We asked eight photographers what their secret is to taking better photos with their mobile. This has been answered

For a long time now, the cameras on a mobile phone have been sufficient in the vast majority of cases to obtain quality results, typical even of a professional camera, although there is obviously still a distance. Great leaders in the sector such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi have contributed to this.

Last week we were able to attend an event organized precisely by Xiaomi in collaboration with Leica, the well-known camera manufacturer with which the Chinese brand has been partnering for years for the camera technology of its flagships. There we were able to meet eight professional photographers from eight different countries from Europe, who revealed some of their secrets to immortalize scenes and moments using only their cell phone cameras.

You no longer need to carry a reflex camera with you

The photographers participating in the Xiaomi and Leica MasterClass: Javier Corso (Spain), Rui Caria (Portugal), Maurice Pehle (Germany), Fabien Ecochard (France), Emanuele Di Mare (Italy), Vassilis Makris (Greece), Anto Magzan (Croatia) and Peter Irman (Slovenia)

Obviously, neither the photographers with whom we had the pleasure of chatting, nor other professionals doubt the still evident distance between a traditional camera and that of a mobile phone. However, “the difference is almost imperceptible” as Javier Corso, a photographic documentary filmmaker who, among others, works for National Geographic, told us.

The Portuguese Rui Caria, also a photographic documentary filmmaker, highlights the tremendous evolution of smartphone cameras and its tremendous versatility. The fact that you can carry it in your pocket and take it out and shoot at any time is a real joy for this and the rest of the photographers we talked to, like Maurice Pehle, a photographer who put special emphasis on this point.

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For street photographer Fabien Ecochard, the latter is also interesting, given that he can explore the city without having to carry the weight of a camera on him and with the versatility of being able to position ourselves however we want easily. Getting down on the ground to take a photo “costs nothing” for these photographers (or for anyone who carries a cell phone with a good camera), nor does it cost anything to go anywhere without carrying an invasive element.

All the photographers consulted are professionals with a long career behind them and who have been using smartphones for many of their projects for a few years. We could think, as in this case, that in the end they do it only because it is a collaboration with Xiaomi. And it may be that it was the starting point, but in view of his exhibitions it remains that his works are just as amazing as if they had been taken with a traditional camera.

What advice do professionals give to take better photos with your mobile?

After chatting in depth with the photographers and having attended their masterclasses at the SOLO Gallery in Madrid, we have been able to compile the tips that these photographers apply in their mobile photography work. This is what they like to share for all those who, with greater or lesser involvement, want to obtain great results using only their phone’s camera.

Patience

Anthony
Anthony

Photography by Anto Magzan

There was talk of spontaneity to take out the cell phone and shoot at any moment. And without it being contradictory, several of the photographers we spoke with highlight the virtue of patience as a necessary weapon if you want to take a good photo. Sometimes you don’t get it the first time, but maybe you get it the second time. Or the third. Even the fourth or the fifth. “The important thing is to know how to wait for the moment and keep shooting until we have what we want.”

Using RAW mode

Fabien Ecochard N1 Paris 3
Fabien Ecochard N1 Paris 3

Photography by Fabien Ecochard

Absolutely all the photographers we spoke to agree on highlighting the RAW format. They were talking about the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and how this is its star feature, but it is applicable to more and more high-end smartphones that have it. This is probably the worst way to get a beautiful photo at first, but without a doubt the best and only one that guarantees absolutely no processing so you can edit the parameters manually and, then yes, obtain a photo worthy of any other professional camera.

Maximum megapixels always

Maurice
Maurice

Photography by Maurice Pehle

We already know that megapixels are not everything in a mobile phone camera and that it is useless to have a sensor of, for example, 200 megapixels if it is not accompanied by a good configuration. However, if the rest is good and all the advice is applied, professionals always recommend opting for the highest resolution mode of mobile cameras. This, together with RAW, is ideal for establishing good cuts in subsequent editing without affecting quality.

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Use ‘Pro’ mode

Vassilis
Vassilis

Photography by Vassilis Makris

You can get good photos automatically, but all the photographers we spoke to agree on taking advantage of the ‘Pro’ mode of the camera app and modifying the different parameters to obtain a unique photograph according to the conditions of the scene. However, they affirm that today’s mobile phones already do a very good job in automatic mode, so they have no impediments to recommending their use to those who have less technical knowledge.

Customize filters

Emmanuel
Emmanuel

Photography by Emanuele Di Mare

Many mobile phones already allow the possibility of creating personalized templates in which a certain configuration previously established by us appears as standard. Photographers encourage us to create our own style and already have some presets for certain types of photos and in this way it is easier for us to give uniformity to our entire collection, as well as leave our personal stamp.

Don’t be afraid of “bad conditions”

Photographs By Rui Caria Na Xiaomi Master Class 19
Photographs By Rui Caria Na Xiaomi Master Class 19

Photography by Rui Caria

Light is not always the best for a photograph, but by modifying the capture parameters and having a good eye in subsequent editing, you can capture great scenes even if at first it does not seem like the most optimal situation.

Enjoy the process

Photographs by Peter Irman
Photographs by Peter Irman

Photographs by Peter Irman

This is a beautiful reflection that we must credit to Rui Caria, but that his colleagues have also offered to a greater or lesser extent. Photography is a job or a hobby, but above all an art. Enjoying along the way is key if you are passionate about it and it is something that the Portuguese placed special emphasis on for anyone who wants to venture into it.

“Anyone can tell a story and portray it at times. A mobile phone is always there to tell your story”, Fabien Ecochard

Javier
Javier

Photography by Javier Corso

The photographs you have seen in this article have been taken by these photographers with a “simple” smartphone. In the end, they are the result of putting a lot of care into their work and are indisputable proof that in the end a mobile phone can be more than valid for creating professional work.

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These photographers have a long history with professional cameras which obviously makes everything much easier for them. Nevertheless, By applying advice like the ones they give us, anyone can at least try. Neither they nor we believe that professional cameras are going to become extinct because of a smartphone, but without a doubt we are in a sweet moment in which the mobile phone can now be a perfect and unique companion. Whether you have prior knowledge or not.

Cover image | Javier Corso

In Xataka | I already know which mobile phone has the best camera of the moment: great photographic comparison between the best mobile phones of the last year

 
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