We gave Seattle-based photographer Brad Puet an HTC One A9 to see how its camera performed in the hands of a true photo artist. Brad’s pictures do not disappoint, and he was kind enough to share some tips with us on getting familiar with the One A9 camera’s features and functionality.
Brad has also shared a wealth of tips and tricks for taking the best photos you can with your HTC One A9 and we’ve pulled all those into a three-post blog series that we’ll be publishing over the next few weeks. This is part 1, where Brad shares the fundamentals of photography and details the various shooting modes of the HTC One A9 camera. Let’s get started.
Fundamentals of Photography
Photography has always been creatively defined as ‘painting with light.’ With the invention of the smartphone, photography has been democratized and everyone has the potential to become a photographer.
The ability to take a picture is easy; the harder thing to do is capture a photography. I always say that to my students at Seattle Central College. Most of the time, their motivation is just to take a better picture than those they’re currently taking. I tell them in order to do that they have to understand and remember a few things every time they take a shot, until those things become second nature. In a nutshell, here’s what I think people should always keep in mind:
What is your subject?
Know your light source
Pay attention to your background
Choose a perspective
Know what aesthetically pleases you
Tips for Mobile Photography
First off, know that mobile photography is popular because of the idea that the best camera is the one with you. It just so happens that the best camera that’s with you at all times is also your phone and your handheld computer. Camera-equipped smartphones contain a few elements that aren’t present anywhere else yet: a camera, a mobile darkroom and a way to exhibit your work.
Even though the best camera is the one that’s with you, smartphone cameras do have limitations. It’s important to understand that the tiny sensors in smartphone cameras are just that: tiny. They’re fine for capturing daily photos, and, in fact, they capture good images when the person taking them understands how to use their smartphone camera correctly. With that being said, here are some general tips to heed when using your smartphone camera (or, maybe it’s better said, a camera with a phone attached).
Don’t zoom with your camera, zoom with your feet
Understand camera shake
Don’t use your flash
Use apps that you like and create your own style
The HTC One A9 Camera
There are multiple shooting modes on the One A9 camera, including Selfie, Auto Camera, Panorama, Slow Motion, Hyperlapse and real-time video.
Selfie: This is an obvious mode for the ever-popular self portrait. One thing to note is that you can turn on a feature within Selfie mode called “Live Makeup” that allows you to adjust the focus to create a softer look.
Auto Camera: This is your camera’s automatic mode, so it will choose the best settings based on the light that’s available. One of the settings within Auto Camera is the short burst mode that shoots similar to video. It takes a burst of three photos and saves as a video — you can choose the best shot of the three. This mode gives you less control but is quicker for snapshots.
Panorama: This mode is also called “stitch” mode. It allows you to take panoramic shots by stitching together multiple shots into one large image. This mode gives you a horizontal guide line to help keep your image consistent.
Slow Motion: This mode is one of three video options on the A9. It’s a video mode that shoots at a slower frame rate to capture action in, you guessed it, slow motion.
Hyperlapse: This mode is the second of three video modes and is similar to timelapse video. Timelapse is a very quick capture of a scene. Once you’ve taken a hyperlapse video you can adjust the speed of the video to your liking.
Real-time Video: This is the third of three video modes and is the “regular” mode of capturing video. It basically captures what you’re seeing in real time.
WB 2300k, Exp -1.3, ISO 100, Shutter 1/3759. Focus Infinite
In the next post in this series, Brad breaks down some of the settings of Pro Mode and gives tips for how to use each to shoot a photo you’ll love. Keep an eye out for it next week!