[Community Workshop] Vol. 1 – Photography with Nabil Rosman via OnePlus 9 Pro

  1. Nabil Rosman
    Eclair May 6, 2021

    Nabil Rosman , via OnePlus 9 Pro , May 6, 2021 :
    Community Workshop - 2.jpg

    (Approximately 1000 words, reading time 3-4 minutes)

    A Hasselblad Master, Nabil Rosman is the winner of the prestigious Hasselblad Project//21 (Under 21) category. Nabil specializes in framing emotions using vibrant, humanistic imagery.

    How do you take portraits in natural light using the OnePlus 9 Pro?
    When I first heard about the OnePlus 9 Pro and the collaboration with Hasselblad, I was a bit stunned – especially considering such a prestigious camera company with an iconic history, was willing to work with a flagship-killer smartphone company. Having owned a Hasselblad camera, it wasn't immediately obvious how Hasselblad would integrate their signature Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS) into a device that could fit into my palm (yes, I have a big hand). At first, I doubted whether this collaboration could even succeed; and, as an Apple user myself, I have always leaned towards the iPhone as my primary camera phone. But, how the tables have turned (yes, I did that :)). With just five shots, I was completely blown away by the capability of the OnePlus 9 Pro's camera. The color? Well, it’s Hasselblad, what more can I say? The details? Crisp and sharp, but not excessively so.


    So, with the OnePlus 9 Pro in hand, I challenged myself to shoot portraits illuminated only with natural light. I wanted to prove that anyone with this incredible device, using just a splash of creativity, can capture exceptional images!


    Let’s start with how to correctly use natural light. For photography, the most ideal natural light source is during the golden hour – shortly after sunrise or before sunset. Mornings and evenings offer the softest light with the shallower sun casting subtler shadows. With the sun at a sharper angle, you’re also left with many more shadows.


    My advice is to let the light accentuate the side of your subject’s face instead of the front to emphasize shadows. These help to create natural contrast and depth, while dynamically conveying emotion and intensity. Make sure to turn on UltraShot HDR to reveal the stunning contrast between the deepest shadows and the brightest highlights in the sky. Or you can opt for Pro Mode, and set your shutter speed to 1/60 – 1/100, depending on whether you want to capture motion in your photo. You can also use ISO to balance out your photo.


    In my home country of Malaysia, the mornings are more muted, with hazy afternoons and the evenings often lit with thunderstorms. With dawn and sunset not really ideal choices, midday shots are the only viable option. Shade and overcast skies typically have a cooler, softer appearance, since the lighting is more diffuse and spread across the entire sky; the absence of direct sunlight results in subtler textures, with reflections on smooth surfaces appearing more diluted and subdued.


    The color of such light is also more heavily influenced by light reflected from nearby objects. Many photographers tend to avoid this type of lighting but doing so is often a mistake. Depending on the degree of cloud cover, bright overcast light can be especially ideal for outdoor portraits since it doesn't cast harsh shadows across the subject's face. The OnePlus 9 Pro's Natural Color Calibration, together with the large IMX789 camera sensor, brings out the most from outdoor portraits – you still retain all the rich colors while preserving the inky shadows when using the Auto Mode (high resolution).


    For the composition, many photographers tend to use the wide-angle lens exclusively for landscape photography; honestly, I think that's a missed opportunity.


    With the right composition, the wide-angle lens is great for portraiture to enhance perspective, but the proportions can end up looking distorted. However, thanks to the Freeform Lens that OnePlus has implemented, it’s the best wide-angle lens I’ve ever used on a smartphone. Colors captured with the main camera were consistently striking, being natural and filled with rich detail. Significantly, there is almost no edge distortion, elevating portraiture to the next level. Simply move around your subject, and change your vantage point for perfect composition. Don’t just take images directly facing your subject! Ask them to change position, capture motion from their hair to add a slight blur to your shot – every element helps to tell your story. This storytelling sets the images free, making them dynamic and unexpected; it also helps to set the mood, this is especially important for high-impact portrait photography.


    Finally, use a light reflector. Even an inexpensive one (like white/silver cardboard) does a great job in filling the shadows or block distracting light. You can redirect sunlight from a silver or even gold reflector to create another light source to prevent backlit subjects from appearing as silhouettes – alternatively, the black underside can be used to create deeper shadows. Reflectors can even be used to fan air, lifting the subject’s hair to add even more life to your portrait! Static and sharp photography is not ideal, imbuing motion into portrait shots makes all the difference!


    A photo taken directly from the OnePlus 9 Pro is effortlessly easy. You can still do minor post-production tweaks. My mobile app of choice is Adobe Lightroom, to emphasize shadows and instill more contrast. This is, by far, the best camera system I have ever used on a phone. It feels amazing in your hand, it produces stunning images. For photographers, the OnePlus 9 Pro delivers some of the most natural colors – vibrant but not over-saturated. And if you ever need a 12-bit RAW file? It's perfect for that too!

