Huawei P20 Pro - A photographer's review

I have been a long OnePlus fan, i’ve owned the OP3 and then the 5 which i’ve kept for the past while, hoping for a refreshed camera experience - which was one of the main reasons for me to typically update the phone.

Since the OnePlus 5T, they have stuck with a borderline useless combination of cameras (even though admittedly the main camera was improved in the 6). Camera output was pretty decent and overall the photo quality was not bad. The problem arises when you look at what is possible today from other manufacturers.

This review was done using a Huawei P20 pro which i bought with my own money.

Tl Dr

The Huawei P20 pro has a fantastic camera with the main sensor being pretty huge - even though not all the features work as you might expect. Processing tends to be a bit on the heavy side, and doesn’t seem to be OIS on the main sensor. It’s also a great phone with good battery life and user experience if you can deal with some Huawei oddities on top of the stock android experience.

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How is the P20 pro as a phone?

Photography aside, the phone itself is good. Comparing to my Oneplus 5, performance is pretty much on par with any other Snapdragon 835 device and screen is more detailed. There is a small difference between 1080p screens and 1440p - it’s not huge, but it’s there. Battery life is amazing - i’ve recently spent most of the day travelling and got home with 35% battery despite 7 hours of screen on time, 2 hours of stored Netflix and hours of music streaming. The only negative experience is the software - Even though EMUI is usable, it’s not as smooth as the native google experience, or lightweight skins like OnePlus’s OxygenOS. One mindbogglingly annoying feature is that the double-click on the power button doesn’t load the camera. There is a double-click volume down option but that doesn’t work at all if you have music streaming. The device is also a bit thicker than OnePlus phones and whilst not a big deal for people with bigger hands (mine are quite small) - it is noticeable.


Let’s talk about the camera engineered with Leica

Being a photographer, i had some ideas about how each of the separate cameras in the P20 pro would work independently in the same way that i would use different lenses on an SLR camera for different things. The main mistake in this way of thinking is that not each of the lenses available has the same capable sensor.

So if we had to take a look at the 80mm lens/sensor in isolation - this tends to be a little bit too close when shooting typical portraits with a phone, but also there is a noticeable loss of quality if you use 3x zoom in pro mode (which i believe uses the 8MP zoom sensor exclusively). Doing a simple test where one lens is covered shows that expected behaviour but this is hardly foolproof since there might be other colour information being gathered from the other sensors.

Whilst the 3x zoom performance is perfectly fine, it is not as good as the results you get from the main camera - which are borderline insane from a phone. Dynamic range is solid, and fine detail is great. In good lighting, 40MP mode (the camera is set to 10mp by default) is pretty detailed - however the camera disables zoom when it is set to 40MP mode. This makes it pretty unusable since it would take way too much time to stay entering the settings menu every time i want to get at the zoom. It would have been 10000x better if the camera just automatically switched out of 40MP mode if you try to zoom…

The same issue arises when we talk about the dedicated monochrome sensor. To shoot in monochrome you need to slide all the way right into the “more” section and THEN select monochrome. The results are pretty nice.. but we’ve lost the large 40MP sensor again - so what we gain by losing the bayer filter, we lose by having the smaller sensor.

So if i had to look back, i wouldn’t buy this camera for the black and white or zoom modules on their own - in the sense that it’s not a good expectation to want to use these on their own. And in fact it’s together that this camera array really shines.


 5x hybrid zoom. In hindsight i should have pushed this file a little less in post or removed some of the noise

5x hybrid zoom. In hindsight i should have pushed this file a little less in post or removed some of the noise

5x Hybrid zoom (which at first i thought was: digital zoom - ugh) is actually pretty usable. Photos taken in the fully automatic “photo” mode have beautiful colours, dynamic range i’ve never seen in a phone before and very satisfying detail. Some of the other ‘magic’ modes like night mode or water trails are harder to use since they involve stacking multiple shots together behind the scenes… but if you have a stable base (even good hand holding works) then the results can be pretty epic.

The Fake Bokeh(tm) mode we find in all modern phone cameras is mostly at par with other phones. I think the Pixel is by far the best in this space but realistically they are all going to be hit or miss at times. Whilst it is not perfect, the P20 pro hasn’t performed horribly here.

