How to get that winning shot with your smartphone

May 25th, 2019 | by Techgoondu
How to get that winning shot with your smartphone

Brought to you by Huawei

The days when a smartphone was more of a toy camera than a real shooter capable of capturing the essence of a fleeting moment are truly over with flagship phones such as Huawei’s P30 Pro challenging the limits of what a phone can do.

You still have to have some basic skills, of course, no matter how good the hardware is. Perhaps most important is knowing what your smartphone can do and making the most of those features.

Here, in conjunction with Huawei’s Next-Image Awards 2019, are some tips to get that eye-catching shot with Huawei’s P30 Pro and Mate 20 flagship models.

Using the ultra wide-angle lens brings a dramatic effect to your picture. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Ultra wide-angle lens

The P30 Pro’s wide-angle lens is not just for shooting group shots with your friends. It also allows more to be captured for landscapes and architectural shots. Be creative!

The portrait mode creates the blurred swirly background to help the eyes focus on the subject. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Portrait mode

Shooting portraits means you need focus on the face. It helps to have the background blurred, so your eye has no doubt where to look at.

This is where the P30 Pro’s portrait mode will help. The phone will extract the subject from the background to create eye-pleasing bokeh, or blurry background, for a neat effect.

If you do want a bit more control over the blurriness of the background, use the Aperture mode instead.

The Night Mode is not only for night time but can be used with very complex lighting situations, such as the backlit sunset here. Using the Night Mode, you can capture details throughout the frame. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Night Mode

Introduced in the P20 Pro, Huawei’s Night Mode can be used handheld, giving you a much easier way to capture low light scenes at night. Do not limit it just for shots after the sun has gone down. Sunrise and sunsets are also the perfect time to use it.

Put your phone on a tripod and it will take even better quality low-light images.

Go close to find the details of the place. Here is a thatched roof of a farmhouse at Miyama, Japan, wet by the morning showers. PHOTO: Wilson Wong
I flipped the phone upside down so that the camera can be close to the water surface to seek a perfect reflection. The phone’s small size helps. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Get into small and hard-to-reach places

The beauty of the smartphone is its ability to get into places that bigger cameras will find hard to access.

Even a pool of water enables images with a beautiful, perfect reflection when you put the phone close to the surface of the water. Or put the smartphone around flowers to create an otherworldly view of our gardens.

Using the zoom lens fills up the frame and brings forth the subject matter. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Get close or far for different perspectives

The P30 Pro’s Super Macro mode allows you to get up close to a subject for a captivating shot. Alternatively, you can use its Hybrid Zoom system to compress the frame for a more dramatic effect.

Sometimes the use of a monochrome image helps to tell a better story. PHOTO: Wilson Wong


Sometimes seeing things in colour is not as impactful as a monochrome shot. Strip away the colour and you will see the story behind the image.

Put the phone on a tripod and use the light painting/silky water mode to create the blurred water surface. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Light painting mode

With the P30 Pro’s light painting mode, you can extend the exposure time of the camera to create silky smooth water effects for a waterfall or light trails for a more dramatic take of the city landscape. Just remember to use it with a tripod.

By deliberately making the camera shoot with a slower shutter speed, I am able to create the illusion of speed. PHOTO: Wilson Wong
Give the P30 Pro a chance with the night skies and you will be surprised. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Going manual

Using the P30 Pro’s manual settings will open up more possibilities. Think about taking shots of the milkyway in the night sky and capturing exploding fireworks at Marina Bay.

About Huawei Next-Image Awards

Huawei’s Next-Image Awards is now into its third year and is welcoming entries from now until July 31, 2019. There are six categories to choose from – #Emotion Tag, Hello, Life, Going the Distance, Life Now and Storyboard.

The Grand Prize recipient will win US$20,000 (S$27,500) and Category winners will receive US$6,000 (S$8,260). All winners will be presented with the Huawei P30 Pro each and the opportunity to attend the award ceremony in Paris.

Singapore participants who submit their photos by the May 31, 2019 will get the chance to be invited to attend a special workshop conducted by world-renowned photographer Russel Wong in June.

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