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May 26, 2014

Your 100 greatest Lumia photography tips: Part 1

If you love your Lumia, likelihood is you love photography too.

We sure do, which is why we get a massive kick out of showcasing the best smartphone photography around. One way we’ve been doing that this year is by bigging up the ever growing and ever more amazing Lumia Instagramer community. Well, this week that community reached a big, big milestone with the 100 thousandth photo posted using the hashtag #Lumia1020. To celebrate we’ve put together the ultimate four part list of Lumia photography tips shared by you on this very blog. Yes, we’ve combed the archives to bring you the best Lumia advice from the best Lumia photographers. Trigger finger itching? Good! Then read on.

On getting started

1. “Be sure to make use of the 7GB Microsoft offers of free OneDrive space in the cloud for owners of Lumia devices. I find this very handy as it allows me to back up my photos, text messages and app list automatically.”

Patrick Walsh


2. “Remember you’re on a digital camera so you’re almost not limited in picture numbers. Don’t hesitate to capture the same scene several times and from different points of view, sometimes very similar. You never know what you could capture with a slight change.”

Olivier Noirhomme

3. “Always keep your Lumia camera lens clean.”

Hieu T. Nguyen

4. “Try to look at things differently than your human perspective, even common and usual things. It can be from above, from below, closer, from unexpected points of view…”

Olivier Noirhomme


5. “Keep it simple: People love simple photos with a clearly defined subject. Try to avoid letting things get too busy, if your eye can instantly focus on the subject of your photo and the background isn’t too distracting, chances are people will really dig it.”

Bryce Mcnitt

6. “The Camera Grip comes as an accessory and gives the Lumia 1020 the feel of an ‘old-skool’ camera. But it is even better than that – it also provides a tripod mount and additional battery life so that you don’t run out of juice whilst out on location.”

Patrick Walsh

7. “There are strict photography rules but try sometimes to go against them to see if it can produce something interesting.”

Olivier Noirhomme


8. “The best way to improve your skills is to practice. Yes, I mean a lot. Shoot as much as you can – it doesn’t really matter what. Finally, let your heart and mind tell you when to take a photo. Trust your instincts.”

Hieu T. Nguyen

On lighting and exposure

9. “ISO settings allow you to change the speed at which light is absorbed by the sensor. Higher ISO settings take in light faster, but increase noise and color imprecision, which can create some cool results.”

Patrick Walsh

10. “Don’t be scared of the dark! When working with low light the contrast between light and darkness can tell you more than brightened picture!”

Emanuela Zaccone


11. “A fast shutter speed can capture sharp action shots in well-lit conditions, whilst a slow shutter speed can create those fantastic ‘trailing light’ shots that we all love.”

Patrick Walsh

12. “Try shooting when the sun is low in the horizon (early morning or sunset), and try finding a shaded area if the sun is high and bright. Shoot subjects that are backlit for vivid colors.”


13. “Experiment with different angles, especially when shooting outdoors, and your picture will get a beautiful effect for free. Maybe, if you move a little bit to your left or right, you won’t cast a shadow on your subject, or you will catch a ray of light shining through the foliage or on a drop of water.”


14. “The Lumia 1020 allows you to drop exposure down to -3EV so you can create silhouettes of almost anything interesting you come across.”

Richard Dorman


15. “It’s all about natural light. You should try taking pictures without flash, even if your phone wants to use it.”

Kenneth Apeland

16. “Enjoy the “Golden Hours”, those times just before the sun comes up or goes down is a wonderful time to take a breathtaking photo. You can shoot sunrise/sunset, silhouettes , HDR or any kind of photograph and will often look amazing.”

Hieu T. Nguyen

17. “Light is and will always be my most inspiring of subject matters. The way it carves up the cities buildings and streets. The way it hides flaws exposes secrets. The way it bounces off of windows and reflects unusual patterns on opposing buildings… visual echoes… And, of course, those long dramatic shadows it casts early in the mornings and late afternoons.”

Matt Coch

18. “Smart phone cameras use a weighted average metering to determine the amount of exposure with which an image is taken. This can create problems with landscape images especially when the sky is a lot brighter than the land and you end up with a completely white sky in your image. You can try to control this by using ISO and exposure and you can also try moving the camera slightly so that the horizon is lower. This should change the metering result and the camera will compensate automatically. If none of this works, then HDR might be the answer.”

Richard Dorman

On black and white


19. ”Black and white pictures tell a story, so having a subject makes it more appealing.”

Husain Ujjainwala

20. “I use high contrast and low brightness. Mornings and evenings are a good time to take black and white pictures because of the low brightness.”

Abhijeet Shetty

21. ”Normally I don’t walk around looking specifically black and white pictures, but sometimes I try converting coloured ones into black and white with Picasa on computer or Fantasia Painter on Phone.”

Peter Tjark

22. “I like to use the app OneShot especially for black and white because you can set three tailormade settings, which is super good if you need a certain setting really fast. One of them is my black and white  where I’ve removed all saturation to get rid of the colours.”

Anthony Hunter

23. ”I post edit on Lightroom with computer and with phone Fantasia painter and Fhotoroom.”

Harish Kumar

24. ”Try different apps like Instagram, Hipstamatic oggl or Fantasia painter.”

Deepak Khonei

25. “Try to retain the small details in the shot. Don’t go too harsh on contrast or you’ll lose all the details. It’s not always possible to get clean whites and blacks so keep it grey. Grey looks good.”

Husain Ujjainwala


26. “When using Fhotoroom, take a high colour image then turn the vibrance down, up the highlights and lower the shadows. It works a treat.”

Scott Gibson

We hope you found this first batch of tips as super useful as we did. If you’ve got any others (which fall into the categories above) that you want to share, please do so in the comments below. In the meantime, we’re off to put some of these into practise.