Over the last couple weeks we posted part 1 and part 2 of our photography tutorial for the HTC One A9, written by Seattle photographer Brad Puet. This is the final post in this series. Brad covers the last of the HTC One A9 camera’s Pro Mode settings and offers some app suggestions for editing and processing. Now, let’s pick up right where we left off.
Pro Mode: ISO
ISO helps measure the sensitivity of the camera’s image sensor. The One A9 camera’s ISO values range from 100 to 1800. The lower the number, the less sensitive your camera is to light, so it produces a finer grain and a darker image. The higher the number, the noisier and lighter your image.
Here are some things to think about when deciding which ISO value you should use:
Light: Consider how your subject is lit. Are you in a dark setting or is your subject well-lit? If your lighting is poor or dark, you’ll want to increase your ISO.
Grain: ISO level will have an impact on the graininess of your photo
Stability: Will you be holding your phone or do you have a tripod to add stability?
Movement: Is your subject moving or still?
Here are some situations where you should increase your ISO:
Being indoors or in low light
Sporting events where there’s a lot of movement and action
Concerts where you can have both low light and extreme lighting (think stage lights) and lots of movement and action
WB 4000k, Exp 0, ISO 100, Shutter 2 secs, Focus A
WB 4000k, Exp -1, ISO 1600, Shutter 1/100, Focus A
WB 3500k, Exp -1.3, ISO 100, Shutter 1/8000, Focus A
Pro Mode: Shutter Speed
Shutter speed is the length of time that your shutter stays open. The shutter speed value on the One A9 ranges from 1/8000 of a second (fast shutter opening) to 2 seconds (really slow shutter opening). To understand shutter speed better you need to know what the goal of your shot is. For example, if you wanted to freeze a scene mid-action, then you want a fast shutter speed. If you want to capture light trails on a freeway, then you need to use a slow shutter speed. When using a slower shutter speed you really need to use a tripod to rid the camera of any shaking that would occur from holding the phone.
WB 3500k, Exp -1.7, ISO 100, Shutter 1 sec, Focus A
Pro Mode: Focus
In order to determine your focus value you first must determine what you want your subject to be. The One A9 values are standard to other digital cameras. So, the mountain icon is basically an infinite focus, which means everything in your photo will be in focus. On the other end of the slider, the flower icon is for macro or portraiture, which gives you more of a depth of field or bokeh. This means you’re choosing a certain focal point on your image and letting everything else sort of fade into the background.
What I found worked best on the One A9 is if I was shooting a landscape I would manually control the focus. Anything else, like a portrait or if I was shooting macro, I would use automatic. This was much quicker and accurate.
WB 3500k, Exp 0, ISO 200, Shutter 1/95, Focus A
WB 3500k, Exp 0, ISO 200, Shutter 1/95, Focus Macro
Camera Apps Worth Installing
Snapseed: This is like Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom for mobile photography. It’s easy enough to use the basic editing tools and add filters, but also robust enough to do heavier editing like healing or cloning and selective adjustments on a single image. The best thing about Snapseed is that it allows for RAW editing right on your phone, which is crucial for mobile photography.
VSCO: VSCO is an image preset company that came out with an app for mobile photography. This app provides filters that are emulations of popular film cameras. There are hundreds of combinations you can create with the number of filters provided. Keep in mind that adding filters can only be done through in-app purchasing.