Five Tip Friday: Capturing great photos

We asked our @BlackBerryHelp Twitter followers to send us the best picture they had ever taken on their phone, and tell us what settings they used to take it. We’re going to highlight 5 of our favorites to talk about how you can use similar methods to capture your own great shots!

Before we begin, I want to give a quick shout out to ALL our followers who submitted an image. There were so many great images, it was honestly hard to choose just 5 to share- so I decided to include a collage of some of the other amazing shots that were submitted.

Check it out below, and click on the tweet to see how they took them all!


Now, without further ado, here are five tips on how to take the best pictures on your phone!

1 – Use HDR to capture beautiful landscapes

Ever tried capturing a beautiful scene on your phone, only to be disappointed that the photo doesn’t measure up to the real sight? Try the HDR setting on your BlackBerry10, or BlackBerry Android smartphone! Connor has captured a great picture here using HDR feature on his Passport. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and it helps capture the contrast between the light and dark areas in the photo.

When HDR is enabled, your camera will take three photos, instead of one, whenever you take a photo. It takes each photo with different exposure levels, and then combines the 3 images together, highlighting the best parts of each photo in the final image.

HDR mode is best for shooting large landscapes, like in Connor’s photo, or shooting in low lighting or harsh sunlight- any extreme that may cause over- or-under exposure of your subject. HDR isn’t great for shooting scenes of movement, though. You will notice in HDR mode your camera takes longer to take the picture, and that’s because it’s shooting 3 photos and combining them. If you subject is moving between the frames, it increases the chance of a blurry photo.

To switch to HDR mode on BlackBerry10, In the Camera app, tap 3tip_3dot, then click HDR. In PRIV or DTEK50, turn on HDR by tapping the hdr  icon in the top left of your screen when the Camera is open.

2 – Use Time Shift for a better chance of capturing the best moment

Frank captured this great photo of lightning striking near him. Lightning is the perfect example of something hard to capture in a picture, because it happens so quickly. Time shift can help you capture these split second moments!

This feature is only available to BlackBerry10 users. Time Shift allows you to take a series of rapid shots, and then scroll through to find the best one. To take a picture using time shift mode:

  1. In the Camera app, tap 3tip_3dot > ftf_timeshift.
  2. To take the picture, tap ftf_timeshift. Hold the camera steady until the picture appears.
  3. Do one of the following:

Time shift is also great for capturing group shots. Ever tried to take a picture of your whole crew, only to find someone is always blinking in each picture? Time Shift allows you to swap a person’s expression in the picture, so you get everyone’s best shot! For more on how to use this cool feature, check out this article

3 – Make edits in the photos app!

Maybe you’ve already taken a photo, but you want to do some quick edits- no problem! Your phone’s camera has some basic tools for you to make the most of each shot, like Hanna did!

Using any photo in your phone’s album, you can adjust the things like color, saturation, brightness, and more. For more on what tools are available on your phone, check out this article for BlackBerry10, or this one for PRIV (and DTEK50).

You also can add cool filters (no Instagram needs!) to your photos- both BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Android smartphones have a selection of great filters to give you photos a different feel- I personally love “Antique” filter on BlackBerry10, and the “Saturn” filter on PRIV!

4 – Make magic with Manual Settings

This is a great image- and you may think “Well yes, but it’s been edited”, but it’s not just the editing that makes this image stunning- it’s the original images, too. You need delicious ingredients to make a delicious meal, and it’s the same for photos- you have to start with the right settings to get a good picture.

So far, we’ve discussed some great automatic features that make picture taking a breeze. These settings all exist under your BlackBerry camera’s Auto settings. What Anwaar has done is switched the camera to Manual settings, and adjusted the settings manually in order to capture certain effects- for example, the image outside of the ‘focused’ circle is shot for a bokeh effect- bokeh referring to how the lens captures the out-of-focus points of light.

Manual settings are only available on BlackBerry Android smartphones. In Manual settings, you can adjust shutter speed (which can change how bright your photo is, or how blurry the subject), change the ISO (light) sensitivity, focus on subjects manually, and more. For a full list of manual settings, and detailed descriptions on how to use them, check out this article.

Your first shot may not be on Anwaar’s expert level, but get out and try a few of these for yourself, and see what kind of amazing effects you can create!

5 – Just go for it!

As Scott says, sometimes you just have to go for it! Using your BlackBerry camera’s standard settings can still get a great picture- sometimes, they key to a great picture isn’t planning, but being in the right place in the right moment! To make sure you can capture that right moment before it passes, BlackBerry makes it easy to open your camera directly from your lock screen, without even unlocking your device!

To access your camera from your BlackBerry10 lock screen, tap and hold the camera icon that appears in the bottom right hand corner of the lock screen. For users who have a BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android, hold the camera icon in the bottom right of your screen, and swipe upwards on your screen without lifting your finger.

There you have it- 5 tips for taking amazing pictures- now get out this weekend and capture some great memories! Do you have more tips to add, or have a question about the ones we shared today? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about your BlackBerry smartphone or troubleshoot an issue, there are several great options available to help. Visit the BlackBerry support page for access to product documentation, how-to demos, tips and tricks, YouTube videos, support forums, knowledge base articles, Twitter support, and contact information for your region.

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