Live Photo Guide

8 ways to make your photos come to life.

iPhone Life Magazine - - Contents - by Con­ner Carey

Ap­ple's Live Photos are com­prised of a se­ries of burst photos that come to life when you press and hold an im­age. Ap­ple in­tro­duced Live Photos with the iPhone 6s, which means all iPhones re­leased since sup­port the fea­ture.

I came to love Live Photos dur­ing a road trip I took last sum­mer. The pic­tures I took of the ocean are par­tic­u­larly fan­tas­tic, be­cause they cap­ture sound too, which means I caught the mov­ing waves and the sound they made. Now it's your turn; here's how to take, edit, add ef­fects, and share Live Photos, as well as how to use Live Photos as wall­pa­per for your Lock screen.

What Is a Live Photo & How Does It Work?

A Live Photo is a short mov­ing pic­ture. Your iPhone cap­tures au­dio and images start­ing 1.5 sec­onds be­fore and end­ing 1.5 sec­onds after you tap the white shut­ter but­ton to snap a photo. Live Photos ap­pear as stills in the Photos app un­til you tap and hold the im­age, bring­ing it to life. You can sim­ply take your photos as usual, then later on when you're view­ing them you can see if you cap­tured any awe­some Live Photos.

How to Take Live Photos

If you have an iPhone 6s or newer, your de­vice's Cam­era app is set to take Live Photos by de­fault. At the very top cen­ter, a bulls­eye-look­ing icon will be high­lighted yel­low to in­di­cate that Live Photos is on. To turn Live Photos off, you can tap the yel­low icon; it will turn white and say Live Off.

If you turn Live Photos off and exit the Cam­era app, Live Photos will re­main off when the app is re­opened. So if you like hav­ing the fea­ture on by de­fault, make sure to turn Live Photos on be­fore leav­ing the Cam­era app.

How to View a Live Photo

If you have an iPhone or iPad that's run­ning iOS 9 or later, you can view Live Photos by press­ing and hold­ing the im­age. If you're not sure whether a photo is Live or not, check in the left cor­ner of your screen for the word Live in gray. You can also press and hold to find out (this works with thumb­nails as well as full screen images) or scroll through in­di­vid­ual photos and no­tice the ones that move as you scroll.

If you're view­ing photos on a Mac run­ning OS X El Cap­i­tan or later, you can play Live Photos in the Photos app by tap­ping the Live but­ton in the cor­ner.

How to Edit a Live Photo

To edit a Live Photo, find a pic­ture in the Photos app and tap the Edit icon at the bot­tom of the screen. Here, you can add a fil­ter, al­ter bright­ness and saturation, and crop the Live Photo. Tap Done to save your changes. Now press and hold the im­age to see it come to life with the changes you just made. If you de­cide you don't like the changes, tap the Edit icon again for the op­tion to re­vert to the orig­i­nal ver­sion.

Turn Your Live Photos into GIFs

With iOS 11, you can now turn your Live Photos into GIFs within the Photos app! There are two GIF op­tions on your iPhone now: Loop, which con­tin­u­ously re­plays the clip; and Bounce, which plays the se­quence back­ward and for­ward. To get started, first open the Photos app and then select the Live Photo you want to turn into a GIF. Swipe up to re­veal Ef­fects. You'll see Loop and Bounce. Tap on each to see what it looks like. Choose the op­tion you like best. If you look in the Al­bums view in the Photos app, you can find all the Live Photos you've ap­plied ef­fects to as well as other GIFs you've saved in a new album ti­tled An­i­mated.

How to Save Stills of a Live Photo

Ap­ple has added the abil­ity to eas­ily choose your own key photo so you're no longer stuck with the mo­ment Ap­ple's al­go­rithm thinks is best. This makes Live a very at­trac­tive set­ting to use for group photos or ac­tion shots, where it can tra­di­tion­ally be dif­fi­cult to snap the ex­act right mo­ment. Now you're able to go in af­ter­ward and find the best mo­ment your­self.

To do this, open the Live Photo in ques­tion and tap Edit in the up­per right cor­ner. You'll see all the frames of the Live Photo and will be able to choose which still im­age to use. Drag

your fin­ger over the time­line to scrub through the se­quence. When you find the key frame you want to rep­re­sent your Live Photo, stop scrolling and tap Make Key Photo, then tap Done. In the edit­ing menu, you can also trim the three-sec­ond clip by drag­ging the edges of the time­line in if you wish.

How to Share Live Photos

When you share Live Photos, keep in mind that not all ser­vices sup­port the fea­ture and may dis­play them as still photos. How­ever, if you send a Live Photo to some­one with an iPhone 6s or later us­ing iMes­sage, iCloud Photo Shar­ing, Facebook, or AirDrop, they will be able to press and hold to view the photo live. To share a Live Photo, open the Photos app and find an im­age with the word Live in the top left cor­ner be­fore tap­ping the Share icon. Make sure to use the Mes­sages app, AirDrop, or iCloud Photo Shar­ing. Us­ing Mail will just send the still im­age. If you'd like to share a Live Photo as a still, you can tap the Live but­ton to turn the mov­ing im­age into a reg­u­lar photo be­fore tap­ping the Share icon.

You can share Live Photos that you've ap­plied Loop and Bounce ef­fects to and have them play con­tin­u­ously for your re­cip­i­ent if you send them to other iOS de­vices run­ning iOS 11. How­ever, when you share Loop or Bounce videos with de­vices run­ning older ver­sions of iOS or non-iOS de­vices, they will ap­pear as a video file. How they ap­pear in other mes­sag­ing and so­cial me­dia plat­forms varies by ser­vice.

How to Share Live Photos on Facebook

Facebook is one of the only so­cial me­dia sites that's cur­rently able to share Live Photos (aside from Tum­blr). The slightly tricky part to re­mem­ber is that you can't share Live Photos to Facebook from the Photos app. To share Live Photos to Facebook, you'll need to do so from within the Facebook app. Here's how: Open the Facebook app and start a new sta­tus by tap­ping “What's on your mind?” Then tap Photo/Video. Find the Live Photo you want to share, and tap Done. Tap the Live but­ton in the lower right cor­ner of the photo to in­clude mo­tion and au­dio. Each time you post a Live Photo to Facebook, you have to turn on the Live part of the photo or it will share as a still. Tap Post, and you're done! All iPhone users with iOS 9 or later will be able to play your Live Photo from Facebook by us­ing 3D Touch (if avail­able on their de­vice) or tap­ping and hold­ing the Live Photo to play the three-sec­ond video.

How to Use Live Photos as a Live Wall­pa­per

One of my fa­vorite places to view my Live Photos is on my Lock screen. Live wall­pa­pers ap­pear sta­tion­ary un­til you ac­ti­vate 3D Touch or tap and hold the screen. I've used photos from my sum­mer road trip as my wall­pa­per so I can feel im­mersed in that trip when­ever I pick up my iPhone. The eas­i­est way to as­sign a Live Photo to your Lock screen is to find a pic­ture in the Photos app, tap the Share icon, and select Use as Wall­pa­per (Note that you can't use Live Photos as your Home screen wall­pa­per, just your Lock screen). Move and scale the photo as you see fit, and make sure you've se­lected Live Photo, not Still. When you're sat­is­fied, tap Set. Now you can view a fun mo­ment from your Lock screen when­ever you feel like it!

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