Autofocus is pretty accurate and the only times it’s gotten confused what when i was shooting through glass… but other than that it’s pretty instant.

The photos tend to be quite nice straight out of the camera, but they also have quite a bit of room for pushing. I edit all my phone photos and all the ones below have been tweaked using Snapseed. If you want an accurate representation of what the camera does out of the box please check out the Huawei P20 pro DXOMark review.



 Pro mode was needed for this backlit photo but the results are quite good with lots of detail retained both in the shadow and highlights

Pro mode was needed for this backlit photo but the results are quite good with lots of detail retained both in the shadow and highlights

 Light-Painting “water trails” option can create some beautiful soft water

Light-Painting “water trails” option can create some beautiful soft water

 There is so much dynamic range in the main sensor that converting to black and white is probably as good as using the dedicated sensor

There is so much dynamic range in the main sensor that converting to black and white is probably as good as using the dedicated sensor

 Great fine detail even in the 10MP mode

Great fine detail even in the 10MP mode

 Close up food shots work quite nicely

Close up food shots work quite nicely

 Lots of detail retained in the areas of the building which was in direct sunlight

Lots of detail retained in the areas of the building which was in direct sunlight

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Pink Magazine - Out with the Sunday Times!

Check out my work for Pink Magazine! For tomorrow’s issue i had the pleasure of working with an amazing team, featuring Sarah Zerafa as the face of the Pink Fashion Show

sarah-zerafa-pink-magazine-cover

The cover of the magazine features Sarah Zerafa., the engine from new Air Malta Airbus Neo and a healthy dose of sweet soft natural light. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the rest of the shoot as well as the behind the scenes video - Stay Tuned!

📸 Kurt Paris
💄 Chris Attard
💇🏼‍♀️ Josephine Saliba
👡 Marisa Grima

In the meantime here is another shot of Sosa :) in onf othe creations by James dimech which was shot for the Invite of the show. This was lit up using a YongNuo YN360LED

sarah-zerafa-pink-fashion-show-invite

Elevate - An editorial with Rosemarie Abela & a drone

Lets’s start with the good stuff, and put the text at the bottom this time.

Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)

Check out some drone footage in this behind-the-scenes video. All drone footage was shot at Bahar ic caghaq, Malta using a Dji Mavic 2 Pro

And now here are some shots using the ‘traditional’ camera in your hands method :) - A Canon 5D Mk4 if anyone is keeping track

Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)



Random Ramblings

One of the first hard decisions DJI forced me to make when buying the drone was - do I get the Mavic 2 Zoom? which would allow all sorts of interesting shots when shooting fashion, or do i go for the larger sensor of the Mavic 2 Pro.

As should be obvious by now, i went for the pro since 1” sensors are pretty much the baseline of what i consider to be acceptable in terms of photo quality (Turns out there might be an issue in video for the Mavic 2 pro but hey lets’s not get into that - the photos are pretty great)

The first thing that you face when using a drone for this kind of thing is that composition becomes much harder - purely because 1. you are fixed at 24 mm, 2. elevated shots are naturally shortening which doesn’t play well with fashion and 3. It’s not a scenario you’re used to and it takes time to adjust

Having said that, the possibilities it opens up are impressive - This was just a little dive to see what is possible and it's going to really open up some locations which would have been impossible to photograph ahem “on foot”

Another BigThing (tm) was the mix of photo and video. Once you’re flying the drone, it becomes a crime not to take some shots (as Andrew Randon once told me - motion = emotion, not sure if they are his words or not but they are definitely true) - and this brings about a new set of skills, a new workflow.. the list goes on.

I don’t feel I am ready to truly explore video yet - i’ll stick with Fashion & Portrait photography for now, but it’s nice to see where the road leads. Hope you like it! If anything crosses your mind please leave a comment below



Credits:

Designer: Rosemarie Abela

Model: Justina Vai

Photography: Kurt Paris

Makeup: Rodianne Caruana

Hair: Dominic Bartolo @ Dreaaaaaaaaaaaaaads

Fabric (1st Dress): Ivory & co





Fierce! - Sunday Circle Magazine Shoot

Released with the Sunday circle magazine on sunday, here is how we shot Fierce! - the fashion editorial which featured a current fashion trend - animal prints.


