Outdoor photography using your smartphone? Here are tips and tricks from 2 pros

Outdoor photography using your smartphone? Here are tips and tricks from 2 pros


MANILA, Philippines — Ever since the age of camera phones, Filipinos have relied on their mobile devices to capture unforgettable travels and adventures. This have also allowed them to share their experiences amid the beautiful sceneries to friends and family in social media.

But what if that photo of the most beautiful sunset in Boracay is skewed? Or the supposed macro flower shot turned out blurred? Many things can go unexpected when shooting outdoors using a smartphone.

Whether you’re a creative, an aspiring photographer, or you just love to express yourself, there are ways to improve your outdoor mobile photography. Luckily, two professionals share tips and tricks.

“Mobile photography will always be a convenient yet highly capable option whether you take photographs to keep memories or to express yourself. A smartphone with a good camera always serves as a handy tool and for a lot of Filipinos, a great way to develop photography skills when they are just starting out in the craft,” Nicco Valenzuela, a landscape and architecture photographer, told Philstar.com.

He added that a smartphone can be used to shoot the natural beauty of nature and tell stories about it. To do so, he has three simple tips for composition that can help maximize your smartphone for outdoor photography.

Photos by Nicco Valenzuela illustrates focal point and visual flow and balance.

  1. Identify a focal point. While outdoor photos tend to showcase an entire landscape, choose a focal point or subject where a visual experience revolves.
  2. Compose with visual flow. Lead the eyes of viewers from the edges of the images to your focal point.
  3. Have visual balance. Frame your images in such a way that there is balance between significant elements on each side. Pro tip: When shooting horizons, make sure that it is straight by turning on grid lines on your camera setting.

For Tacio Bautista, an underwater photographer, preparing your smartphone before shooting outside is as important as having technical skills.

As such, he gives tricks that will give one more ease for outdoor photography.

Photos shot by Tacio Bautista at Masungi Georeserve. For him, choosing a smartphone with great camera lens and features is also important in mobile outdoor photography.

  • Clean your lens to avoid capturing smudges over your photos.
  • Make sure to charge your phone before going out. You can also set it Airplane Mode to have a longer battery life.
  • Save or allot enough memory on your phone so you don’t run out of space in the middle of taking photos.

Last but not the least for both photographers, choosing a smartphone with great camera lens and features is also key to unlocking your outdoor mobile photography skills.

Just recently, the two pros got their hands on the newest high-end and flagship phone of tech brand TECNO Mobile, the Phantom X2 Pro 5G. Both used it as their official cameras during an organized media tour at Masungi Georeserve in Rizal.

“When I opened the box and saw the camera, I was amazed with the three lenses so my expectations were high. The camera exceeded my expectations,” Bautista said.

Of these three lenses, one is the world’s first retractable portrait lens at 50MP and with 65mm focal length, a 2.5x optical zoom, a large F1.49 aperture and a shallow 18.9cm depth of field. This allows the Phantom X2 Pro 5G to take portraits with pure optical bokeh that is comparable to professional camera shots.

Philstar.com/Euden Valdez

It also has a powerful 50MP main camera with a 1/1.3” sensor and a Super Night mode, a 13MP wide angle camera, and a 32MP front camera with a new self-developed beautification mode.

“It is super easy to use with fast autofocus, crisp image quality and what I love the most is, you can control the aperture so you can get a DSLR-like photo. This is now my go-to camera especially when I travel,” Bautista further noted.

The series also comes with the Phantom X2 5G version that’s packed with a 64MP main camera with an RGBW sensor and a glass (5P+1G) lens for stunning portrait photography. Each camera has better sensors that allow light intake at 60% and 30% more, respectively.

The Masungi Georeserve served as the perfect destination to test both smartphone’s innovative cameras. From amazing limestone formations, natural sculptures, caves, and several hundred types of flora and fauna, the Phantom X2 Series captured them all.

As it is handy, the Phantom X2 Series was also great in taking photos at the more adventurous segments of Masungi that include Georeserve’s hanging bridge, stone and concrete trails, rope courses, pocket gardens, and elevated viewing platforms.

The Phantom X2 Series battery at 5,160mAh, with power consumption savings of up to 38%, is also another great feature for mobile photography. Add to this MediaTek’s flagship Dimensity 9000 4nm 5G chip and an octa-core CPU configuration for overall peak performance and efficient multi-tasking.

In terms of storage, the Phantom X2 Pro 5G boasts a large 12GB RAM and 256GB memory that’s great for capturing countless photographs and even videos.

With its innovative lenses and powerful features, TECNO’s Phantom X2 Series is sure to capture vivid and stunning images—the emotion of the moment, popping out of the comfort zone, living 100%.