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September 25, 2014

Your 100 greatest Lumia photography tips: Part 3

We’re very confident there’s been something for everyone in the first two parts of our 100 greatest Lumia photography tips series. But even if that’s not the case, it’s third time lucky!

Yes, here we are again, ready to share yet more top tips from our most amazing Lumia phoneographers. Whether you want to learn to get the best from your flash or discover the secrets of professional-quality editing or how to get the most from our amazing Lumia community, you should find the answers in the tips below.

On using flash

1. “Use flash to freeze the moment and avoid any blur. While shooting water drops, it will also give you an awesome sparkling effect. But use it wisely!”

João (Jonas to his friends) Oliveira

2. “Flash can be very useful with insects, it will freeze them when they’re moving fast. To avoid a too obvious flash effect, take your shots in as bright light as possible, such as on a sunny day in the summer.”

Olivier Noirhomme

3. “Unlike most smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is equipped with a Xenon flash so you can freeze moving objects without getting a blurry image. Useful for taking photos of people in motion, but it does mean you can do other things too, such as freezing moving water. Depending on conditions, you might be able to simply force the flash to “on”, however you might have to manipulate some other controls to avoid the image being a complete white-out. I recommend you start with dropping exposure to -1.3.”

Richard Dorman

On editing:

4. Even a small contrast adjustment or a saturation boost can really give your photos that extra pop. Some great in-phone apps are Fotor and Nokia Creative Studio. For those that shoot DNG, which I do, then I would suggest Adobe Lightroom (warning, highly addictive), which can really transform photos into something beautiful.”

Bryce McNitt


5. “Don’t be afraid to edit your images, this is where you can really add your own style. I personally use fantasia painter , fhotoroom and LumiPX. I often tweet with the latter two encouraging them to include features that are needed.”

Rob Mulally

6. “If you are using a Nokia Lumia 1020 or another Lumia that supports RAW format, shoot in dual mode (JPEG + RAW) and use a photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom to edit your photo afterwards. For me, RAW and macro photography go hand in hand.”

Cosmin Ciuc

7. “Pre-installed on the Lumia 1020 are a number of fantastic post-processing apps to help you edit your photos fast and effectively. There are many more available in the app store, but the go-to apps that I recommend on the Lumia 1020 are:
– Creative Studio – my one stop shop for colour-popping, tweaking photos and applying filters.
– Cinemagraph – the easiest way to animate sections of a still image.
– Panorama – for creating the wide and wonderful when it comes to landscapes and skylines.”

Patrick Walsh

8. “I mainly use Fotor and Creative Studio for editing my shots. I generally make some adjustments (brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness) and sometimes play with filters. For taking long exposure shots, I use only the Proshot app, which gives me full access to settings. Why Proshot? Because it was the first photography app that enabled the use of custom settings on the Lumia 920. Now, you can find lots of apps that give DSLR capabilities to Lumia phones, such as the very user-friendly Nokia Camera.”

Olivier Wong

9. “Well, personally, I take pictures of everything, sometimes of things I think are not worth it, but keep them anyway. I import them to my computer and then every single picture surprises me when editing. It’s amazing the things you can do with simple photos.”

Alexander Guido González

10. “Just capture everything you like. You can always still delete it afterwards. And the most important thing is to leave space for cropping. Personally, I take lots of time editing my pictures and mainly use Adobe Photoshop Express for Windows Phone and Fantasia Painter. For uploading non-squared pics I use 6tag.”

Orathai Retzer


11. “If you’re like me, loving the vibrancy and colors, there’s no harm in tweaking. Fhotoroom has been a close friend lately. Also ask how people they tinker their photos, you’ll learn a lot. Don’t forget to thank and credit them though.”

Russel Andrew Villena

12. “Post processing always helps to improve your shot. Windows Phone apps I use to edit my B&W portraits are Nokia Creative Studio, Fotor, and Fhotoroom.”

Muthu Krishnan

13. “It’s not always possible to shoot exactly what we want so editing is the last resort to try to achieve that. Don’t be in a hurry. Take
time. Adjust the levels, shadows and highlights until you get the look you are hoping for.”

Husain Ujjainwala

14. “Find an editing app that fits your taste. I have tried so many and found a few that really work well. Fhotoroom, Onelens, and Fantasia Painter are my go to editors. These apps are fantastic for editing on your phone. I know there are purists who like to leave there photos “as is”, but I tell you that your initial capture may not be showing all of the detail and color that editing can bring out. Play around with it and you will be pleasantly surprised.”

Clifton Loosier

On the Lumia community:

15. Engage your followers and those you follow! The Lumia community is really really cool and really really social. I’ve learned a lot from some very friendly people. I’ve even met some great local photographers through the @igdc meetup group.

Bryce McNitt

16. “Engage with others, have fun, learn, encourage others and challenge yourself. Always try to become a better photographer; it’s a neverending lesson!

Rob Mulally


17.“Find yourself a style, improve it and become a master in it. People in this community love to see how you progress and the evolution of your pictures.”

Oliver Wong

18.“Don’t always try to be the centre, share things you like and love, that of course mean a lot to you, not just to gain followers, I think the main idea is to share, teach and learn from one another.”

Alexander Guido González

19. “Hashtag all the way. You get to meet new people around the world sharing the same passion and of course they get to discover you too.”

Russel Andrew Villena

On going manual

20. “The automatic controls provide fantastic results but it is through experimenting with the white balance, ISO, and shutter speed that you get those ‘next level’ photos.”

Patrick Walsh

21. “Set the focus to manual and get closer to your subject. The manual focus is really good in Lumia 1020 and it’s especially useful for close up shots of non-moving objects.”

João (Jonas to his friends) Oliveira

22. “I always say “write as if your creativity is your employer.” This sentence is the only rule I follow, even in my photography. My advice is to use manual and be inspired by the beauty that exists in the world, to learn to look at life with new eyes every day.”

Elvira Russo

23. Don’t stay on Auto mode and play with the settings. The Nokia Camera is designed to make everything available right way and you’d be surprised to see what kind of results you can have with the same scene by changing values like ISO, exposure compensation, white balance and/or shutter speed.

Olivier Wong


24. As we all know, Lumia phones are famous for their camera capabilities and Nokia camera just gives everything we want and need. Use Manual settings and keep playing with it until you get the desired result.

Husain Ujjainwala

25. “To quote Bruce Lee, “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water.” Let go of any constraints and remember that photography is a matter of the heart, not the mind.”

Mihai Andrei

Putting together these articles has been a wonderful voyage of discovery for us. We all promise to try each tip out at least once, but currently I’m stuck on number 7 here, addicted to testing Cinemagraph in the autumn wind. But what about you? Which tip have you found most handy – or most addictive? Please spill the beans in the comments below.