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A pro’s guide to smartphone photography

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:

They say the everlasting way to keep your memories is in photographs and it’s pretty true. The art of photography has a great power to tell you the story behind each beautiful snap and up to this day, it remains a favourite memory-recording tool of all times.

From a small compact camera to a heavy digital single lens reflex (DSLR), there are many varieties of cameras, which makes for a perfect partner in capturing those Kodak moments.

Thanks to the ever-developing technology, everyone can now become a photographer. With a smartphone in your hand, you can capture that special moment as they are happening – be it daily activities such as travelling, working or momentous occasions such as school reunions.

The perks of mobile photography are that it is convenient, it requires no additional costs, it is a non-complex process and with the cutting-edge cameras that are now built into our cellphones, high quality is also ensured.

Reth Chanbopha, who has been working in the industry for over four years, said that what matters most when it comes to photography is the passion. While some people think that a good camera is compulsory to capture great images, she said it is not really necessary.

“Having a smartphone camera is good enough tool to capture photos and please stop thinking that you need to be an expert first or own the highest quality camera,” she said, adding that all you need to do with smartphone camera is learn about its function and put more creativity into the process.

In this issue, Youth Today’s Srey Kumneth, sits with female photographer, Chanbopha, who was kind enough to share some tips and tricks for mobile photography.


Smartphone camera settings know-how


Basically, there are two operating systems for smartphone nowadays: Android and iOS. Both of the operating systems offer slightly different functions on their cameras.

In most smartphone cameras, you will find some pre-fixed modes such as food, night, panorama, professional, live focus, normal, video, super slow-motion, portrait and more. These have been customised to ensure the settings will produce the desired outcomes, regardless of the situation. On top of familiarising yourself with these features, you can also adjust the settings manually by activating the flash, night mode or tweaking the focal length (or known as “f” in the camera) to make your photo even better.

Some high-end smartphones nowadays even have more than one digital cameras built-in. Each camera has different functions so that you don’t need to buy additional lenses.

Stabilisation management


Even though a smartphone camera works adequately for us to take photos, it is not equipped with stabilising function. This means that if there is not enough light, your photo will come out looking blurry if you can’t manage the stabilisation aspect. Additionally, it will take more time for your smartphone camera to capture a photo in the lack of light. The trick is to hold your smartphone as perfectly straight as possible.

In order to have a clearer photo, you need to utilise the “focus” function on your phone by pointing on the subject you want to highlight. Use two hands when holding your smartphone. If possible, you can use tripod to assist you when taking photos in a low light situation.


Flexibility and creativity


In daily life, you will come across many scenarios that would make you want to whip your camera out, perhaps even to squeeze in a selfie or two – which is completely fine. The best part about today’s smartphones is that the camera comes with various modes including landscape, portrait and selfie.

This provides us with many choices on what type of photo we are going to take and such modes are also interchangeable within one click of a button.

The landscape mode is perfect for taking photos of sceneries such as mountains, waterfalls, beaches and the city views. If you are taking a group photo of more than three people, for instance, landscape mode will be optimum. Meanwhile, portrait mode is perfect for taking close-ups where you want to highlight the details. And last but not least, selfie mode, as the name suggests, will open your front camera and is suitable for taking self-portraits. When you already know which kind of photo you are going to take, the next step is to make sure that there is enough light and brightness to ensure a good result. When handling lighting issue, a photographer needs to be creative in finding the perfect angle.

Photo editor


Thanks to the advanced technology, now you can make your photos appear even more attractive without spending days waiting for an expert to do it for you. In the mobile app store, you can find a bunch of photo editing applications (apps) that are mostly free.

The only pro-tip when using an app is to make the photo fresh and vibrant. Instead of heavy editing, what you should do is play around with the brightness, colour intensity and contrast aspects of the photo.

Simple tweaks like these can do wonders in making a photo even more eye-catching. There are also some apps which are popular for photo editing functions such as Snapseed, Lightroom and Photoshop Express. If you wish to try them out, they are available on Google Play and the App Store.

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