The Team:

Model: Giulia @ Supernova Model Management

Make-up was done by Jean Zammit at Inglot Malta

Hair by Toni & Guy Malta

Styling by Caroline Paris

Photography by Kurt Paris

Shot at the Meridiana Wine Estate

Here are some of the shots from the shoot, we used a single Bowens 500w strobe in many of the shots, and then a YongNuo ring LED when the space got a little more restricted. LEDs have become incredibly useful and versatile since they allow you to remain quite portable but also light up pretty tight spaces. The quality of their light is still not as high or accurate as with good studio strobes, however it does produce a punchy/contrasty image that works really well with particular editing or especially in Black and White

Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)

Charles & Ron Backstage @ EBM Fashion First

Set in the lovely gardens of Palazzo Parisio - yesterday we had the pleasure of enjoying Charles & Ron’s Palazzo collection, their Fall/Winter 2018/2019 collection. This was a particularly happy moment for me because they launched this collection in Malta during the time i was abroad for Milan Fashion Week, and even though milan was pretty special this year - i’m still a sucker for maltese design, particularly Charles & Ron’s

The palazzo collection was inspired by Palazzo Parisio and features elements from this beautiful place. This fashion show being in the same location fit in quite nicely :)

The fashion show was part of the EBM - Fashion First at Palazzo Parisio, organised by Events by Martin where we also had a photography exhibition and a fashion panel discussion hosted by Peter Carbonaro which included yours truly, Carina Camilleri and Julia Boikova. Check out the recorded live stream here

Without further ado, here are some of the photos from backstage. Models by Models M, Hair by Neville roman Zammit and his team, makeup by Inglot Malta

Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)


A day around Malta by drone

If you’re Maltese you can probably skip this section :) If you’re not from Malta there’s a slim chance you’ve never heard of our little country. Malta is a small independent nation that looks like a little fish on the map, just below Sicily

This little fishy is richer in history than many countries much larger in size and we are lucky that some parts of it boast a natural beauty that you only find in the mediterranean. Yes, I must admit that I am biased :) I am both Maltese and a photographer and since i bought my first drone - a DJI Mavic 2 Pro, i am taking the time to visit all the beautiful places we have that we take for granted. It’s funny that around the world, people will cross the globe to see something in your own country - that you might not have even seen yourself.

Even though i specialise in fashion photography, i find the coastline fascinating (so much so that i have already release a series of coastal drone prints) and here is a tour around Malta - mostly our coastline. Hop on the drone, we’ll be visiting a tiny bit of Gozo, Valletta, Fort Manoel, St Agatha's Tower (the red tower), Xwejni Salt pans, Bahar ic Caghaq, Mellieha, Xaqqa Cliffs, Dingli and Zonqor point

Hope you enjoy it, and if you are interested in drones - check out DJI’s Products here - they are really easy to use and enjoy


Milan Fashion Week: Backstage Diaries

Like a lavish meal, a fashion show takes hours of painstaking planning, preparation, work.. and in a few minutes it’s all over. Whilst guests are usually there to witness the main event, the work, emotions and excitement happening behind the scenes is not something that is obvious.

Malta’s fashion industry has come a long way in recent years, as can be seen by the ever improving calendar of events and the improvement in the overall quality of the material produced. Having said that, we need to acknowledge that we are still a long way from established countries, and we need to look and see what these larger players are doing to keep learning and improving.

This year Caroline and I travelled to Milan Fashion week where i focused on backstage and a bit of street-style. Here are some highlights from the trip with backstage from Blumarine, Francesca Liberatore, ANNAKIKI, Aigner and others.

Most were lit using a handheld YongNuo YN360 LED light, which makes it really easy to selectively light up the subject (a stop or two above ambient) and then darken the surroundings. Colour rendition is great and other than making you look a bit like a silly jedi :D there is very little wrong with the light. Having said that, the distinctive nature of the light makes for a conversation starter which can be very good backstage

 Blumarine

Blumarine

 Blumarine

Blumarine

 Francesca Liberatore

Francesca Liberatore

 Francesca Liberatore

Francesca Liberatore

 ANNAKIKI

ANNAKIKI

 Aigner

Aigner

 Blumarine

Blumarine

 Blumarine

Blumarine

 Aigner

Aigner

 Francesca Liberatore

Francesca Liberatore

 Aigner

Aigner

 ANNAKIKI

ANNAKIKI

Waterfairy, Reflections

Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)

This was a very simple shoot which centered around the fantastic Biljana Boric. I think that one of the defining characteristics of a good model is the versatility and raw emotion that they bring to the table.

