[Let's Talk] What's your creative process when shooting photos on mobile?

  1. Ruby G.
    NA Community Manager Mar 20, 2018

    Ruby G. , Mar 20, 2018 :
    Congratulations! You've stumbled upon one of our stickied question forum posts. Take a look at the question below and write a response if it interests you. Feel free to post your response on this thread or start a new thread if your response is over 500 words (be sure to copy & paste the question into a new thread and tag me so I notice).

    What's your creative process* when shooting photos on mobile?

    Posts of 300 – 1000 words will be automatically entered in to our ongoing rewards program and potentially be chosen to move to the next level. Have fun, debate with each other, and let the knowledge flow!

    *Per user request: what do we mean by creative process? A creative process can be anything from describing routines, tips, or tricks you may have while prepping for a photo shoot, to sharing the tools and apps you use during your photographic workflow.

  2. idkwhoiam322
    Nougat Mar 21, 2018

  3. BobbyV8_
    The Showcase Reviewer Mar 21, 2018

  4. Shivang Joshi
    Starting Point Expert Mar 21, 2018

    Shivang Joshi , Mar 21, 2018 :
    For sure, I am going to write about this[e]270c[/e]️[e]1f525[/e]


    “What is that picture shot on?” Oh, Yes. Many people have asked me this, when I first show them the pictures I have shot using OnePlus 5. Right after I inform them that the photo was shot using a mobile, another question hits me up. “What? How is this even possible? Can you tell me how you shot this?” Okay, so I would answer these questions right here and inform everyone about my creative process when shooting photos on mobile. Let’s start now.

    Identify the opportunity: This is one of the most important thing while taking photos. Imagine that we have a beautiful scenery, right in front of us. But, if we don’t realize that opportunity, we won’t be able to capture it. So, realizing about the opportunity to capture an image at the right time is the first step when shooting photos on mobile.

    Use Grids: Using Grids while shooting photos helps a lot to frame the picture perfectly. Not every photo looks good when the subject is at the centre. Sometimes, framing the subject a little to the left or to the right would be much better. (Don’t frame them at the corners, though) Follow the Rule of Thirds (Again, not every time)

    Trial and Error: You would probably not get the perfect shot straight away. You might have to try multiple times, with different framing, and different settings (if using Pro Mode)! DON’T GIVE UP!

    Selecting the time of the day: So, can you shoot stars in the morning? No, we can’t. (At least, that’s what I know) So, some shots would look good only during a certain time. Shooting Sun during the golden hour completely changes the look and feel of the photo. Also, you can shoot some stars only at the night time.

    Shoot in RAW: Almost all the top-end smartphones are capable to shoot the photos in RAW. So, use that amazing capability of your smartphone. They would take up much more of your storage on your smartphone, but it is worth it (100%). The RAW photos will help you in better post-processing of the images. You can get much more control of your photo while editing, if shot in RAW.

    Use Pro Mode: Even if you are a beginner, try to use the pro mode. You might mess up the settings the first time you use it. But, after getting used to and understanding how those settings work, you will love to use it.

    Use lowest ISO (whenever possible): Using lowest ISO, whenever possible, helps in increasing the sharpness of the picture. Also, that helps in reducing the grain on the photo. But, keep in mind that using lower ISO means less light coming in.

    Patience: Sometimes, you might not get the shot you want at an instant time. And, that’s where you need to have patience. You might even need to wait for hours to get one perfect shot, because that one perfect moment can be at any time.

    Editing: This is the last part of clicking photos. This highly depends on personal preference, and how you would like to tweak your photos. Many times, even unedited pictures look great, but editing them to suit our taste makes them different from the rest. You can show a ton of your creativity in this last step. Some of the applications I use on my mobile, are Snapseed, Photoshop Express, Lightroom and VSCO.

    If you want to take it to the next step, then go ahead and edit them on your PC/Laptop using various tools from Photoshop. But, first get up from your seat, and start clicking photos. No one was born, being a professional photographer. They all worked hard to be at the place, they are. So, now stop crying, and start trying.

    I will share a few sample shots here soon.







    Well, that’s all I had to say. Thank you to all of those who took their time out of their work and read this 666-word long post.

    @Ruby G. Tagged.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018

  5. Punk_69
    Lollipop Mar 21, 2018

    Punk_69 , Mar 21, 2018 :
    Okay so here goes!!!

