The selfie stick was possibly the most hated gadget — and with good reason. That slimming photo angle often comes with a price of irritating the people around you whom you've forgotten existed in your Instagram-focused world. Despite growing annoyance, the selfie is likely here to stay, but there are alternatives to the giant "narcissus-stick."
1. Bring a travel tripod. Something lightweight (carbon-fiber is lighter than aluminum alloy) that can fold down to be compact and can handle the weight of your camera is good. Also look into stability — which is essentially why you're buying a tripod in the first place. I personally love my JOBY Gorillapod SLR-Zoom, with bendable legs and the ability to keep even my heavy DSLR sturdy. I pair this with the following item for the perfect hands-free selfie.
2. Use an intervalometer. Despite the sci-fi name, this is just a remote you can set to take a certain amount of photos with a certain amount of seconds between each shot. Choose the intervals, plug the gadget into your camera and it does the rest, even focusing the lens for you. It's better than the built-in camera timer as you never need to press the camera shutter or reset the settings for each shoot.
3. Selfie-focused apps. Don't think your mug is pretty enough for a selfie? There's an app for that. Check out FaceTune, a portrait-editing app that smooths skin, whitens teeth, removes imperfections, highlights your best features and changes lighting, among other options. Another great download is Retrica, showcasing over 100 photo filters and allowing you to adjust your selfie's exposure. Tip: If you're not 100% happy with your selfie, a black and white filter will hide imperfections.
4. A wide-angle lens. While not mandatory, wide-angle lenses capture more of the background scenery to transform the typically egotistical selfie into an actual story of where you are. Because you're in the foreground you'll still be the focus, but the photo is less dominated by your face. I’ve found my GoPro is great for this (it's much lighter than a DSLR), though clip-on smartphone lenses like the SelfieMaster Easy Selfie Lens, Aerb and olloclip are also worth checking out.
5. Cannon's PowerShot G7X. Not only does this lightweight camera perform well in low light, offer image stabilization and feature a quick 4.2x f/1.8-2.8 optical zoom lens, but the screen flips to face you so you can see exactly what you're taking a photo of. It's sort of like using the front face of your smartphone camera, but with a much higher-quality image.
Does using any of the above make selfies any less annoying? Maybe not. But at least you won't impale anyone with a giant stick.
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