Photography Review of 2020: A Discussion with the Photo Expert Team.

  1. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Dec 28, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Dec 28, 2020 :

    HI Shutterbugs,

    Wow, 2020 has ended. It’s been quite the year from lockdown to exploring the new normal. We have also seen its effects on photography. The Shot On OnePlus (SoOP) contest themes reflected the situation such as close to home and things that could be photographed from home.

    Every month, there was the Shot On OnePlus contest. The goals were to:
    • Display the pictures taken with OnePlus devices.
    • Give people an opportunity to improve their skills.
    • Allow people to express themselves through photography.

    In addition, we have seen lots of interactions in the non contest thread. There were new photographers participating and discussing with long standing users in that thread. There have been interesting pictures and discussions.

    We have seen all kind of pictures and themes in the forum. For the year’s end and start of the new year, we thought of writing thoughts, comments, and review some pictures to share some inputs and help photographers in our community. Some pictures will be from SoOP while others may be from other sources in the forum.

    You will see different post over the next little while from various team members. So come back and check regularly.

    Have fun
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021

    Vini369, Pjer71, fazlaalahi and 104 others like this.
  2. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Dec 28, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Dec 28, 2020 :
    HI Again. For my section, three areas (Themes for SoOP, what makes a good picture, and reviewing some pictures) will be covered.

    Before the my long text, here is a collage of pictures taken by our community members in 2020.


    First, themes for the Shot on OnePlus (SoOP) were adjusted when the pandemic put many people and countries into lockdown. Throughout the challenges, we have seen many people rise in their creativity and capture nice scenes. We have seen several people improve their skills, other engaging in asking questions, while others joining the contest and non contest threads to share pictures and talk about them. We have also unfortunately seen people steal pictures from the internet. This is not the goal. I’ll repeat it here, this is the place to practice your skills and develop your knowledge and familiarity with your OnePlus device and software.

    Second, what makes a good picture?… a novel could be written on this topic. hmmm… maybe a new project :cool:… It is a multi prone definition. If I were to summarize it in a sentence, I’d say: it is a picture that is well composed that uses lights, angles, composition to capture the scene with the emotions of the situation and transfers it to the observers.

    Third, discussing a few pictures. Here are a few pictures that stood out for a various reasons. Note, I am writing a description of the picture for the pictures and not necessarily the title the author may give it. If your picture was picked, it is because it stood out. :);) Comments are to help show all those interested what works well, what can be different, and what can be considered. Thank you for providing the pictures.

    Review of Pictures
    Yellow leaf in the centre by @Iamhasannaqvi from Nov 2020 SoOP.
    640-1.jpg 640-2.jpg
    These two pictures are gorgeous. The colours and how the picture is set up. The leaf is in the centre drawing the eyes to it. Meanwhile, the background is in brownish red colours while the leaf is yellow and it stands out. Plus the leaf is in a circle which is captured nicely.

    The second picture is taken at the leaf level and a bit more foreground giving the impression that the leaf is "coming out" towards the observer. Note that the area of focus for the picture. Just past the leaf and the back is blurred out while the leaf forward and its side are clear even to see the water droplets and details of the leaf.

    Mushroom Log by @X1605533191213 in the Nov 2020 SoOP
    661-3d depth.jpg
    This is an interesting pictures as it gives depth perspective. Moreover, the line of mushroom is continuous and starts from the top left corner to the centre of the picture then forward to the bottom of the picture. This picture gives a 3D perspective and captured in a way that it is balanced. It seems like the mushrooms are coming from the back top left forward down almost like a ladder or curved staircase.

    Here it is important to highlight : a picture that sticks in observers' mind will give an emotions and sensations. Just above, I wrote about a staircase and to me that is what this picture conveys. In addition to giving a 3D and depth feeling, it also gives a "nature staircase" impression the way the mushrooms comes down the log.

    Mountain and Sun Picture by @oriolpujol2 in SoOP.
    This is a beautiful picture. The light is nice, reflection in the water is good and clear, the clouds in the sky and the angle at which the picture is taken gives an interesting view. It comes together well. The angle is good and works well with the subject. The picture is taken from bottom right of the mountain. We see the mountain on a angle while the trees to the right are taller and the line of trees seem to get smaller towards the mountain and passed the mountains the are smaller yet consistent. The clouds surrounds the mountain nicely as well.

