How to Get the Most Out of Your Phone Camera | London Photowalk with Three

Recently I attended a Photowalk around London with Three, a professional photographer and a small group of bloggers. We all got to try out the Samsung S9+ and iPhone X cameras whilst doing a walking tour of London.

It was great learning from a professional photographer (Rob) on how to get more out of a phone camera. When it comes to getting my shots, generally I’m having to get the shot within seconds otherwise it’s gone – they say not to work with kids for a reason!! When we go for day trips or away on holiday, it’s difficult carrying around a heavy DSLR so brushing up on how to get the best out of my phone has been well welcomed.

To start the day, we all met at Bermondsey station where we were given our first phone of the day. I started off with the Samsung S9 Plus, which I was pleased about. I own the Samsung S8 so this is the phone that excited me the most.

Our first stop of the day was Maltby Street Market and we then headed off to Tower Bridge, St Katherines Dock, Tower of London and we even saw The Shard along the way too.

Along our walk, Rob was on hand to give us some useful photography tips, suggestions for apps and equipment. Here are some of the tips I picked up during the day.

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Photography Tips

Turn on the grids

This is something I already do as it’s so helpful for making sure I have everything lined up how I want, but it can also be used for the rule of thirds too. Place the subject so that it isn’t in the centre to draw the viewers eye to the composition of the photo. By doing this, you will create a clear focal point in your shots.

Use the Blur

As I mentioned above, I take hundreds of pictures of my little one each week but most of them come out blurry. If you can, use the blur within the photos to create movement. If your little one is constantly moving, you can even try to move along with them – open up the shutter and move with them to create a better effect!

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Portrait Setting

Admittedly, I tend to use the portrait setting but I forget all about it far more. Shooting in portrait allows you to select the focus point and blur the background, which works great for people, food and product close-ups.

Edit in Lightroom

I usually just edit mine a little in Instagram by lightening and adding a bit of colour if needed, that’s as far as my editing skills go for images. Put me in front of Final Cut Pro to edit together a film, I’m well away but images are another level for me which I really need to invest more into.

In Lightroom, if you turn up the vibrancy rather than the saturation it will make it look much brighter but natural – which is the look I love and try to achieve with most of my shots. You should also enable the lens correction as this can the fix any problems with your photos such as distortion.

If you are going to be editing a lot of your photos in the same way, there is also no need to repeat the process. To copy your editing onto another photo, go to the right hand side, click copy settings and then paste this into the photo of your choice. Which saves time and gives your images a similar style.

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Shoot in Raw

If you can, always shoot in raw as it gives you much more professional and beautiful photos. However, these are huge files, so it may not always be possible depending on your memory. As an alternative, shoot with the biggest file you can.

Samsung Galaxy S9+

The first phone I got was the Samsung S9+ and as I currently own the S8, I knew I was going to love it. Being a Samsung user, I knew how to do most of the features so was comfortable using it. However, many I hadn’t used before so it was great learning how to.

With Samsung, you get a lot of features – so many more than with the iPhone X. However, with these features it means you have to control it yourself much more. By fiddling with the settings, you can create far better images than with the iPhone X, as the iPhone X does the work for you. On the Samsung S9, you can use Pro to adjust the ISO, Shutter and so much more!

If you’re looking at purchasing the Samsung S9/+, Shell Louise has posted a quick review and how her daughter, Ella, loved the phone too.

iPhone X

I haven’t had an iPhone in around 7-years so I knew that it would take some getting used to. As soon as I shot my first image, I absolutely loved it. It produced better colours than the Samsung S9+ but I just couldn’t get on with the phone not having a quick launch for the camera. Being unable to take a photograph without first putting in the password, selecting the app and waiting for it to load. I often need to take shots within a split second, so it’s such a shame. There is also a delay between when you press capture and it actually takes the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, both the cameras were fantastic and for very different reasons.

A huge thank you to Three for organising this event and allowing me to come along, it was such a fun day out and I learnt lots and brushed up on my existing knowledge!

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