5 tips to take great photos with the LG G4’s camera by photographer Colby Brown [VIDEO]

LG_G4_16

LG and Colby Brown are continuing their informative series on the LG G4’s top notch camera (which we gave some pretty good marks in our LG G4 review).

This time, the professional photographer is dishing out 5 tips to take great photos with the device’s 16 megapixel f/1.8 lens. Here’s a recap of everything covered in the video:

1. Make good use of the f/1.8 aperture

A wide aperture (f/1.8 is as wide as it gets for a smartphone camera) means more light gets to the lens. More light means more clear photos. Since it isn’t possible to change the camera’s aperture, this “tip” is more of just to say: go out there and shoot without any fear, because there’s no other smartphone camera out there that can capture as much light as the LG G4’s.

2. Use Manual mode for advanced control

You can use manual mode to adjust shutter speed, ISO, white balance and other exposure controls to your liking. Here’s a general breakdown of the exposure triangle (the trio of settings — ISO, shutter speed and aperture — that determine a photo’s lighting):

ISO: How much image noise is used to fill in color spots to make for a balanced image. The lower the ISO, the less noise, but if you lower the ISO you will need to make sure you have adequate lighting as it will lower the overall exposure of your image. The trick is to get your ISO as low as possible without underexposing your image.

lg g4 shutter speed

Shutter speed: The speed at which the shutter snaps determines a couple of different things. A slower speed lets more light into the image, as the shutter is opened longer to allow more light to get in. The downside is that slow shutter speeds might not be appropriate for fast shots such as taking photos of children playing sports, otherwise it’s bound to come out blurry. That said, using a slow shutter speed can be used to do some pretty neat stuff if you’re creative, so just play around with it.

Aperture: the third spoke on the exposure triangle is typically aperture, but since it’s not possible to adjust this then you will always have to maintain a constant of f/1.8. That means you’ll need to primarily tweak ISO and Shutter Speed appropriate to your situation and liking.

White Balance: this extra variable determines the type of color temperature you want for your photo to make sure lighting is accurately depicted. It’s often fine to stick with basic white balance presets, but it’s worth brushing up on the various temperatures and which situations they’re appropriate for. The folks at FStoppers have a pretty good breakdown.

The learning curve for using manual mode is obviously more steep than setting the camera mode to auto and letting the software pick your settings, but if you understand these concepts and commit to practice you’ll find yourself to have a lot more control over the way your images turn out (and you’ll know exactly what to do to avoid bad ones).

3. Embrace the Color Spectrum Sensor

The LG G4’s camera has something called a “Color Spectrum Sensor” that can accurately identify both infrared and RGB spectrums of light. What this will allow it to do is get an accurate reading of the sort of colors that are in your shooting environment and make sure the camera captures those colors as nature intended.

4. Use Optical Image Stabilization

This one should be a no-brainer — use optical image stabilization whenever possible. If you don’t know what it is, optical image stabilization uses hardware to diminish the shaky camera effect that can often ruin a photo or video. It’s much preferred over software-based image stabilization which can often times do more harm than good.

It’s a feature that you shouldn’t take for granted considering there are still an alarming amount of flagship devices that don’t implement it. Know it. Use it. Love it.

5. Don’t shun the selfie

lg g4 selfie

The LG G4 comes with an 8 megapixel selfie camera, which is a whole lot of camera for something that will only be used in limited situations. Still, when the need to take a selfie arises you’ll be glad it’s there. Like tip #1 above, this is less of a tip and more of a PSA: don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t cool to take a selfie. It’d be a shame to waste 8 megapixels of front-facing goodness over principle.

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