Smartphone camera tricks and treats

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ROLLY G. REYES

JV Ejercito: Aquino acted in good faith on Dengvaxia case.

JV Ejercito: Malversation clear in Dengvaxia scandal.

Sir, please make up your mind. Malversation in good faith? This is quite new to my ears.

Duterte hits NPA for attack as Urduja relief work was underway. Two soldiers were wounded when about 50 NPA fighters opened fire at them in Catubig, Northern Samar last Sunday.


“Tumutulong na nga, pinagbabaril pa.” And they do not want to be called “terrorists.”

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As promised, these are very handy tips if you use your smartphones in documenting images:

Choose a good setting. Matching location with your subject is foremost. The connection between the two completes the story you want to tell. A short walk-around the place will get you the “feel” of where to position yourself.

A natural pose is most acceptable. Being candid, not restricted or scripted delivers that intrinsic actuality of the moment. Forget about extra hardware and indulge into the nakedness of nature.

Ask your subject to relax a bit, observe their minutest mannerism and converse with them. Watch how they tilt their heads, lean their bodies and note other attributes of being humanly absorbed with their sorroundings. Give them ample time to unwind. Don’t force it.

Try for a variety of facial expressions, too. If you’re taking photos at a wedding or birthday, try to get your subjects to laugh—their expressions will convey the joyful emotions of the day and result in a natural-looking photo. For a more candid feel, have them look away from the camera as though they didn’t know you were there taking photos.

Composition. Composition is very crucial in all aspects of photography. Portraits require creative composition.

Another word for composition is balance. It is the feeling of overall stability when you look at the total picture. It is that feeling of correctness that seem to invite you for a walk-in.

Do not frame the subject inside but rather back-step a bit to frame your subject from the outside.

Never have people stand in the center of the picture, either. The “rule of thirds” always apply and framing in the right or left third of the image is desired. Most smartphones have grid overlays that can always guide you.

Sufficient lighting and correct composition equate to good image quality.

Composition is important for lighting, too. Either you expose for the sky and plunge your subject into shadow or expose for your subject and likely wash out the sky. Best choice is to move your subject to a location where they’re lit well by the sun, but with no bright background.

Use portrait mode. Portraits shot on a DSLR with a telephoto lens have a characteristic blur or “bokeh” to the background which helps the subject really pop out of the scene. Now that feature has come to phones too. Portrait mode can simulate that effect and give a great depth of field to your images.

Best result is when your subject is close to your camera. When you switch to portrait mode, your phone’s camera will automatically apply the depth effect when it focuses on your subject’s face and turn the background into a hazy blur.

Experiment is the name of the game.

Do not be tied up with rules. Like a golf swing, hit that ball unrestricted assisted by that graceful body swing. Of course, there are the “hows” but feel free to try the “why-nots.”

Be flexible enough to break the rules and give yourself a playground of sorts. Trying new angles and unusual locations gives birth to a thing we call creativity.

Never be afraid to try something new and unusual in your photos. With the ability to store hundreds of pictures on your phone, the worst-case scenario is that you simply delete an image that didn’t work out. You might just come away with a wonderfully unique image that you’ll treasure for years.

Editing is an option for artistic results. Clever editing is a great way to turn an everyday snap into a beautiful piece of artwork. When shooting on your phone, apps like Snapseed, VSCO or even Instagram (all free on both iOS and Android) have a variety of filters and tools to tweak your portraits to your desires.

There’s no single correct way to edit a photo. Simply play around with different effects and see what works. You can always undo your edits if you don’t like them and go back to the original.

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Here are some pre-selected quotes to make your holiday season enjoyable:

“Why is Christmas just like a day at the office? You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.” – Anonymous

“Christmas is a race to see which gives out first – your money or your feet.” – Anonymous

“I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.”- Bernard Manning

“Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.” – Anonymous

“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.”- Larry Wilde

“Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.”- Johnny Carson

“The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”- Johnny Carson

“Marry an orphan: you’ll never have to spend boring holidays with the in-laws.”- George Carlin

“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.”- Bill Vaughn

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”- Bill Vaughn

“The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to.”- P.J. O’Rourke

Good work, good deeds and good faith.

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