    The mountain and trees are well positioned horizontally. And the mountain in the centre right giving the impression that there is a flow towards the left which works with the actually scenery. The top and bottom is just about equal so it is proportional and draws the eyes to the right areas.
    236graphic (2).jpg

    Points to consider for improving pictures.

    Here are a few things to think about to enhance your pictures.
    • have a goal or purpose for your picture and try to capture it accordingly.
    • what is your main subject, where is it located, and is there anything in the background that is distracting?
    • see your pictures before you take it.
    • consider the angle and position in which you take a picture.
    • look at the source of light, shadows and how you can take advantage of them.
    • are there leading lines that you can take advantage of?
    • use rule of thirds. Ok this may not always apply but in a lot of cases, it may help set up the scene and capture the picture.
    • in post editing, less is more. (e.g. careful to not over saturate colours etc).

    Focusing on the subject / Positioning the subject.

    Having the main subject in appropriate location to enhance the picture and minimize unnecessary items. Ensure that there is not too much foreground unless that is the goal of your picture and want to highlight what is in front in relation to whatever is in the back.

    1. Sunset on the Water by @ekplusek2 in SoOP
    Here is a nice idea for a picture. The original picture has a lot of foreground that doesn't really add anything special to the picture. There also is lens flare (i.e. green dot) which isn't bad necessarily. It can however be removed while enhancing the overall picture of the sunset and water. I'd suggest cropping the bottom and a bit of the top to even out the top and bottom of the image. In doing so, adjust the sides a bit to keep the sun in the middle of the picture.
    816-4sides (2).jpg
    to give the following.
    816 (6).jpg

    The last picture highlights the sunset more than the original because there is less distractions from the foreground while keeping the sun in the centre of attention.

    2. Here is another example where there is extra foreground that doesn't add to the picture and it's blurry. However, the flower itself is nice.
    Flower at the farm by @P.m.valu in SoOP

    74flower.jpg crop on all sizes to give: 1469950-56f63955ce1dcb04711ed2e01999faf2 (2).jpg
    This picture can be cropped a bit more (though slightly) to give less contour around the flower.

    3. Another example of cropping to pull out more the main subject. This is a beautiful picture by @iamghouri in SoOP
    Personally, I'd crop some of the top and bottom to have the gondola more in the centre horizontally. The gondola is on the left 1/3 of the picture giving it room to "move" up the wire. The wire also gives an opportunity to frame the picture and use it to your advantage: have the wire "exit" the picture in the top right corner.
    139graphics (2).jpg 139 (4).jpg

    Foreground and leveling.
    Just above are several examples of removing excess area. In addition to doing so, ensure that the picture is leveled with the horizon. Here is a picture of a field with the sun by @L1573885677682 in Oct 2020 SoOP
    As an observer, my first question is what is the main subject (e.g. the field, the sun, tree and field)?
    There are a few suggestions for this picture.
    1. I'd suggest cropping the bottom to put the subject in proportion and remove the smudge line in the bottom left corner,
    2. level the horizon. Ideally, it's good to do so when talking the picture. In this case, the type of picture lets one rotate a bit without negatively changing the outcome.
    3. clean the lens with a microfibre clothe. It looks like there is a bit of smudge in a few places (specific spots look blurry).

    Framing a picture.
    Sometimes, there are structures, trees, leaves, bridges etc that can help frame the picture. When used appropriately, it may turn out really well. Here is an example by @deepak jawale in SoOP
    This is an interesting picture. First, the person is in the middle opening. Then there is the sun just past the person's neck. The way the picture is posted, there are a lot of dark foreground. It kind of gives the impression of looking up. However, it also seems disproportional. One could also crop the bottom (and sides) to give a more straight on look. Therefore highlighting the points mentioned earlier: what is the purpose of the picture, what message are you trying to convey?
    428 (3).jpg

    Leading Lines.
    Surrounding us, there is geometry. It can be very helpful in many types of photography including architectural and structural. For example, when taking a picture of a bridge, if able, standing in the middle gives the observer the impression of being there. Furthermore, it uses the edges and lines of the bridge to guide the observers eyes along the main subject.

    Here is a beautiful picture of an abandoned bridge by @W1582152738749 in the May 2020 SoOP where you can see the leading lines drawing the eyes down the middle of the bridge.
    In addition to being in a great place to take the picture, it is presented in black and white which also reinforces the notion of being old and nostalgic.

    In comparison, here is another picture of a bridge by @JCCarlos in the July SoOP but taken on the side.
    Do you see the different perspective? Personally, I'd recommend stepping to the left and taking the picture in the middle and compare the outcomes.

