreground is in focus and the background is blurred.

Apple’s iOS 11 will include the retail version of its Portrait mode camera feature, which will make your images pop by making your subject look sharp while blurring the background.

The feature, which Apple calls Portrait mode, since it makes for some great portrait shots, is currently in beta, but will get a full release with iOS 11. The final version of Portrait mode will see significant improvements including the ability to capture images using the camera’s flash and HDR features, as well as its image stabilization capabilities.

That means those fancy photos you take of your cat sitting on your couch like a little gentleman will look even better with iOS 11.

Live photos will be worthwhile

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Apple’s Live Photos feature. That’s because the tiny video clips take up more space than individual photos, shrinking the amount of pictures you can natively save to your phone. But I’m willing to give them another shot with iOS 11.

Apple managed to pique my interest with Live Photos thanks to the upcoming addition of three new settings for the feature: Bounce, Loop and Long Exposure. Bounce lets you play your video forward then backwards, creating cool physics-breaking effects like jumping out of a pool cannonball-style, while Loop repeats a clip over and over. Neither of those is particularly unique, though, as social media sites like Instagram (FB) and Snapchat (SNAP) already let you create similar effects.

Apple is bringing Loops, Bounce and — my favorite — long exposure features to Live Photos in iOS 11.

But Long Exposure — the effect that holds a camera’s shutter open…

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