    IMG_20210424_083224 unedited.jpg IMG_20210424_083224_1.jpg
    Unedited vs Edited
    More photos from the shooting! Let me know which one you like best!
    IMG_20210424_140643.jpg IMG_20210424_092656.jpg 2021-04-29-032807007.jpg IMG_20210426_082050.jpg IMG_20210426_085856.jpg

    Finally, we are reaching the end of this workshop! It's an honor to be in the Community to share my photography experience with you guys.
    I guess some of you might have questions about the content, please prepare your questions and I will host an AMA for you guys if you are interested!

    Thank you for going through the entire workshop! I hope it can help you in your daily photo shooting!

  2. Leo X.
    Community Team Staff Member May 6, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Leo X. , May 6, 2021 :
    Hi guys, for commenting in this thread, you will receive an extra 10XP and a special edition medal! (Welcome to show off your medal!)

    sufi09, Batman360, aritra123 and 54 others like this.
  3. Leo X.
    Community Team Staff Member May 6, 2021

    Stickied Post

  4. Leo X.
    Community Team Staff Member May 11, 2021

    Stickied Post

  5. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 May 6, 2021

    Dresa91 , May 6, 2021 :
    I like this one:)
    thank you for your thread:)
    I guess this helps a lot of people!:)

    what do you think about using zoom for portraits?
    What setup do you recommend for business photos/portraits?

  6. onepv
    Gingerbread May 6, 2021

  7. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester May 6, 2021

    Starcommander , May 6, 2021 :
    The colors looks so good this time 😍😍
    This one is my favourite.
    I read somewhere darks are too dark. But the black dress had great colors

  8. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member May 6, 2021

    dsmonteiro , May 6, 2021 :
    Thank you for your input @Nabil Rosman. While I rarely shoot portraits, many of the things you highlight are not limited to portraits and can also be applied to other subjects. I'm sure I'll be able to apply your teachings in the future! ;)

  9. Overzee
    The Showcase Reviewer May 6, 2021

    Overzee , May 6, 2021 :
    Thanks @Nabil Rosman for this very first OnePlus X Hasselblad photography tutorial and welcome to our community! I really love this edit, the pinkish air and water really got my attention.

    jlasensiofi, woSch, Bouncer71 and 7 others like this.
  10. Yash Pratap Singh.
    KitKat May 6, 2021

  11. TirthC.
    Cupcake May 6, 2021

    TirthC. , via OnePlus 9R , May 6, 2021 :
    Thank you for this workshop! I have a OnePlus 9R and I love photography. Do you have any suggestions that you would like to give to a beginner photographer?

  12. Overzee
    The Showcase Reviewer May 6, 2021

    Overzee , May 6, 2021 :
    Just received this community workshop medal, thanks @Leo X. 🏅

  13. Yohanv
    Honeycomb May 6, 2021

  14. Shutterbugladka
    Gingerbread May 6, 2021

    Shutterbugladka , May 6, 2021 :
    loved the way you maintained the skin tone and details,
    I wanna ask, which option works better, normal photo mode or Portrait mode (considering the details of subject)

  15. Helder_DAlmeida
    Marshmallow May 6, 2021

  16. sumitMZ007
    Jelly Bean May 6, 2021

  17. McJader
    Marshmallow May 6, 2021

    McJader , May 6, 2021 :
    Thanks for the tutorial, it is really helpful for users like me who have just started experimenting with Photography.
    Looking forward to the AMA

    jlasensiofi, woSch, Bouncer71 and 6 others like this.
  18. McJader
    Marshmallow May 6, 2021

    McJader , May 6, 2021 :
    From what I can see, the normal mode has been used by him instead of the potrait mode.:D
    Last edited: May 6, 2021

    woSch, Bouncer71, KaranRIyer and 5 others like this.
  19. Shutterbugladka
    Gingerbread May 6, 2021

    Shutterbugladka , May 6, 2021 :
    Yaa, i also observed that, but waana see some works from portrait mode as I personally love in clicking that

    KaranRIyer and Adesh.sanmukh like this.
  20. Shutterbugladka
    Gingerbread May 6, 2021

    Shutterbugladka , May 6, 2021 :
    Yaa, i also observed that, but waana see some works from portrait mode as I personally love in clicking that

    KaranRIyer, Adesh.sanmukh and McJader like this.
  21. PritishPriyam
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 6, 2021

  22. McJader
    Marshmallow May 6, 2021

    McJader , May 6, 2021 :
    Indeed, I am also curious about it.