    Thanks to all those whose pictures were used to help highlight some photography concepts.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021

  3. TibiTibi
    Photography Expert Jan 15, 2021

    TibiTibi , Jan 15, 2021 :
    Thank you @cdnfarmer for showing us all those simple steps how to improve photos without pain.

    Hello Shutterbugs,

    I want to thank here for all the nice entries posted to the SoOP contests in last year.
    For sure it was not an easy year. It was a challenging one.
    All in all there were many photos in different themes, style, personality and quality level.


    We have seen many entries from:
    • good photographers,
    • newcommers, who improved their skill from month to month
    • and "who just visited the contest thread" with a footprint.

    More about the last bullet - i.e.
    [HOW TO] Get your entry INVALID:
    • Ignore the contest theme.
    • Infringe laws about intellectual property.
    • Ignore the contest rules:
    1. Upload more than 3 photos in your post.
    2. Enter the contest more than 4 times during one month.
    3. Forget to mention the used Phone, SW, HW.
    4. Forget to attach any photo.
    • Post random clicks and do not care about the presentation quality of your entry.
    [HOW TO] Improve your skills:
    • Keep the fun and enjoy photography.
    • Learn the capabilities of your phone - the camera HW and SW.
    • Practice and do experiment a lot, try to look at things from different pespectives and be critical.
    • (More hints on demand 👍)
    Why so serious?🤔

    Take a look at the statistic and summary below made by @hennes .
    See you.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021

  4. hennes
    YaImCo Developer Jan 19, 2021

    hennes , Jan 19, 2021 :
    Hello Shutterbugs,

    Many thanks to @cdnfarmer for the great tutorial. Everyone who wants to take pictures and participate in the contest should take a look at this tutorial. But there are many more tutorials that I would like to recommend to everyone, it is always worth looking at this:

    Thanks @cdnfarmer for her tips about photography
    Thank you @Bouncer71 for his many posts and tips about photography:
    Thanks for the ongoing thread from @TibiTibi
    Sample Shots by @Bouncer71 and @woSch
    More links and tutorial about photography you can find here, thanks @dsmonteiro

    Again, we're not doing this to be famous, we're doing this because we want to take you further, because we want to push your skills to make the pictures even better, because with the right technology you can get a lot out of OnePlus devices, because I personally believe in it, I personally believe that photography is not just click and go, but that it is a process that starts when you get up in the morning to check the weather, to find the optimal lens, to be aware of yourself and your surroundings and ends with finding the finished picture, including post-processing, to be good for yourself. There is no shame in getting better, it is called development and that is what makes us human.

    But before we start I would like to thank all the photo experts I had a great year with, thank you @cdnfarmer, @Bouncer71, @otto2, @script, @TibiTibi and @woSch.
    Also to the OnePlus staff members @Zach X. , @Crystal Z. , @dsmonteiro, @Olive W. Thank you for the great time.

    Ok, lets start, thanks also to @TibiTibi for his interjection which I gladly take up here to confront you a little with the statistics from the year 2020.

    Why? Because I want to show how great you are, but also how much work it is to coordinate, define and organize everything, so always have a little patience if it does not go so fast. Thank you.

    1. PAGES

    In 2020 we had the following number of pages per month:​

    January: 42 / February: 31 / March: 70 / April: 56 / May: 39 / June: 46 /
    July: 72 / August: 57 / September: 29 / October: 52 / November: 68/ December: 33

    That's a total of 595 pages in 2020!

    2. POSTS

    In 2020, we had the following number of posts per month:

    January: 835 / February: 616 / March: 1389 / April: 1102 / May: 772 / June: 920 /
    July: 1238 / August: 1132 / September: 578 / October: 1035 / November: 1347 / December: 644

    This is a total of 11608 posts in 2020.

    3. IMAGES

    In 2020 we had the following number of images per month:

    January: 1334 / February: 805 / March: 2064 / April: 1526 / May: 962 / June: 920 /
    July: 2262 / August: 1902 / September: 715 / October: 1637 / November: 1924 / December: 747

    This is a total of 16798 images in 2020.


