Amazing Photos With Your Smartphone – Part 2

Amazing Photos With Your Smartphone – Part 2


So, erm, one of the tricks right, that you can use, right like in this case, if you ever try right, in the at KLCC, there’s a garden Inside the garden, you try to take a photo of the whole building probably not going to be anywhere successful. So, how is this shot being taken ? It’s from a smartphone. It’s from my smartphone. How is this shot being taken ? So, this literally has a person lying down on the ground and taking the shot pointing up. Literally lying down on the ground. Ok. So, that’s what I meant by angle. Angle can do some neat tricks. Ok. Now, the other aspect of angle is that erm When you go for, let’s say like urm you know, on a travel, in a… when you go for travel, especially, you know a lot of photos that you take are probably very common because everybody goes to that place, you know snap the same photo again. Alright. Now, how to make it interesting when it comes to angle ? What it meant over here is for the same landmark right, you can always look around and find some spots that you can go to that can offer you a very different angle on looking on the object, right, and your photo will turn out very different than many, many common shots of the same landmark, ok. There’s no harm in trying. For my case, when I try, right like maybe, 10 different locations I go to 9 turn out bad, 1 will turn out good, ok. But, don’t give up, you know. So, that’s er, I call it the child in me, right. We all have a child inside us. Just let it, you know, go out and play some fun you know, and try to capture different things. Play with your camera. Ok, this is a, this is probably a joke, I guess. Has anyone tried, mounted a smartphone on a tripod ? Haha… Yes, I see a gentleman over there, ya. Ok. But for most who shake their heads are because of there’s no way to screw the smartphone onto the tripod to begin with, right. Now, before we go to that, what is the use of a tripod ? There are 2 possible uses. One is that, er, where you want to take, you know a group photo with everybody in it, you know and it doesn’t want the cameraman to be left out of the photo, right, so, you can set a self-timer and then everyone get into it and take a photo, right. Now, nowadays, I think, there are better tools. They call it the… where you can take selfie or wefie, the terms that they call it right now, right. A stick sticking out and then you attach your smartphone to it, right. Now, the other trick for taking, for using a tripod is when you want to take low light shots, ok, because you know many of you have seen like many, many of our photos using smartphone turn out bad because of camera shake what we call camera shake, it’s blur. The photo turn out to be blur because of in such a low light condition, our hands can’t hold our smartphone steady because the shots will be exposed for a longer time to compensate for the lack of light. Ok. So, therefore, using a tripod will help to steady the shot and get a clearer or sharper picture, so to speak. Now, obviously we can’t really just screw a smartphone over here. But you search through like, maybe some of the online sites in Malaysia you’ll find tools like this, you know, that is probably like, 20 Ringgit you can find it if you’re really an enthusiast. You know, with your smartphone taking photos, right you can get such a, what we call a holder a smartphone holder. You can click your smartphone here, and then at the base of this holder, you can screw it into your tripod. So, you can still reuse your camera tripod if you have one. Ok. Now, this is another interesting question. For those who like to, maybe use your smartphone to take photos when you’re travelling, right how many have this problem of low battery ? Low battery with your smartphone, like take it halfway through and find that your phone is, you know, not enough of battery and you can’t take anymore photos ? Right, I think this is a very common problem. So, what is the common trick to do this ? How do we take care of this ? Yeah, good question. There is actually a power bank. Right. So, ah, sometimes I do this trick, and what I do is that when I’m using my smartphone when it goes on low battery, I have a spare power bank either in my pocket or in my backpack and I use a USB cable, it’s about a metre long. Just pluck it to the power bank and connect to my smartphone, I can still happily snap all the photos that I want on my smartphone. Ok. This is actually a good trick. So you won’t literally run out of battery on your smartphone. Now, before I move on to the second topic which is how to take a one page of the camera setting right, any question so far ? Ok, alright. Now, erm… now, a lot of smartphones I don’t think I have seen yet, maybe there are digital SLR camera that means those called professional cameras, right I don’t think I have seen so far any but maybe there are with high dynamic range capability. Ok. So… a lot of smartphones right now has high dynamic range capability. I’ll show you some examples what is meant by high dynamic range. Ok. So, this is usually without high dynamic range feature on the smartphone, right, if you you know, if you don’t have that feature when you try to take a shot, right, especially in what we call a high dynamic range situation. High dynamic range meaning that in the shots that you compose the elements inside it that appears to be very, very bright ok, and some elements appears to be very, very dark, very high contrast. And because of that right, you know your smartphone camera will have a tough time trying to adjust to get the proper exposure. So, in this case right, for example, you want to get your background, you know all the green trees, everything properly exposed, right and then your object on the front will get very dark. If you expose for this object on the foreground here to be properly exposed then all your