When it comes to smartphones, I am iPhone loyal. I remember when I had my first blackberry transitioned from a flip phone (remember those?!) and my husband getting his iPhone 3, I scoffed at him like “how could you get something without any keyboards?? look at MY blackberry, now THIS is a smartphone.” Little did I know both the iPhone and my husband were secretly chuckling at me. And when iPhone 3S was introduced to the world, I never looked back.
Fast forward 10 years and thousands of songs invested to my iTunes, social media has changed the World of consumers. We live in a time where #flatlays and #ootd posts impact brands. Who knew!
And I have been receiving a lot of questions about photography, especially on my instagram posts. While I have this theory about fancy camera equipments, as it does enhance beyond what our eyes can sometimes see through a lens, it is equally important to have “the eye” and to be able to capture that in a still frame. In other words, no fancy equipment will ever make up for the innate artistic gift.
As for my instagram posts, a lot of it were shot with my beloved iPhone, until recently. When I got to test out the Motorola X Pure Edition. You are probably wondering what my reason could be, and I would have to say that the camera on this Motorola X Pure Edition is one of the clearest, quickest and easiest to use. Oh – and the quality is superb and sharp even zoomed-in. I won’t get into all the technicalities and bore you to death, but lets just say that I actually carry both phones now. Such a nerd. I knowwwww. But that’s besides the point. This 21-megapixel camera on the Motorola X Pure Edition is a significant leap in both resolution and capability over the 13-megapixel model from last year’s predecessor. I love how images taken in good lighting conditions are bright and colorful (which is obviously expected), but even in poor lighting, the Moto X does a much better job than other phones (less grainy). The front-facing camera on the Moto X is a 5-megapixel unit with a wide angle lens, which is great for selfies, also has an LED flash on the front. If there was one flaw? If only it had an optical image stabilization, which has basically become a must for any premier smartphone.
What I think is key for travellers like me that do not want to be tied down to a contract or a particular carrier (no matter where I travel to!) is that you can purchase this phone completely unlocked. And because it is not sold through carriers (in the US, at least) at all — you can only purchase it direct from Motorola or from its retail partners (Best Buy and Amazon). It is compatible with all four major US carriers, which is still a rarity among unlocked phones. (Trust me, I know from a painful experience)
So testing it out on my own was what I ventured out to do in Brooklyn. And the results were stellar.
Now for the best part you have been waiting for; here are my 5 quick and simple tips on taking better photos with your smartphones;
1. Keep it Simple, Pimple. As Steve Jobs used to say, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and he was clearly onto something. People often overcomplicate their photos by having too much going on in the frame, which distracts the viewer and makes it much harder to create a harmonious composition.
2. Get Down and Dirty. People get afraid or self-conscious of what others may think. Therefore majority of smartphone photos are shot from the chest height of an adult because that’s the most convenient way to take a photo, but it’s not necessarily the best way. You can easily improve your photos by finding a more interesting angle, and often the best way to do that is to simply shoot from a lower perspective. Why else do you think even Professional Photographers end up with 1 out of 100 shots?
3. Put some Depth into it. One of the common photography mistakes (and this is regardless of your equipment) is taking flat photos that don’t show any depth and where all the subjects are located on the same plane. However, most photos – and especially landscape photos – look better if they have subjects on multiple planes.
4. Align it Diagonally. Pick 2 points. It’s usually not an accident that those 2 points are placed diagonally from each other. By aligning your key points diagonally can make your photos more balanced and harmonious.
5. Use Symmetry. You know those grids you see on your cameras/phones? It’s not just decoration but for you to use as guidance. Symmetry bring balance to your photos.
And finally, not so much a secret anymore, filtering with VSCO Cam presets.
All no brainers right? Well give it a try by keeping some of these tips in mind when shooting. The obvious are often overlooked and become less obvious.
So you are probably wondering if I fully transitioned from my iPhone to this one? The answer is no. Like I mentioned before, I invested too much into iTunes and everything just syncs on fleek with the rest of my gadgets at home. However, I have incorporated this as my travel phone and camera. And quite frankly I still think androids still have a way to go before converting any iPhone user. To me, the ideal Android smartphone looks like this: a good design, fast performance, clean software (if I were to compare it to a Samsung – still so very complicated!), and that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Have you read all the countless muggings here in New York City, and all for an iPhone?! #jussayin.. And I know Motorola has been chasing that ideal since 2013 with its Moto X phones, which have always had an attractive ergonomic design, an unencumbered Android experience, and pricing well below flagship smartphones from Apple and Samsung. So the fact that this has become my second smartphone, especially for pictures, and if you know me – that means a whole lot.
Thanks for reading.