    Firstly I'd say,
    Thank you @Ruby G. for taking this topic :)

    So coming to my process, I've divided it into 5 steps :-

    Step 1 - Selection of the camera app
    Well I've said this before that i don't like the OnePlus camera software at all :mad:, so i have the Google camera app as my default camera for superb shots, but for some special cases, where I need an upper hand, I use the OnePlus camera app for the Pro/manual mode

    Step 2 - Selection of any extra lenses
    Well using an extra lens says the purpose in itself (kind of).
    Macro lenses for macro shots
    Wide angle lenses/fish eye lenses to get a larger view
    Telephoto lens for extra zoom

    Step 3 - Composition of the picture
    In my opinion, composing a picture has a huge effect on the outcome.
    So the rule I follow is the rule of thirds.
    I learned this from COOPH (their guides are awesome, not promoting them though )
    Below are some samples of my application of the rule :


    Step 4 - Clicking the picture
    Well this is the main thing (of course) :p
    So, mostly I use the auto mode, so there's no tweaking of the parameters ...
    But in special cases, like getting shots of the milky way, the moon, for light paintings, for night skies etcetera, i use the pro mode.
    Well, at times, i prefer using a tripod, be it for still shots or for long exposure shots (can't trust my hands)
    For getting the "portrait mode" i have the modded Gcam, which works even better than the portrait modes of the op5 and the op5t ...

    Step 5 - Post processing
    This has a great effect on the pictures, so it's kinda important (or maybe not)
    Many like using filters and stuff (i use filters too, but good ones :p)
    My recommendations are -
    Well snapseed is considered the best editor for phones, but presently I'm bored of using it :rolleyes:
    Nowadays i use the VSCO 'X', it's fun, it's easy, and it has loads of GOOD filters (had to stress upon it, sorry)
    Editing is a long topic in itself ....
    In my i initial days, i just used to tweak the lighting... As i was nervous about editing pics back then .
    Then i came to snapseed used to tweak the saturation, white balance, HDR, selective focus, etcetera ..
    Finally i came to VSCO X, and by far its the best I've used!!
    I tweak the lighting, saturation, improve the composition etcetera, and add a filter to it(good ones, i repeat)
    Btw, I'd like to give a shout out to @justinmullet, well, his photos edited with the filter of Kodak Portra 400 motivated me to go for the vsco X

    "good" pictures ! (cuz I'm not the judge)
    Let the forum members be the judge !

    I'm not promoting my account, nor am I farming for likes and stuff!!
    I just can't sit and resize the good pictures and waste some valuable time uploading them.

    Just check them out (if you want to)
    My Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/the_100rv/
    My vsco - http://vsco.co/the100rv

    Here's some which I had already resized for the photography section :-



    So i think this is enough for this thread @Ruby G.
    Thanks again
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018

    Tomasz_PL, Airheem, Tequan and 49 others like this.
  6. NeVeR_SeTTLe
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Mar 21, 2018

    NeVeR_SeTTLe , Mar 21, 2018 :
    When I started with photography last year, I didn't have any creative process that I went along with. It was more trial & error. That's how I learned. I quickly realized how hard it was to take a "good" picture. As a newbie, things I realized that were important while taking photographs were lighting, how will my eye travel through this image, focal-point ( thanks @superplus ), what other perspectives could I capture an object from, depth of field, compositions, what kind of story I want this image to tell when I look at it and many more. I quickly learned to make these my key things to take into account.

    The most difficult one for me was low light and night time shots. The OnePlus 3T has a good camera but just good. With that in mind, any photographer should know his camera in and out - what limitations does your camera have, disadvantages, how well it performs in any kind of situations and lighting. Once you get to know your camera, you can take some really great shots. Going back to low light / night time shots, for me the hardest thing was the position and angle in which I took my photos and the camera's "noisy" images. Let's face it, no mobile camera with that tiny little sensor can take in much light as a DSLR. Once you take this fact and make it one of your ten commandments then you will unshackle your chains and finally begin real photography! This thing was holding me back because I wanted the "perfect" shot. Every time I hooked my pictures up to a computer, the pictures were just a big mess. Finally I learned a thing or two about "post processing".

    I read that a lot of photographers take their pictures and post process them to make them more B-E-A-UTIFUL, vibrant, sharpened, perform noise reduction,etc. I had fun learning how to edit pictures with programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Snapseed and others. The programs taught me how to manipulate my image in lighting, color, exposure, tints, vignettes and much more. I played around with it a lot until I finally got the right touch and the right settings editing my night time / low light pictures. Noise reduction, vibrancy, highlights and shadows, blacks and whites are the most important in editing these kinds of photos.