Armed with a YongNuo YN360 LED panel (and hoping not to be the first photographer in malta to lose a 5Dmk4 to the water) we headed to Ghajn tuffieha bay. Water at night has a very interesting quality to it and it changes drastically depending on the angle you are shooting at and also the angle of the light. Change these and you go from a transparent texture to a mirror

My sunset is better than your sunset.

Ok maybe the title is a little bit click-baity. Please forgive me. This all started because of a particularly amazing sunset a few days/weeks ago. Add a drone and some epic music beats and taddaaaaa here’s a small video that i’m still working on :)

It’s interesting to see how different videography is from photography. First of all from a workflow perspective, the software available is vastly different. So far i’ve tried Premiere Elements, iMovie, Filmora and i might also try some more. I know i’m also taking some shortcuts - the raw shots that make up this video are shot with the default H.264 setting withing the drone. It also supports 10bit HLog on H.265 for a more cinematic experience, however that is still on my “to-do” list since i’m still learning the different shots, edits, transitions, etc that turn raw footage into the semblance of a cohesive experience.

Looking back, the drone has taught me that we are truly blessed in Malta - the amount of natural beauty we take for granted, and the amazing architecture (Valletta anyone?) we live in goes largely unnoticed.

So far i must admit that drone photography is still my first love (Check out this series of prints i made at the water’s edge) but video is REALLY growing on me.

A dream wedding photoshoot in Malta: Stella Cini

Bridal gowns and settings can create some of the most beautiful settings for a shoot. Things get even better when you put a bundle of sass in a wedding dress and unleash her into the world :D We decided to combine Stella’s love for wigs and all things hair to create two very different bridal looks for this photoshoot. Footage was shot with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and natural light was used throughout. The focus was to go for something fun, surreal, young, but with the elegance that bridal outfits bring. The Phoenicia hotel gardens were an amazing location from a photographer’s POV providing both for interesting drone footage and also a great mix of clean lines and depth of field. We shot early in the morning to get some very soft natural light and avoid using strobes.


Some Credits:

Here are some of the photos from the wedding shoot:

Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)

Wigs, Modelling, Sass & Make-up by Stella Cini. Check out her YouTube Channel.

Bridal Dress from WeddingBells

Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)

Styling & Coordination: Caroline Paris

Accessories from ZsaZsa

Photography by Kurt Paris

Shot at the Phoenicia Hotel, Malta

Track: Cadmium - Be With You (feat. Grant Dawson) [NCS Release]. Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.

Watch: https://youtu.be/4nbLR9mCOXA

Free Download / Stream: http://ncs.io/BeWithYouYO

My Milan Fashion Week in 2 Minutes

I’m still transferring all the images onto my computer, but one of my targets for 2018/2019 is to deep dive into video and to start learning the art of videography, editing and the challenges that brings with it.

Here is a quick video showing some of the moments at Milan Fashion Week SS2019. This year I focused mainly on street-style and backstage photography. This might not be much of a surprise :) but i really enjoy shooting street style and backstage is a very challenging but rewarding space where time, space and opportunity is quite limited. I’d like to take quick second to thank all the PR companies for backstage access, the influencers, guests and bloggers for stopping and my crazy wife for sending us on this fashion journey in the first place

I’ll be posting all of the street style and fashion show backstage photos from the video at some point on this blog or my Instagram account. In the meantime here are a couple of shots:

 Blumarine Backstage, Milan Fashion Week SS19

Blumarine Backstage, Milan Fashion Week SS19

 ANNAKIKI Backstage, Milan Fashion Week SS19

ANNAKIKI Backstage, Milan Fashion Week SS19

 Leonie Hanne, Ohhcouture, Street style

Leonie Hanne, Ohhcouture, Street style


Shooting Portraits in Harsh lighting

One of the things we have an abundance of in Malta is bright bright sunlight. This post unfortunately does not apply to our harsh sun when it’s at it’s peak. This is because the overhead positioning and bright light will result in a white studio background with the added haze that will lose a lot of fine detail.