    In 2020 we have the following number of different users per month:

    January: 564 / February: 342 / March: 928 / April: 502 / May: 295 / June: 366 /
    July: 754 / August: 644 / September: 325 / October: 647 / November: 909 / December: 346

    In the whole year we had a total of 5189 different users.
    This value is of course smaller than the sum of the above months,
    which would be 6622, because many users participate often and every month.
    But it also means that we have gained 1433 new users.​


    In 2020 we have the following number of LIKES per month:

    January: 2481 / February: 2978 / March: 3828 / April: 4447 / May: 3539 / June: 3719 /
    July: 2998 / August: 3355 / September: 1729 / October: 2554 / November: 3616 / December: 1937

    That's a total of 37282 likes in 2020

    6. Month by month

    January 2020

    Theme: Water in all Shapes
    Host: @script
    Pages: 42
    Images: 1334
    Posts: 835
    Different users: 564
    Likes: 2481
    Winners: 1
    @jlasensiofi => Post

    February 2020
    Theme: Bridges
    Host: @script
    Pages: 31
    Images: 805
    Posts: 616
    Diffrent users: 342
    Likes: 2978
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @Vijesh_Venugopal => Post
    2. week: @Cogdo => Post
    3. week: @Mohan_G => Post
    4. week: @mchaw => Post

    March 2020
    Theme: A Tree
    Host: @cdnfarmer
    Images: 2064
    Posts: 1389
    Different users: 928
    Likes: 3828
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @kunalphotography => Post
    2. week: @ankitgondalia => Post
    3. week: @Dimshek => Post
    4. week: @kirankumar7348 => Post

    April 2020
    Theme: Through the Window, Red, Transparent, Food
    Host: @B.I.T.S.
    Pages: 56
    Images: 1526
    Posts: 1102
    Different users: 502
    Likes: 4447
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @TibiTibi => Post
    2. week: @S.Ghosh => Post
    3. week: @kumarmk85 => Post
    4. week: @aj2989 => Post

    May 2020
    Theme: Nostalgia, Mirrors, My Hobby, Plants
    Host: @TibiTibi
    Pages: 39
    Images: 962
    Posts: 772
    Different users: 295
    Likes: 3539
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @Narcyz7 => Post
    2. week: @G_Sourav_Thakur_IIax => Post
    3. week: @mchaw => Post
    4. week: @Sweet_Ivy => Post

    June 2020
    Theme: PetPics, Macro, UltraWide, Nightscape
    Host: @Bouncer71
    Pages: 46
    Images: 1025
    Posts: 920
    Different users: 366
    Likes: 3719
    Winners: 12
    1. week:
    @plalaa_ => Post
    @cdnfarmer => Post
    @light.them.lamps => Instagram
    2. week
    @blueskywhale => Post
    @Muralidharan.V => Post
    @mobi__captures__ => Instagram
    3. week
    @thecursedchild => Post
    @jjlakomiec => Post
    @flicks.nt => Post
    4. week:
    @MrinalJyoti => Post
    @RaWeera => Post
    @casperawh => Post

    July 2020
    Theme: Summer Vibes
    Host: @Flemming F.
    Pages: 72
    Images: 2262
    Posts: 1238
    Different users: 754
    Likes: 2998
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @thecursedchild => Post
    2. week: @aer0zer0 => Post
    3. week: @Mohan_G => Post
    4. week: @ujjal tanchangya => Post

    August 2020
    Theme: Landscapes and Water
    Host: @cdnfarmer
    Pages: 57
    Images: 1902
    Posts: 1132
    Different users: 644
    Likes: 3355
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @Maneesh Mn => @maneeshmn => Post
    2. week: @Benni184 => Post
    3. week: @Nora_the_lab => Post
    4. week: @mkhan0222 => Post

    September 2920

    Theme: A Reflection of Life
    Host: @script
    Pages: 29
    Images: 715
    Posts: 578
    Different users: 325
    Likes: 1729
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @jlasensiofi => Post
    2. week: @llXecutionerll => Post
    3. week: @BetiK => Post
    4. week: @avnishrai_29 => Post

    October 2020
    Theme: A Cosy Place
    Host: @thecursedchild
    Pages: 52
    Images: 1637
    Posts: 1035
    Different users: 647
    Likes: 2554
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @Nipu_1998 => Post
    2. week: @Y1583348720433 => Post
    3. week: @Cogdo => Post
    4. week: @Viktor2020 => Post

    November 2020
    Theme: Golden
    Host: @Mohan_G
    Pages: 68
    Images: 1924
    Posts: 1347
    Different users: 909
    Likes: 3616
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @Rakeshahalya => Post
    2. week: @Y1531146799783 => Post
    3. week: @G_virendra_singh_lMrU => Post
    4. week: Q1595748346254 => @Rakzi => Post