    Here are a couple of photos taken in low light / night time / day time. All of these were edited in Photoshop, Lightroom.
















    As you can see from the pictures above, post processing makes a great difference. You can take a normal photo with bland colors and turn it into a lively, colorful photo where it's pleasing to the eyes.

    Getting back to @Ruby G. question, "What is my creative process for mobile photography?" My answer is very simple:

    1. Get to know your camera
    - Experiment with manual mode. In manual mode, you will find settings such as ISO (this controls sensitivity to light), shutter speed (amount of time the shutter on your camera is opened), White balance (balances the color in your image).
    ISO - The lower the ISO, the better. The higher the ISO, the more "noise" you will introduce in your image (especially in low light / night time shots).
    Shutter speed - You will probably use in most cases a shutter speed of 1/20 or 1/15, anything below that needs some kind of stabilization. Rule of thumb: In Astro photography, you will need the lowest ISO possible with the longest shutter speed between 20 - 30.
    White balance - You will have options to choose from like sunny, cloudy, tungsten, or whatever your camera comes with. Not all the time, options in White Balance are accurate because sometimes colors are way off and with white balance you want to get the most accurate colors you can so I recommend you to experiment with this.

    2. Take pictures
    - Shoot in different lighting, at different angles, close up shots, long distance shots, colorful shots. You will see how each time you shoot, you will look and think before clicking. Practice makes perfect.

    3. Post processing
    Post processing is the most important in mobile photography as it can enrich your photos. Choose your favorite post processing app and play around with options like Exposure, highlights, shadows, tint, vibrancy, saturation, contrast.
    - Exposure - Controls how bright or dark your pictures appear.
    - Highlights - These are the brightest parts in your photo.
    - Shadows - These are the darkest parts in your photo in which you can still see detail.
    - Tint - An easy method to change color and RBG curves
    - Vibrancy - Increases the intensity of the most bland colors but leaves saturation alone.
    - Saturation - Increases the intensity of all the colors (not just the bland ones). Watch out for this one as it might ruin your picture if the colors are too much exposed.
    - Contrast - Contrast is the scale between light and dark. If you increase the contrast, you will see bold, strong colors. If you decrease the contrast, you will see a flatter or dull image. I know what you are thinking, why would I want a flatter or dull image? Well photos that you take in a fog, mist, cloudy environment can look awesome with low contrast.

    4. Experiment
    - Remember - You're the artist - You're the one creating a different world - You're shaping your picture - You're giving it life - You're giving it meaning. You're the creator!! Whatever you imagine you can create. There is no wrong or right way to edit because we each have different tastes.
    - When you are ready to take that one in a life time shot - stop for a moment...imagine...think of your settings...adjust your settings...put your mobile phone up in the air....click! You just captured your first truly beautiful photo!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018

  7. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016 Mar 21, 2018

    Dresa91 , Mar 21, 2018 :
    What is my creative process when I shoot photos with my phone?

    Good question. I don't think I have the ultimate guide.

    I differentiate here. I use my smartphone camera mainly for spontaneous snapshots when you are on the road and think that it is a subject you have to take pictures of. Otherwise I use my SLR camera. The advantage of my smartphone is that I hardly need any equipment and the smartphone is compact and fits into my pocket. I also use my smartphone when I want to share information quickly.

    For this I use the OnePlus camera app. The settings for my photo quality requirements are sufficient for this.

    I take care that I don't take pictures into the light (into the sun), that I don't make hectic movements and that the subject (hardly) moves.

    If I don't like the result, I delete it and take a new photo.

    Otherwise I take 2 to 3 pictures and sort out the not so nice pictures on the computer. The rest I work a little on the computer. For this I have, for example, the software from Nikon, which can also process RAW formats. Here I pay attention that possible red eyes, which were created by flash light, retouch, rework a little in sharpness and brightness. I also avoid zooming in (deep).

    Otherwise, as I said, I don't have a proper trial. It is also always connected to whether I see the subject as photogenic in the situation and what the result looks like. I think I could take the exact same photo twice, one of which I would subjectively feel worse if I'm not in the mood.

    But the most important thing to remember is that this is "only" a smartphone camera, from which one should not hope for the ultimate photos. That's what reflex cameras or other technology are for. And the lower the expectations, the better and more surprising the result :).

