Nokia tips about exposure changing... and on the Symbian-powered 808

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Well, paint me silver and fire me off into space, Nokia Conversations just featured the Symbian-powered 808 PureView. In April 2013. Not only does this show that, secretly, there are still some 808/Symbian fans over in Nokia, the article also has a couple of very nice examples of when fiddling with exposure in your smartphone camera can produce better (or, at least, interesting) results.

Here's a snippet or two from the article:

So, now we’ve got the hardware at our fingertips, how do we get the best out of it?  Here’s a few tips about exposure, using the Nokia 808 PureView, which might help improve your smartphone portraits.

Exposing yourself

All digital cameras make light readings and in their automatic modes opt to give you the best overall shot. In most circumstances this is completely fine; after all, these devices have had millions spent on them to give us the best results. 

But sometimes, the ‘best overall’ photograph is not the most visually interesting and learning some very small tweaks can make big differences to your pictures....

To flash or not to flash

 The automatic setting on your smartphone will very often fire off the flash. Once again, as a fill-in flash this is mostly acceptable, but it might not always give the picture you’re after.

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Here’s an example of a backlit subject – a typical instance of when your smartphone will automatically fire the flash. However, if you manually turn off the flash, the camera will under expose the person because there is still so much light reaching its sensor from behind the subject. This is a classic ‘error’ and one, which results in numerous silhouette portraits! However, by deliberatelyover exposing the shot, you can get more detail back into the subject despite still having the light from behind. (You will lose or ‘burn out’ some of the detail in the background though).

The author makes a good point - whenever extremes of light are involved, there's nearly always some degree of exposure compensation which can give you a better photo. Either increasing exposure (as above) to highlight a foreground subject or decreasing it, typically to highlight a background landscape (e.g. a nice sky/sunset).

And yes, it's great to see that Nokia's PR people haven't totally forgotten about the Symbian-powered Nokia 808 PureView, still far and away the best camera-toting smartphone in the world. 

Source / Credit: Nokia Conversations