In these conditions, moving to the shade will produce much better results. However! if you are in harsh sunlight in the morning or afternoon hours before golden hour. Simply place the subject with their back to the sun and use them to shield your camera from the glare. This will produce a lovely blown out background and a golden halo for your subject. To achieve this make sure you expose for our subject’s face, otherwise the camera will try and average out the light in the scene and leave you with a dull background and dark underexposed face

This will not work well for all subjects but for kids, and young beautiful people this fits quite nicely.

Here are some example of this technique show during Milan Fashion Week

portrait-model-streetstyle-milan-fashion-week
 In this photo of Birgit Kos, a bit of toning was applied to the highlights

In this photo of Birgit Kos, a bit of toning was applied to the highlights

A DJI Mavic 2 Pro in Malta - Still Camera Quality

Even though video and photo are such similar media, the way you tell a story with either of them is completely different. There is also a completely new set of skills that one has to master. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro even when handled very basically (ie find a nice open space, go up, point the camera downwards - frame your shot, done) gives a very different point of view to what we are used to.

One of the key things in photography (in my humble opinion) is to constantly be different and push boundaries - because only by creating novel, new and fresh content are users surprised and delighted.

Malta is a truly beautiful place, and in the last week i've been trying to find different locations to fly to train on how to use the craft and also how to take good aerial photos (all whilst not breaking the law, and not crashing the thing at the same time)

So here are some sample shots - these are RAW shots from the Mavic 2 and processed in Lighroom. Off the bat, the RAW files of the Mavic 2 Pro are not as forgiving as something out of a professional camera like the 5D mark 4. However overall the RAW files do have some wiggle room (mainly in the shadows, less in the highlights) to play with.

Some observations so far:

  • Long exposures (even up to 8 seconds) have come out quite fine
  • Underexposing shots slightly to preserve highlights is preferable to me than losing highlights
  • Make sure the drone LEDs switch off during long exposures, otherwise you will get a crappy pink hue at the top and bottom of the image
  • Don't touch the sticks during a shot - the drone WILL move and blur everything :D
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
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By far the most eye-opening experience has been that at face value, a drone feels like a toy that can be used at whim - but just like driving a car or boat, flying a drone requires a great deal of maturity and responsibility (and skill which i am still working on..). The technology today is (so far) quite easy, even for people new to the scene - but there is a lack of information and resources. Luckily there is a very healthy community who are very quick to help (Big shout out to Andrew Schembri from Dickens)

From a more photographic point of view, the same "don't annoy people" rules apply. Invasion of privacy is very easy and it's important that one is aware of where they are flying so as not to harass people, and more importantly what images they choose to publish. The Mavic 2 is a very silent drone so that helps keep people happy, also advising any bystanders nears takeoff/landing of my filming intentions has avoided any grumpyness

Inspired in Valletta - Ritienne Zammit

Last week as part of my wife's general craziness, we spent a few days living in Valletta. We stayed at the lovely Cumberland Boutique Hotel, used the Ferry to get to work, and ate pretty much EVERYTHING. You can check out the article by The Wife(tm) about living in Valletta on her blog

Apart from the sights, smells (food, oh so much different interesting food) and sounds (you can literally walk around Valletta at night and bounce from one live music act to another without hearing any silence - it's lovely) - there is a huge sense of drama to the place that just makes my creative side wake up.

So we had to do a fashion shoot - and since the light in Valletta is perfect very early in the morning, I passed on the amazing breakfast (food :() and convinced everyone to wake up early (I got coffee and fresh croissants to make up... yes more food)

So without further ado here's a shoot inspired by Ritienne Zammit's Past & Present collections

  • Model: Rebecca @ Supernova Model Managment
  • Photography: Kurt Paris
  • Make-up: Jean Zammit using Inglot
  • Styling: Caroline Paris
  • Designer: Ritienne Zammit
  • Hair Styling: Christian Galea @ Michael & Guy
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)
Photo: Kurt Paris (http://www.kurtparis.com)

Editing Mobile Phone photos

Even though i am a professional photographer, there are times where i don't have (or don't want to have) my camera with me - both when i'm in Malta and abroad. Like anyone else who has made their merry way into the 21st century, i do however have a mobile phone pretty much always in my pocket.