    December 2020
    Theme: Red
    Host: @Shivang Joshi
    Pages: 33
    Images: 747
    Posts: 644
    Different users: 346
    Likes: 1937
    Winners: 4
    1. week: @Danicr => Post
    2. week: @Sylvester.David => Post
    3. week: @ShubhamMaratha => Post
    4. week: @DPlayers_08 => Post
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021

  5. script
    Moderator Moderator Jan 24, 2021

    script , Jan 24, 2021 :
    Overall the soop contest is a great contest, with many quality pictures. For my personal taste, the "smaller" themes, that are a bit more narrowed down to a certain aspect, show the more interesting pictures.

    What I like most is the wide range of themes, hosts, and the posted pictures. Some of the professional photographers achieve a picture quality on a level which is impressive. What makes me smile is, that also enthusiasts like myself sometimes post great pictures, on a normal level. I want to express an extra thank you to @BetiK , who took part in every single week with great photos full of life and truth. Her pictures are almost perfect snapshots, on a very high level, tell wonderful stories, and are true reflections of her. That's how photography should be, in my opinion.

    We have started the photography experts team in 2020. That group of mates cared to constantly push the photography section and make it better and better. Being part of that group is one of the best things in my OnePlus life. I am looking forward to 2021, full of creativity, talks, selections, sharing ideas, taking pictures, and talk about it.

  6. Nipu_1998
    Jelly Bean Feb 2, 2021

  7. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Feb 2, 2021

    cdnfarmer , Feb 2, 2021 :
    Thanks for your kind words. There are definitely lots of good photographers around. And it's neat to see the different approaches and artwork.

  8. SRD.
    KitKat Feb 8, 2021

  9. DarshanMeniya
    Jelly Bean Feb 8, 2021

    DarshanMeniya , Feb 8, 2021 :
    Thank you for revealing Photography Review of 2020.

    2020 was great year for me in terms of learning photography , looking forward to 2021!

    Adesh.sanmukh, hennes, otto2 and 7 others like this.
  10. Helder_DAlmeida
    Lollipop Feb 8, 2021

  11. TheOnePlusLife
    Gingerbread Feb 8, 2021

    TheOnePlusLife , Feb 8, 2021 :
    Great read and useful tips! Usually I try to shoot at 64MP for more room to crop in. It would've been nice to have a dedicated telephoto lens over the macro lens on the OnePlus 8T. Next time I'll try to get my hands on a pro model.

  12. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Feb 8, 2021

    cdnfarmer , Feb 8, 2021 :
    It's good to see your pictures and the interactions we had in the past year. Keep up the good work.

    Definitely and looking forward to it too. Keep taking pictures. Enjoy and see them in the contests and non contest thread. ;)

    👍🤗 thanks Helder. And plus you have a great model -Kisu.

    The are lots of great people in the forum. Looking at your pictures and many others is also and inspiration for me. I do also learn from you guys. ;)

  13. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Feb 8, 2021

    cdnfarmer , Feb 8, 2021 :
    telephoto lens would be good. Do you shoot on regular mode most times or take advantage of pro mode?

  14. dom_k
    Honeycomb Feb 8, 2021

  15. Lumrf
    Gingerbread Feb 8, 2021

  16. NoviceAide
    Gingerbread Feb 8, 2021

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021

  17. 303276697017
    Gingerbread Feb 8, 2021

  18. BetiK
    Honeycomb Feb 8, 2021

    BetiK , via OnePlus 7 Pro , Feb 8, 2021 :
    First of all I would like to thank your kind words dear Script.
    Indeed this community is something special in my life.
    All photography experts and advisers had a great role in improving my skills. Great ideas and ways to help also came from the community participants.
    Although we have to keep in mind our commitment to always improve. Otherwise, we would not want to start each day.
    I feel very honored to have my name mentioned in this report.
    I always look forward to knowing what the new theme will be. I imagine that most of the participants feel the same way.
    Incredibly, we all feel great pleasure and encouragement for every single like we receive specially when it comes from the hosts or the experts.
    This difficult year we have spent has allowed me and I guess to all, to explore and create more possibilities to find images that were captivating, and at the same time balanced and within the standards so proclaimed to us in the various technical publications on photography given by all dear experts. And everything offered to us for free.
    Anyway, I have learned a lot from all of you.
    I want to say this publicly right now.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021

  19. Santhosh2795
    Donut Feb 8, 2021