I am Happy to announce a very special Guest writer to our Blog @Sheridan01, now if you don’t follow him I suggest you do, He is a Nokia enthusiast, as well as a collector with over a 100 different Nokia devices in his possession (Not Joking), He is also has his own Blog which is onlyfoolsandmobiles which I also highly suggest you take a look at to see some of the most stunning photos taken on a mobile device, as well as some nice posts with helpful hints.
The Nokia N8 – Photography one year in the making By @Sheridan01
I have been asked to write a post about hints and tips for The Nokia N8 and its camera. Now I should point out that I am not an expert, just an enthusiast. Anyway so this is how I use my Nokia N8’s camera, I know there are people out there that have found very imaginative ways of enhancing it, using a magnifying glass, or an additional lens held on by rubber bands. Those are just two examples that come to mind. As of yet I have not tried any of these, that is not to say I won’t.
Right, let’s start small and go big. By that I mean let’s start with macros or Close-ups. This is the part I personally find the hardest, not only is taking a macro hard but identifying the subject matter I find even harder, especially when you are trying to be creative. That is where a Twitter friend by the name of @NitishMurthy comes in, I find his macro work in particular, very creative.
Here is an example of a simple macro shot, plants and flowers are probably the easiest things to capture, although making the shot look artistic is another story.
So how: simply put the camera in “close-up” mode, point it at desired object making sure the on screen rectangle is centred on the object, press the camera key half way, when the box is green depress fully. That’s it!
Ok that is pretty easy, well here are a couple from Nitish that are not so simple to capture.
Here is one of his called “Close Encounter of a Splash”
And this one is called “Splash Again 2”
Now these must have taken the kind of patient I just do not have, my efforts are nowhere near as good. In fact I have giving up trying to capture a splash like this. Instead I try to capture images that are substantially more static!
One trick I have learned is that sometimes it is better to move the lens slightly further away and use the zoom function instead, this can work better for some macro images but it is trial and error. If one way does not work, then try another.
Landscape photos are more about the person than the camera. Essentially you have to frame the image. It is difficult to explain exactly what I mean by this, you simply just know when an image looks right. So what I will do is show you two images of the same marina, and I will say why I prefer one over the other. However I must point out that you might well disagree with my choice. Which is what photography is all about. It is personal choice.
Ok, first off is the image I believe to be the weaker of the two images. Why, well that is because of the two outboard motors on the right hand side, they do not frame the image correctly to me. The second however has a more uniform look and feel. This to me is the better of the two images.
Just for information, both the images were taken using “Landscape Mode”. I always find it is best to use landscape mode when you want a broad range focus. Now some landscape images might look better in “Black & White”, to show this, here are three photos of the same subject. The first is color, the second in black & white and the third in Sepia. Why did I select Sepia, basically just to show you the option.
Now to me the black & white image looks the best. This type of image, with lots of detail always seems to lend itself very well to being a black & white photo.
Where I live in Finland is very picturesque, right on the southern coast. So lots of opportunity to take photos with the sea and shorelines in, you would think therefore it was easy to take great photos. To some extent, it is, but you still have to keep in mind that the image must be framed to be pleasing to the eye.
So here are two photos, the first is in itself a nice photo, but it lacks in my opinion a sense of depth that the second has due to the tree branch and section of shoreline. Once again though this is a personal choice on my behalf and may not suit you.
Now here is a third image I took whilst in the same location just to show you what to look out for that might make you photo more interesting.
Enough about landscapes, shame really it is my favorite subject. If you have visited my Flickr account at all you would notice this.
Night time photography can be a bit of a pain with a mobile, even the Nokia N8 with its Xenon flash, the range is limited to not much more than 3 meters. However you can have some fun taking pictures in pitch black darkness, especially macro shots.
The leaves look really good against a dark background. Now one thing that is good when doing night photography is the range finder on the Nokia N8, when it’s trying to focus at night it will shine a red light. This at least gives you the opportunity to find the subject you want, and all you have to do is press the camera key half way and the light shows.
Color is crucial, look for it wherever you are. This time of year is perfect with all the leaves changing. Here is an example. The N8 produces images with a very natural feel. You can if you wish enhance the color by changing the color tone to “Vivid”.
I love this time of year, I only wish I still lived in Connecticut, the trees there in fall are nothing short of spectacular, especially on the Merritt Parkway.
HDR is something you may want to consider, it is especially useful when it’s a little overcast or cloudy as it can bring the colours and shadows to life. There are a couple of applications in the Nokia Store. My personal favorite is HDR Photo Camera. However Camera Pro can also do the “Bracketed Images” necessary to create a HDR image. Three images are taken, one overexposed, one normal and one underexposed. These are then aligned and merged to create the HDR. I have explained this in greater detail on my blog in a four part series.
Here are a few examples I did for this blog post
Well I hope you found this post in some way useful, as I stated earlier, I am not an expert, just an enthusiast. I am still on a steep learning curve myself, slowly learning the more technical aspects, or rather trying to.
More importantly have fun with your Nokia N8, experiment, be creative. I also urge you to visit and join the Nokia N8 Flickr group.
The group has grown well over the last year and there are some amazing photos. I have personally created some galleries of my favorites.