Happy new year everyone! This is my first post for the 2016 and it’s special because I’ve got a few photography tips I’d like to share. Hopefully I get to keep this up on a regular basis the rest of the year.
I’m often asked, “what’s the best camera to use?” for general photography? Or “what’s the best lens to use?” for a particular subject. I am after all a professional photographer. So while there are truly many outstanding cameras, lenses, even lights and light modifiers out there, the real answer is this: The best camera is the one you have with you.
A little browsing on your Facebook and Instagram feeds will reveal that a majority of photos posted everyday come from camera phones. That being said, here are a few things to keep in mind when shooting with your smart phone as inspired by my new Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 (the battery life is amazing by the way!).
Shooting against the light. When shooting against a strong back light such as the sun, tap on the area of your frame which you want to highlight. This will make the phone adjust it’s exposure to the subject of your photo. Another option is to turn on the HDR (high dynamic range) function or use the flash. The flash only works for subjects that are close to the camera, or in this case, the phone.
Took this photo in HDR mode at Intramurous with the Zenfone.
Keep your horizon straight when taking landscape photos. Take the photo as your eyes see it. In this case, take the photo with the horizon as straight as possible just as you will keep your head straight when looking ahead. In some cases, it may be your vertical lines that will be straight.
Here’s a no-edit snap I took while walking on the tarmac at Cebu.
Under exposed is better than over exposed. Whether shooting with a DSLR, a point and shoot or a camera phone, it is easier to edit an under exposed photo than an over exposed one. You can always brighten a dark photo and retain the details of the photo as compared to an overly bright photo which will not allow you to recover any of the detail lost to the light. Phones such as the Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 have an amazingly simple editing interface that allows you to retouch everything from exposure, shadows, highlights, curves, sharpness, etc. Another editing tool that I use is the app called Snapseed which is free in the Google Play Store.
Explore all the features of your phone’s camera. The built-in function on the Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 like the panorama selfie is as good as you make it to be. Explore the functions of your phone so you will know how to use them. This feature allows you to take a selfie like you would a regular panoramic shot except that the subject will be you and your entire group!
Go manual. The beauty of the DSLRs which I use for work is that it allows me to compose every detail about the photos that I take. In my case, I always shoot in full manual mode, leaving it all up to me. This can be frustrating if you have no photography background. But for some of you who may be looking for that perfect setting that you can’t find in the other modes, this is perfect. This Zenfone allows you to select everything from your focus (yes, the focus!), ISO (50-800), shutter speed (32s-1/1000), white balance (2500K-6500K), and exposure compensation (+/-2).
Airplane mode. When shooting videos of important life moments, put your phone in airplane mode to keep your recording from being interrupted by a call. As some of you may know, I have three children and having my video clips of them receiving an award or performing in school cut short by a call I’m going to reject anyway is really bummer.
Just because I mentioned airplane. Here’s another photo I took of the plane I rode which happened to be branded as the Air Asia Manny Pacquiao plane!
Black and white. Because images in black and white are more powerful sometimes.
Shoot. The best photo is the one that you take.
For more info on the Asus Zenfone 2 click here.
What other topics do you want to read about? Let me know, send me an email at email@example.com.