background will be wiped out. Ok. I think, very common, I think a lot of you play with cameras and take photos, you’ll see this problem. So, the smartphone, one of the cool things in the smartphone nowadays is that they have this, what we call, high dynamic range setting. You can turn it on and what it does is that it will be able to take photos in this case, right you can see, right, all the faces are properly, you know, exposed, right and yet the background is also all properly exposed. You don’t, you’re not going to see cases like having dark patches over here and then the faces, right you know, under exposed, so to speak. Ok. So, this is a cool, you know, a cool trick to make full use of, in your smartphone. Ok. Now, another setting that you can use in your smartphone, right I think nowadays most smartphone have this feature we call a portrait shot. What a portrait shot does is that… erm… ya, it doesn’t show up, it doesn’t show up quite well over here. What a portrait shot (does) is that it adds in some post processing to your photo when you take that shot. The first thing is that the object at the centre here would appear sharp. Then, at the surrounding here right, it will post-process and blur it out and in some instance, right, you can choose the setting to darken, you know to darken the side, you know, around the centre of the photo. Ok. So, sometimes this is what we call, you know the smartphone trying to mimic the feature of a digital SLR camera. So called your depth of field, so to speak. Now, another cool thing that you can do, right, with your smartphone is that taking panaroma shot. Ok. So, you know, it’s very simple. You just select the feature and then you can just you know, pan around, you know the, what you call, you know, could be 180 degrees, you can pan around then just take a wide, you know, angle shot of the surrounding or the panaroma. Ok. So, my eyes… one word of advise, right I seldom use this one. I personally seldom use this one. Why ? Why I seldom use this one ? I find that there’s some trade off in this. The trade off is that as you pan, as you pan your smartphone to take the shot, right, behind the scene, right, you know, there’s a lot of processing going on behind the scene that tries to compensate because of all your shake in your hand and so forth, right, what it ended up, right, is that, right, the resolution of your photo right, is actually downgraded. The resolution of your photo is downgraded and you see it less sharp, less details actually in your photo. So, I seldom take this kind of shots. I usually prefer to take just a shot by itself, the normal shots where it contains the better details in the photo. Ok. Now, the other thing is about exposure. Let me think about what is the best way to talk about this exposure. Now, some of you may have seen it in your camera that you have this plus 1, plus 2 or minus 1, minus 2 setting, right. Those are usually associate with what we call exposure. The best way for me to talk about this is, maybe, show some examples, you know, how to… how can use these exposures to get better, more lively sometimes more lively photos. So, this is example, like a lighter when you set your exposure to be lighter, the whole picture will turn out to be… this is actually a picture of a sunset. This is, I think in Lumut, overseeing the Pulau Pangkor, I guess. Yes. So, this is a sunset shot. So you can adjust it to be, you know, lighter. You can see that the whole frame the whole frame looks lighter than this one. This one I can adjust it to be darker. Now, when do we use this trick ? You want to adjust it to be darker or you want to adjust it to be lighter ? I usually use this trick when I take sunset shots because when I adjust it to be darker, right, the beauty of it is that, then the sunset, right, becomes richer. The colour of the sunset becomes a lot more richer. Ok. So, this is some of the things that I use to… tricks that I play with. Now, the… the last part that I want to go through is actually how to touch up the shots, the pictures that you have taken after the fact that you have taken the shot. Ok. There’s still a lot of things that you can play with even though you have already snapped the photo. So, before I go with… before I go to that topic, again, I would like to open up to the floor any questions about camera settings ? Maybe there are some settings that you use or maybe there are some settings that you saw on your smartphone that you weren’t quite clear what they are about you know, how… what to make best use of it. Feel free to ask me, right. Even we can chat after my talk, you know. We can still chat a little bit about that. Ok. Alright. Now, obviously there are a lot of photo apps available that you can install and play with, right. So, I’m not going to go through all the apps that are available then because there’s just too many. So, in this particular talk, I’m just going to touch on one particular app that I most often, you know, most of the time I will use this app. I have installed several apps but I find this probably most useful because of one of the features. One of the very useful features that I found. So, I will talk about that in my talk over here. Ok. So, this is… this app is called Snapseed. It’s available in, what you call Google Play, as well as the Apple store. So, it’s actually free. You can download it, download and install it for free. Ok. So, I urge you, if you have not heard about this, have not, you know, play with this tinkle with it, you know, download it, install and tinkle with it. So you’ll probably be surprised of what you can do to your, you know, do to your photos. On any apps, it’s called automatic correction. Just now I mentioned about portrait shots. Because we cannot perfectly hold our smartphone in a level manner. This is one of the things that I find most useful…

Dereck Turner

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