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July 2017 Issue
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Phone photography

Tasman River, Mt Cook. Photo:

Hold it steady, set the focus and don’t use the zoom.

Hold it steady

A steady hand is crucial, particularly in low light situations when the phone will struggle. Hold the phone steady with both hands, or find something to rest the phone against that can act as a stabiliser.

Tap to focus

Tap the screen to set the focus point and exposure. On most phones, this will also bring up an exposure slider next to the focus point, use this to make your photo lighter or darker and get the exposure right.

Don’t use the zoom

Because the zoom is digital, not optical, when you use this function you’re basically  just cropping the image and this will result in a noticeable loss in quality. Walk closer to your subject for a better quality shot.

Make the most of the features

Phone cameras often have many built-in features such as the ability to override settings like white balance and even shoot in full ‘manual mode’. On most phones it is also possible to take panoramic photos, creating a sometimes epic new perspective on a landscape photograph.

– Richard Young is a Wellington based landscape and nature photographer


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