We recently had the awesome opportunity to attend the launch of Huawei's new flagship P30 phone in Paris, which has a big focus on it's cutting edge main camera featuring a revolutionary 40 MP Leica driven SuperSpectrum Sensor.
After covering the launch of the previous iteration P20 last year, we thought it was time to dig out the book of tricks on smartphone photography and give it a fresh angle to match the massive leap the P30 provides. So here are the tips to keep killing it when taking that next big snap, all tested with the new Huawei P30 Pro...
Use Available Light Where Possible
We've all had horrendous moments where the camera flash reveals a little too much, especially on a vigorous night out. The bright light can make things look unnatural and harsh at the best of times, so it's actually better to lean into using the natural and artificial light available. Whether you're shooting during day or night, use what's in the surrounding environment to give yourself the best photo possible.
Getting into the more tech side of a camera, you can also fiddle around with advanced photography features on your phone to deal with situations such as low light without touching the flash. A higher ISO paired with a longer shutter speed will generally help fight off the dark and most phones nowadays, like the P30, have specific modes to deal with it.
Create A Sense Of Depth
It's always annoying when you fail to replicate the same style of photography as the professionals. Whilst it's tough to compete with their fully spec'd out DSLRs, a lot of it comes down to composition and basic tools around how to set up the scene. One key aspect is the idea of creating depth, in other words, making the viewer feel like they are there.
This can be achieved in a multitude of ways, depending on the subject and style of shot. When looking at landscape imagery, it's best to incorporate the wide-angle camera on your phone and with panoramic views ensure that the background plus foreground are both in focus. Having an object or person in the foreground also helps give a sense of scale and emphasizes how far away the distance is, helping with the immersion into the scene.
With portraits, ensure the focus is kept on the subject or object in the foreground to create a bokeh effect around it. Most phones now have this mode included but you may want to tone it down manually to ensure it appears natural.
Keep It Stable
We know this is a basic recommendation (we even touched on it in the P20 Paris launch coverage last year), but the handshakes can really stifle the quality of your shots. So don't rush and let the stabiliser in your phone's camera do its work by giving it an extra moment or two to capture the scene. Especially with Huawei's continued partnership with Leica for their cameras, it always helps to appreciate the inner workings of your device as you tremble your way through a photo.
If the shake really can't escape your shots, you can go to the lengths of getting a small tripod or simply use whatever's available (a wall, friend's shoulder, even your own arm). The whole stabilisation issue is also super important for low light so keep that in mind when you consider our earlier tip.
Use The Rule Of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a basic feature that has been incorporated in smartphone cameras since their initial burst onto the scene. It involves using the grid overlay system on your phone, which helps to divide up your shot with two horizontal and two vertical lines. Once you set up your shot with these aspects in mind, the idea is to position important elements in the scenes along these lines at the point where they meet.
Basically, an off-centre composition is more pleasing to the eye than something that's placed dead in the middle and it makes for some more efficient use of negative space. The result will be more aesthetically pleasing shots that have an element of composure to them.
Don't Underrate The Zoom
Back in the day, the zoom on phones used to be utter garbage - so much so that at some point we all went about not really using the feature at all. But with advances in recent years and the addition of multiple cameras on most devices, it's time to get way more creative with it.
When you consider that the P30 literally comes with 10x hybrid and 50x digital zoom, those far off subjects have now become a whole lot more attainable. So focusing in on different scenes as part of a wider picture and finding new ways to portray a setting will really help to differentiate your shot from the rest.
If you want to use these tips and take photos like some of the best, cop Huawei's latest P30 Series release which releases on the 16th of April. For an epic pre-order offer head here and for more information on the P30 Pro head here.