  8. GopalB.
    Nougat Mar 21, 2018

    GopalB. , Mar 21, 2018 :
    Another one...
    What's your creative process when shooting photos on mobile?

    For me creative photography is all about focus!!!
    I like playing with it... And mainly use selective focus...

    This was my 1st bokeh shot on stock Samsung S4 camera... IMG_20141005_230301.jpg

    And I used selective focus to achieve this...

    Prior to this, I tried something similar with one of my Java based Sony Ericsson phone...

    But it was not successful...

    So if you'll look at all of my shots... You'll find the use of selective focus in most of them...

    Other one of my creative process would be angled closeups... I started using that trick with my Samsung note 4...
    For example.:

    One other thing that I started doing after note 4 was night photography... And my favorite shot is from diwali...

    I guess... That's mostly all the ways, I like to use my phones for photography purposes... ;)

    Other then this... The best way to get a creative shot is to wait for the right moment...
    Like these recent shots on my OnePlus 5 at my friend's wedding...


    With these... I'll stop... :oops:

  9. MKT_IRFAN3735
    Jelly Bean Mar 21, 2018

    MKT_IRFAN3735 , Mar 21, 2018 :

    In OnePlus 5 i actually bought the beast for performance then i use the camera for very rarely only but the dual cameras satisfy me [e]2764[/e]️ and also when iI take the first pic I was mesmerized and I'm very happy and whenever i go to play my buddies tell me to take a picture to set a Facebook profile picture and i feel proud whenever I'm in college of any workshop conducted they call me to take photos with my OnePlus 5 and i take and share it with via Gmail and when i first saw the taken pictures in computer I was met a huge satisfaction..... thanks Oneplus team for giving this wonderful mobile for USERS ️️

    hayqyu, Ravi BINAVAT, Mjo and 4 others like this.
  10. script
    Nougat Moderator Mar 21, 2018

    script , Mar 21, 2018 :
    I love your post. Everyone who's interested in photography should read it.

  11. Shivang Joshi
    Starting Point Expert Mar 21, 2018

    Shivang Joshi , Mar 21, 2018 :
    Thanks a ton, bud. This means a lot for me[e]1f64f[/e][e]270c[/e]️

  12. MKT_IRFAN3735
    Jelly Bean Mar 22, 2018

    MKT_IRFAN3735 , Mar 22, 2018 :
    nice bro....keep it up

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  13. NoInspiration
    Honeycomb Mar 22, 2018

    NoInspiration , Mar 22, 2018 :
    Great comment

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    Donut Mar 22, 2018

  15. J1521702822471
    Donut Mar 22, 2018

    Ravi BINAVAT likes this.
  16. script
    Nougat Moderator Mar 22, 2018

    script , Mar 22, 2018 :
    My creative process is rather simple. As I shoot 99% of my pics totally unplanned in full auto, all I need is open eyes and an open mind.

    In the recent "color photography" competition I have already written a few words about what I think is important: I want to shoot something beautiful, interesting, and sensual.

    With that in mind it happens that I see something that seems to be worth to become a photo. That is also important: before clicking, I ask myself: is it really worth it? Very often it's not, and then I just don´t click it.

    When I decide to click, three things are counting: the light, the frame, the angle. Ah, and of course, the subject. The thing, that you want to have in your rectangle. So its five things: adding to the three above, nr 4 is the subject, and nr 5 is the background and the things that surround your subject.

    Taking a picture means, to set, or to transfer your subject into something new. You pull it out of its original context and put it into a frame. Thats why composing the frame is one of the most important creative decisions one has to take.

    For that I usually walk around the subject and try to find the best light and the best angle, so that the viewer later won´t get distracted by any disturbing elements. I like to take one picture of one thing. That means usually: getting close to the subject and concentrate on it.

    Below I added some pics, to show you another very easy technique to improve your pics. Its done in snapseed and its called "curves".

    First pic shows the original click.


    Second pic: the curves tool. With that you can manipulate the dark and bright areas and enhance the contrast. It makes a pic more crisp, more sexy. Just by pulling the curve, which is a straight line first, to the form it has in the sample.


    Then you can re-frame it. Make a new composition. Often I do this on my phone by zooming into the pic and then taking a screenshot.


