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The evolution of the photographer has been epic. What began with heavily mustachioed men lugging around wooden equipment transitioned to Dennis Hopper's multiple-camera-bearing character in Apocalypse Now. And in 2017, anyone can be a modern-day Dorothea Lange if they just carry around a smartphone while scowling everywhere they go. But while most smartphones can produce images superior to those to any camera of the distant past, they are still far from perfect. Fortunately, there's plenty of stuff that you can buy to take your picture quality to professional heights.
The Acesori Five-Piece Smartphone Camera Lens Kit
It makes sense that the default smartphone lens isn't a fish-eye (aka the lens they use in every piece of GoPro footage that you've ever seen). Not even Tony Hawk wants his family photos to look like they were taken from a skating video. But for all other instances, the Acesori Smartphone Camera Lens Kit comes with two phone-sized wide angle lenses, as well as a macro for gnarly closeups of the broken bones you get while shredding or while being too close to the intense shredding of others. Usually $50, you can get the whole set for only $9.99.
This ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod
Buying a full-sized tripod for your phone is kind of like putting monster truck tires on your Toyota Camry. Yeah, it initially looks totally badass, but it's a hassle to take any place that isn't your front lawn. If you want to improve your phone's versatility and image stability with a seriously cheap (and seriously transportable) gear upgrade, then the ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripods are definitely the way to go. Get this flexible phone holder for just $19.99.
This Handy Ztylus Stabilizer Rig Kit
If there's one thing that Apple excels at, it's making smooth rectangles that are very, very easy to drop. Unfortunately, they also cost $800, so you'll probably have to keep your fragile status symbol padlocked to your pocket. Or, you can just outfit it with a beefy handhold like this Ztylus Stabilizer Rig Kit. It mounts on a tripod, and it gives you a super secure grip, so you no longer have to worry about the age-old tradition of watching your phone suddenly launch from your hand whenever you start to walk across any surface that's harder than pudding. Pick up one of these rugged phone handles here for $21.95.
This Credit-Card-Sized Smartphone And Tablet Stand
Anyone who thrived in the rising tides of early 2000s social media knows that true selfies are supposed to be viciously grainy, and are always taken from a high angle with a Nikon Coolpix. With the advent of front-facing cameras, narcissism has been democratized, and the pioneers of the form have gone back underground with their lip rings and swoopy bangs. Fast-forward to today, and the high-angled selfie has been replaced by the more debonair, low-angled headshot -- perfect for your LinkedIn portrait or for FaceTiming with grandma. Keep your photos crisp, and even use your phone as a tiny TV, with three of these portable Credit-Card-Sized Smartphone And Tablet Stands for $19.99.
This Photography Masterclass: Your Complete Guide To Photography
While not all humans are born with the innate aesthetic sense of Ansel Adams or James Cameron (according to James Cameron), every person still possesses the capacity to tap into their unique human view of the world. To learn how to channel your postmodern angst into images that might make people go "Boy howdy, that there picture sure is nice," this Photography Masterclass will school you on lighting, composition, and post-production. Get lifetime access to 13 hours of instructional content in our store for 93 percent off the usual price -- just $20.
So I'm a photographer now?
Yeah, pretty much. Just get yourself a windblown haircut and a safari vest, and you should be all set. You can find even more smartphone products and other hobby items in the Cracked Store, and be on the lookout for all of our pop culture mashup T-shirts in the Cracked Dispensary. May your dreams exceed far beyond your reach and your number of Instagram followers exceed far beyond your pretentious user name.
From the halcyon days of The 1980s: A VHS Odyssey to Snapchats and automated Google videos, the world of home movies has come a long way. Your videos should be equally epic. Now is the time to Go Big or Phone Home.
Get yourself camera-ready with You Don't Even Have To Go Outside To Buy These Cool Shirts. Smile.