Google’s latest iterations of its popular Pixel smartphone, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, have class-leading cameras which are backed by some truly intelligent imaging software, resulting in impressive quality photos from a phone.
Tasmanian photographer Paul Fleming shares five pro tips to help you make the most of that powerful camera in the Pixel 2 and give your photos a boost; simply double-press the power button to instantly open the camera app and be ready to shoot!
- Composition is king
We see the world through our own filters – our eyes and brain – which includes subconsciously filtering out things we don’t ‘need’ to see when we’re taking a photo. So, try to ‘see’ your shot before you take it and look around what it might include, and what you may want to exclude; how many times have you looked back at a photo you’ve taken and only then noticed the powerlines cutting through your holiday snaps, or a dirty rubbish bin in the foreground of a beautiful sunset with friends? Reviewing photos on the Pixel 2 is fast, so it pays to do a quick check and see if you’ve missed seeing something – and with unlimited online storage for photos taken on your Pixel 2 in Google Photos** you don’t need to worry about taking too many snaps.
- Light is everything
If composition is king, then the light is surely the queen. Our eyes are drawn to brighter and colourful parts of photos, so make sure what is lit up is where you want us to look. The Pixel 2 loves shooting in low light situations, but are we going to be drawn to the softly lit historical building in front of you or the giant neon ’24hr Parking’ sign flashing next door? The Pixel 2 has built-in optical image stabilisation – so hold it reasonably still and it will work to give you a clean image.
- Learn the rules, so you can break them
An easy, and quick, way to improve the look and appeal of your photos is to experiment with some of the ‘rules’ of photography which are based on what is considered appealing to our senses. Maybe start with the ‘rule of thirds’, where you use your composition to cut the image into three equal sections. For example, turn on the thirds gridlines in the Pixel 2 camera and fill the top two thirds with a brilliant blue sky with the bottom third with people enjoying a beach. Once you can ‘see’ those rules, you’ll be more confident to ‘break’ them – you could show more sky to emphasize the vastness, or show more beach to highlight how un-crowded and serene it is.
- Change your perspective
We’re used to seeing the world from head height, and quick snaps naturally follow that same pattern. Often the photos that stand out to us aren’t because of what’s in the image, but rather the unusual or different perspective it was taken from. Try getting down low to the ground and see how your viewpoint, and the viewers, can be challenged. The Pixel 2 is also water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins), so you can get nice and close to puddles which can radically transform the mood and feel of a scene.
- Leading lines draw us in
The simplest of scenes can be the most engaging – especially if there is an element that gives our eyes a subconscious path to follow through your image. Using all your skills from the previous points, look around your view and see if there are any shapes or patches of light that are drawing your eyes along, to, or from them; look for paths, waterways or roads, for example – do they stretch off into the distance, or wind their way amongst some old trees? Focus on what it was that stood out to you and what you wanted to capture; then make sure that it is also what your photo is directing us towards. And if it’s a place worth sharing, just ask the Google Assistant (Requires internet or network connection. Data charges apply*) for your current location when you share it so you can help others experience your new favourite places too.
*The Telstra Mobile Network offers 4GX in all capital CBDs and selected suburban and regional areas and is progressively rolling out to more places. In other coverage areas around Australia, you’ll automatically switch to our fastest available 4G or 3G. Check coverage at telstra.com/coverage.
**Find out more about Google Photos here
Photos taken at Mount Wellington in Tasmania where Telstra has 4GX coverage
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