    The final pic. Much better than the first click, and so tasty....


    cheers, script
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018

  17. Sanjay_
    Gingerbread Mar 22, 2018

    Sanjay_ , Mar 22, 2018 :

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  18. maarten_lisboa
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Mar 22, 2018

    maarten_lisboa , Mar 22, 2018 :
    As a oneplus user who got addicted to photography since a year I guess u have to respond

    I only use my Oneplus for photography, main reason it's so easy to carry with you. Compact, fast and the quality is great and it will only get better.
    Smartphone photography has it limits compared to the big cameras but for the kind of shots I want to take its the perfect companion.

    My process :

    1 subject

    I love shots of nature with or without people. I love the ocean and I love sunsets. So I'm happy I live near the ocean and almost every day I try to go out and find some nice possibilities for a good picture.
    But in the end it's all about personal taste. Photography is about expressing what you see, what you like. So if you like it, shoot it!

    2 how I do it :

    I play around with my phone since the day I bought it. Get to know every function, what it does, how it reacts in different situations. Auto or manual, test it!
    When you buy an expensive camera it doesn't mean you will get your first photo exhibition in Paris the week after [e]1f609[/e]..
    Ofcourse smartphones are smart and will assist you took take easily a picture.

    A good example is taking pictures of the sunset. Find a good angle, maybe with some extra subjects in the frame. (a person walking by, a dog running on the beach a boat on the horizon). Move the phone a little bit around, you will see the reflection of the sun will change..( I always tilt it)
    Touch the screen to change the focus,it will create a different effect instantly. Touch on the sun and shoot, touch on person walking by and shoot (on the screen please, don't touch random strangers), focus on the clouds and shoot, and so on..
    And just shoot 5,10,20 pictures of that sunset while playing around with the phone.

    3 : selecting that one or 2 good shots

    This is a very important part. When I return home first thing I do is start deleting 90% of my pictures. Yes, most of them were probably terrible after all that playing around . Out of focus, I moved to much, etc..
    So when you have those 3-4 good pictures its time for some editing.
    Editing can be just change the size, crop the image to have the perfect frame. It can be changing some contrast to get a better effect. Making it black and white.. It's not a bad thing to edit a picture. It's making the picture even more your vision of what you like.
    Some shots don't need it at all, it all depends of that perfect moment, that perfect angle and most of all, your personal taste.

    So go out enjoy the beauty all around you and play around with your phone. The technology is there and it will only get better, never settle!

    I added some examples of sunset pictures I took, all oneplus 3t. If you like to see more, instagram : maarten_lisboa.



  19. himanshulakhyani
    Gingerbread Mar 22, 2018

    himanshulakhyani , Mar 22, 2018 :
    The best way to shoot a picture on mobile, is to shoot them in Raw. The biggest advantage it gives, is it saves a lot of details, which can be used later on while doing post processing.

    Point 1: Selecting the best app / software
    Now most of the people get confused, between post processing a picture and applying filter/preset on a picture.

    A quick brief about both, Filter are pre defined set of combinations that you click and apply on a photo. No brain work, just hit and try.

    For better results, go for post processing / editing of the photos, where you can tweak even small details of the photos, such as tones, contrast, saturation, colors, hues. A lot of apps are available for this, such as VSCO, Snapseed, inbuilt editing feature by Instagram, Adobe lightroom, Adobe photoshop etc.

    And there is also one more method, which is called as Photo creation, where you click a photo and then not only just post process it but also use imagination and creativity to add several elements into the picture, one such example is Double exposure shots.

    I mostly go for Snapseed and Adobe lightroom when it comes for editing/processing photos and for clicking use the Pro/Raw mode in One Plus 5

    Point 2: Choosing the location
    Choice of subject is really important when you are clicking a potrait photo, although the same is not true when you are clicking a scene/landscape.
    Try to experiment a lot with the backgrounds/scenes when clicking a landscape photo and experiment a lot with lights or the lighting conditions when clicking a potrait.
    If you go for a professional shoot you'll see they have these umbrella like structures which focus light on the subject during shoots. So the same way even for mobile photography, lights are equally important.

    Point 3: Following rule of thirds
    The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guide lines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section.
    Enabling grid lines to place the subject helps a lot.
    Trust me a symmetrical photo looks so damn pretty.

    You can have a look at photos clicked by me over here, All shots taken on One Plus 5, HTC One ME and IPhone 7:

    I hope this will help even others for clicking photos.

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  20. FlixbusLennart
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Mar 22, 2018

    FlixbusLennart , Mar 22, 2018 :
    My creative process enabling HDR+ on the GCam port and see my girlfriend get jealous because her iPhone X doesn't do the job as well as mine.

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