As we’ve demonstrated and detailed with our Nokia Pro Camera tutorial series in the last couple of weeks, it’s absolutely possible to become a better photographer with a Nokia Lumia and Nokia Pro Camera.
Let’s finish this series showing you how to use some basic settings to get a perfect shot.
The functions described below can be found in the settings menu within Nokia Pro Camera.
An easy way to improve your photos is to start thinking more about composition and framing of your shot. For example, instead of positioning the subject in the middle of the photo, framing the photo so that your subject is placed one of the sides of the photo will create a more harmonious composition.
That’s where framing grids comes in useful. From the settings-menu of Pro Camera you can select a range of grids, like Rule of thirds, Golden ratio, Cross hairs or Square. Selecting one of these will overlay a grid onto the viewfinder, which helps you positioning your subject in your shot.
There are no rules in photography, but the “Rule of thirds” is a very good tool to make your photos look professional. The “Rule of thirds” grid divides your screen into equal 3rds both horizontally and vertically using 2 vertical lines and 2 horizontal lines.
Position the most important elements in your scene along these lines or where they intersect.
Research has shown that our eyes are naturally drawn to the intersection of these lines. Imagine how boring it would have been if the subject would have been placed smack in the middle of the scene?
An alternative rule of composition is to use the “golden ratio”, which divides the screen according to the Golden Ratio, which for long has been regarded as aesthetically pleasing.
The Crosshairs is great for making symmetric shots, and making sure that the horizon is straight. We are very sensitive to symmetry, and if you spend some extra time making sure that the horizon is really straight, or that the lines meet exactly in the middle of your photo, your photos will come out a lot better.
The square grid helps you frame your photo if you know you’re going to crop it into a square later on, which is possible using the reframe tools in Pro Camera (more on that in a previous post).
With face detection turned on, you will notice that your viewfinder will draw rectangles around the faces detected by Pro Camera. Once you take the photo, focus will automatically be set to the face, to ensure that the face is sharp. Keep this on, unless you specifically want to take control over the focus by for example touching the screen, or using manual focus.
Set Nokia Pro Camera as your default camera app
On the 92x-series, pressing the camera shutter key will by default open the Windows Phone Camera application. With the Amber update, you can now change this so that pressing the camera shutter key will open the Pro Camera application.
The configuration of the camera shutter key can be found in the settings of Pro Camera by clicking “more settings”, scrolling down to “pressing the camera button opens” and selecting “Nokia Pro Cam” from the dropdown list. It can also be found through Windows Phone’s settings in “settings” > “applications” > “photos+camera” > “pressing the camera button opens” > Nokia Pro Cam.
Pro Camera is the default for the Lumia 1020, but you can change this to the built-in camera or Smart Camera.
If you want to learn more about photography, have a look at the tutorial in Pro Camera, found in the 3-dot-menu. The tutorial explains more on how to use the advanced parameters, and also includes interactive examples which shows you what results you can expect when you use the manual controls. Click “Try it” to get to the interactive tutorial.
Hopefully now, after this short series on Nokia Pro Camera, you’ll be prepared to snap anything – with confidence you’ll get the perfect shot.
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