Sunday, February 28, 2016

How to be a #SelfieExpert

Pinoys like me like to take great selfies. Although the word selfie sounds so selfish, in reality it is not. For starters, a selfie is defined as a photo taken by yourself to be shared online through social media. So selfies are taken not just for yourself but for the interest of your friends.

My selfie experience at the Venice in Taguig City

We take selfies so that we can share our day-to-day experiences. We keep our friends posted on  what is happening around us. We inform them of current happenings and important events that unfold during the day. We entertain them with our personal stories. Clearly selfies re-define the meaning of the word sharing.

With all  that in mind, we should do our best to take a perfect selfie. Photos that our friends can easily appreciate with just one look.

Here are my 5 tips on how to take a perfect selfie and be a  #SelfieExpert

1. Choose a good topic and location for your photo. The first thing you should know before taking a selfie is why you are taking one. Do you want to share your good time at a party? Or do you want to show the new gadget you just bought? At this point you should also discern which topics are suitable for sharing or not. For example: A fun party is a good thing to share but keep personal moments like funerals private and off-limits to selfies.

Depending on your topic, choose a good angle and location for your photo. If you want to feature an event like a concert or a scenic backdrop, position your face to the side of the photo so you can feature the scene like my Venice selfie above. Choose a spot like higher ground so the backdrop can stand out. If you are holding something you want to show, make sure you and the item are well focused and well-lit.

make sure subject is well-positioned and well-lit like for example...

In choosing a good location for your selfie, you should also consider the location being safe as well. Because we want to take the best-looking photos most of us neglect safety in doing so. Looking out for dangers such as no railings on high ground, streets, or dark places with few people can actually prevent untoward incidents.With all these considered, you could improve your photo even more by following tip number 2...

choose a good, interesting and wholesome topic to show your friends like for example... your weight?

Hmmm... how about more foodie shots?

2. Know some photography basics. Anyone with a smartphone can be a selfie expert as long as we know the basics of photography. Some basics include lighting, movement and angling of your camera. The most important of which is lighting. Without good lighting, your photos will either look dark, blurry or pixelated. Most of the time it is not the fault of the selfie taker but at least he is aware that he should compensate so the photo will turn out well. Some remedies for poor lighting would be using flash or changing location with good lighting.

Also shooting against the light (for selfies it is lighting behind you) is not recommended unless you want to have a silhouette effect.  A silhouette is a shadowed figure in the foreground (that would be you in a selfie). Most of the time you would want the light source to be on your side or behind the camera  so you can be well lit.

In terms of movement, you should not move too much when having a selfie specially with poor lighting conditions otherwise your photo will appear blurry. That is because cameras will use slow shutter settings on automatic to compensate for poor lighting.

Lastly for angling, certain angles can enhance the photo depending on your preference. For example, if you want to look thin, you can tilt your body to the side before snapping your selfie. Another example would be using a wide angle (zoom out) and moving the camera away from you to make yourself look small while capturing the background or scene. Zooming out will give you a better chance of getting the 'bigger picture.'

3. Remember to smile (or do a creative facial expression)  A picture of a happy person can be contagious. It can bring out smiles to other people who see you. Try to have a natural looking smile and do not overdo it. You can also try wacky poses to make things more interesting.

ARRGHH!!! A happy and/or wacky shot makes for an interesting selfie.

4. Know your equipment. Selfies need not be taken using your hand and smartphone only. There are other photo equipment you can use to make your photo stand out. One of the more popular tools out there is the selfie stick. You can use this to extend the reach of your phone so you can take a photo of your body. Depending on the selfie stick, you can also use this as an extension bar for your tripod. Bring this and other equipment to special events and you will have better looking and well-placed pictures. (Note however that some events prevent you from bringing a selfie stick for safety reasons)

Other equipment you can use are the following...

my personal equipment for better selfies

Tripod - This equipment usually used with DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras can also be used for smartphones. You just need the proper adapter so you can attach your smartphone to this. Standard tripods can offer a wide variety of height. With a tripod, you can use the delayed timer of your smartphone to maximize selfies.

Use tripod for more distance and highlight the background

I highly recommend bringing extra equipment on out-of-town  trips. They really make your selfie stand out.

The only downside in bringing tripods and selfie sticks is that it is bulky and cumbersome at times. But if you feel that getting the perfect selfie is really important, you have to bring in more tools.

Bluetooth Remote Clicker - You can use this remote control clicker to manually shoot your selfie at a distance. Combine this with a tripod or selfie stick you can shoot your selfie at greater distances.

Aside from external equipment you should also know the features of your smart phone as well. Doing so will save you time, effort and will give you better shots overall. Features such as aperture, shutter, timer delay, camera options, etc. can be a big help in composing your shots. Normal people will be content at auto settings but selfie experts should know more about  their camera phone.

5. Choose a good smartphone with great camera features. No matter how knowledgeable  you are with photography or how flexible your equipment is, you won't have a good looking photo if your smartphone camera is poor. A great smartphone camera must have sharp lens, a sensitive camera sensor and big camera resolution, post processing features aside.

I had an old smartphone that had a hard time taking night time photos because its aperture is not as wide as current generation smartphones. Either my photo came out blurry, pixelated or downright ugly.

Fortunately there is a smartphone dedicated for selfie experts like us - the OPPO F1 Selfie Expert. This phone just released as recent as February 2016 in the Philippines and it has  all the nifty features a selfie expert would want and more!

Here are some of the OPPO F1 Selfie Expert specifications...

Primary: 13 MP, f/2.2, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Secondary: 8 MP, f/2.0, 1/4" sensor size, 1080p
Video: 1080p@30fps
Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama

With a weight of 134 grams (4.73 oz) and a size of 143.5 x 71 x 7.3 mm (5.65 x 2.80 x 0.29 in) this smartphone is relatively easy to carry around for selfies. An f/2.2 aperture and 13 MP resolution can already rival entry level DSLRs given proper usage and technique. Definitely the OPPO F1 Selfie Expert is essential in taking the best selfies while using a very light frame!

The OPPO F1 Selfie Expert also has great phone features too! With a metallic body its LTE ready and with the WLAN and dual SIM options you have more options for mobile sharing. 1.2GHz  octa-core processor, 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB internal storage are welcome features that prevent the phone from lagging when we process our selfies for upload. Memory can also be expanded to 128 GB with an external card slot.

And the best part of this phone is that even with all the selfie and phone features it possesses it is reasonably priced as well.

OPPO F1 Selfie Expert TVC

Now with all things considered, we can all proceed to become our very own Selfie Expert. Just keep in mind the 5 tips for making  a perfect selfie and you are on your way to being one yourself!

To know more about the OPPO F1 Selfie Expert you can visit the OPPO F1 Website by clicking this link here or by visting the OPPO Philippines Facebook page , OPPO Instagram page and the OPPO twitter page to get the latest on this remarkable Selfie phone.

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