One of the main benefits a professional camera brings to a photoshoot, is the ability to work fast and in difficult conditions without losing quality. However, if you're prepared to sacrifice image quality a little bit, pushing your photos during editing will make a big difference in the impact.

This article is based on the Snapseed mobile application. This was built on an excellent software suite by a company called Nik (which was then taken over by Google). I use the android version which you can download here and there is also a version for iPhone here

Disclaimer: Is editing going to make my Oneplus 5 images look like they were taken with my Canon 5D mk4? No way! but it will add perceived detail and impact

Basic Corrections

The first step in our editing is to correct any mistakes that the camera may have made. Remember that the amount of light the phone captures and the colour which it sets to be "white" are guesses and it can get these wrong. (For example you might take a picture of a white plate in a room lit up in warm white light and get a yellow colour cast.)

1. White Balance (ie - is everything yellow-ish?) - The White balance tool has a selection tool that allows you to click on a spot on the photo and set it as white. If you're shooting food, this could be the table cloth or plate. Neutral greys work just as well (or better) than white too. Once you fix this you will see new colours appear in the photo

2. Exposure (ie is the photo too dark or too white?) - For these two questions we'll be using two different tools. Unfortunately, if the photo is too white, it is much harder to fix since the detail is lost and the colours may have become skewed. Your best bet is to use the Tune Image tool and reduce the brightness and highlights settings. Be careful because whites might become greys which are possibly uglier than the white you are trying to fix.

To add light we can either use the Tune Image tool and add brightness but i find that using the Curves tool and selecting "Brighten" from the palette produces a more pleasing effect. You can then adjust the curve to increase/decrease this - or you can just run the Curves tool multiple times (i find this produces the most natural result)

At this point out photo is well exposed and is showing the correct colours. Since these are things mobile phones often make mistakes in, we've already improved the image substantially

Case Study: Dinner

 Food in particular needs correct colours and good lighting, additional detail and contrast are an added bonus (if you like that effect)

Food in particular needs correct colours and good lighting, additional detail and contrast are an added bonus (if you like that effect)

 

Adding Detail

1. The aptly named Details tool is an easy way to bring out the structure in the image. I personally like adding a lot of this since it adds sharpness and contrast across the board. You can then go into the layer mask (View Edits -> select the layer -> select the brush) and then brush away the areas where it might have added too much structure

2. Focus on your subject. This is much harder to do with a phone than with a professional slr since depth of field (blur/bokeh) is linked to the size of the camera sensor (which is tiny on a phone) so we can turn to software to help us out. Disclaimer: This can look fake if misused. This effect is very obvious and i tend to reduce the amount of blur that is set by default. I also adjust the shape of the circle to go around the object i want to keep in focus.

3. HDR. Yes, HDR Scape is a great editing tool for mobile phones - especially since the dynamic range of the sensor is much smaller than you get in a good camera. Disclaimer: This can look fake if misused. I use HDR typically for food shots and landscapes. Like lens blur i reduce the amount of filter strength that is set by default (be particularly careful for whites becoming "dusty" and reds becoming highlighted and over bright). From the palette i typically select the "Nature" or "People" setting

4. Tone the image. The Vintage tool is a great way to tone the colours in your image - again this is an effect that should be used sparingly and with caution. I tend to reduce/almost remove the default vignette setting and i reduce the overall effect by at least 50% - otherwise it will just take over all the colours of your photo. Remember that you want to add some spice, not overwhelm it

Case Study 3: Architecture in Valletta

photo-editing-food-before-after-3.jpg

5. Selective editing using the healing tool can help fix mistakes or dirt in the photo. Click on the affected areas will draw information for the surroundings to remove the offending debris. It's also very good when someone attacks the food before the photo was taken! :) In the next case study i had wanted a photo of the dish but absent-mindedly broke it with my fork. 

photo-editing-food-before-after-2.jpg

 

Questions? Anything Not Clear?

Just leave a comment below and i'll do my best to reach out and help you out or edit the article and explain better :)