6 Phone-tography tips to have you taking pro-level pics with your palm-sized device

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(Image: Getty Images)
(Image: Getty Images)

We all enjoy a good photo op - gorgeous backdrops, unique locations and quirky and funny moments captured – it’s not hard to find ourselves in a local setting that calls for a photo moment.

While most modern smartphones come kitted out with premium and high-quality cameras that are enabled with AI capabilities – these become rendered useless to a hand that doesn’t know how to wield its camera strengths.

The HUAWEI Nova 8, for example, comes boasting an exquisite quad-camera set-up and a high-res selfie camera powered by AI capabilities and premium features. The sleek and lightweight smartphone pulls inspiration from the Saturn rings with its back 64MP quad-camera set-up all packaged in a glistening 90Hz Curved OLED display design that weighs a delicate 169g.

The back camera layout includes a crisp, vibrant, and AI-powered 64MP HD main camera lens, an 8MP 120° ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP depth or bokeh camera lens, and a 2MP macro camera lens – allowing you to get creative with your phone photography and images with high resolution of up to 9216 x 6912 pixels. The device also boasts a 32MP selfie camera - letting you snap images of up to 6528 x 4896 pixels in resolution. The selfie lens includes fun AI filters to play around with and comes kitted out with an enhanced night mode to envy.

The HUAWEI Nova 8 allows you to capture images and videos with ease – keeping it all safe and sound with the 8 GB RAM + 128 GB ROM of storage available on board. The device is also equipped with the Kirin ISP 5.0, which improves exposure and reduces photo noise, allowing you to capture crisp and clear night-time photos with ease.

While features like these are impressive and great to have on your device – you need to know how to handle your phone-tography weapon of choice with professional ease and grace. The struggle becomes being able to capture our favourite moments and feelings we’re experiencing in their true essence on our mobile devices without a crooked alignment or blurry focus throwing it off.

Here are six ways you can up your phone photography game with a few tricks and tips from the pros:


There’s no use in having an array of high-res lenses, like those available on the HUAWEI Nova 8 if you forget to clean them and take care of them regularly. It's wise to invest in and keep a microfibre cloth on you to wipe off any smudges or dust that would affect the resolution and quality of your pictures when out and about. Ensure you get the most out of your premium lenses and keep them clear of dirt or grime with ease to snap some truly pro-level pics.


There’s a way to ensure you have images that are always framed well. It’s a golden rule when it comes to photography: the rule of thirds. This is the concept where your view or your screen is divided into a grid of nine squares – or divided into three horizontal and vertical sections. You can enable a grid feature on your smartphone camera, like on the HUAWEI Nova 8, to assist with this. The trick many photographers find is that when the subject of your photo is aligned on one of the vertical lines and the main focal point is placed on one of the intersecting points of the grid lines you get an image that’s inviting and grabs a viewer’s attention easily. This grid can also help you balance your image and frame your subject based on their surroundings – like trees or buildings etc. to get an image that’s balanced and aligned in a visually pleasing way.


Another pro tip from photographers is considering these important things when it comes to a different kind of framing – depth and focus. This is less to do with the 2D aspect of your picture framing and layout and more to do with the 3D aspect that involves the image’s foreground, middle ground, and background. You can get creative with your smartphone's camera lenses, like the impressive HUAWEI Nova 8’s 2MP depth or bokeh camera lens when experimenting with focus. This lens will allow you to get dreamy close-ups of your subject or create a blurry background effect giving an ethereal depth feel that brings you closer to what you’re focusing on. You can also strategically focus on something in front of or behind your subject by tapping on your camera screen to choose your focus ground – creating new and different ways to emote a range of feelings through your image.


Similarly, lighting and brightness play a big role in the kind of emotion and story your image tells. Most, if not all, modern smartphones allow you to easily adjust your exposure and camera brightness by tapping on the screen over your subject in your camera and toggling up or down the brightness level. Additionally, smartphones like the HUAWEI Nova 8 comes kitted out with AI capabilities that helps find the best setting and exposure options for you to use in any lighting situation. This feature paired with the improved night mode on the device allows you to capture vibrant images in any lighting setting. You can opt for a moodier shot with lower lighting or switch it up for a bright and iridescent shot full of colour and light with a few exposure adjustments.


Angles play an equally important role when it comes to emitting an emotion and feeling through an image. Pictures taken from a lower angle give off a regal and dominating effect on your subject whereas pictures taken from higher angles evoke a sense of submission and vulnerability. You can play around with angles to also create some fun shots that play around with these effects and get creative depending on your setting. The HUAWEI Nova 8 allows you to get even more creative with your angles with its 8MP 120° ultra-wide-angle lens. This lets you play around with proximity and angles to create some fun and unique shots – especially in fun landscapes like flower fields or cityscapes.


While angles are angels in photography, the devil also lies in the details. Taking some intricate and detailed close-up shots always grabs the eye of viewers – whether it’s the crisp details of fresh spring flowers or a close-up shot of a bee minding its beeswax in them, there’s something mesmerising about getting a closer look at what we otherwise overlook. The HUAWEI Nova 8 2MP macro camera lens allows you to get closer to the smaller subjects around us and expose your social feed to a whole new micro world.

These are just some of the ways to get funky with your phone photography game – but the true test comes out in the field. So, grab your pocket-sized weapon of choice or snag the glistening new HUAWEI Nova 8 on a hot deal for just R12999 and receive a free Bluetooth headset valued at R699 over at the HUAWEI Store (Online) (T&C's apply).

This post is sponsored by HUAWEI produced by BrandStudio24 for News24.

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