#ShotoniPhone: iPhone Photography Tips

Plus, exclusive sessions at Apple to hone your photography and videography skills



Taking photos and videos on an iPhone? Scott Woodward, a Singaporean-based photographer, shares some of his tips for taking the perfect shot on an iPhone.  Take advantage of these tips which you might find indispensable when shooting on the go.

1. Use the Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is perhaps the most well-known “rule” of photographic composition. Imagine your image is divided into 9 equal rectangles by 2 vertical lines and 2 horizontal lines. The Rule of Thirds dictates that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect, for more well balanced and interesting photos. This asymmetry makes photos more appealing to a viewer because it causes visual tension.

Turn on your grid in your iPhone settings to assist with guiding your composition.

2. Add life to landscapes

Beautiful landscape shots can be breathtaking, but if you’ve ever been subjected to a friend of a family member’s holiday snaps, you know how dull they can become after you’ve looked at dozens of them in a row. Try adding people to your landscape photographs – living elements tend to evoke stronger emotions in viewers.

Even if they occupy just a little bit of space within your frame, human touch helps make a more powerful photograph: it gives scale to an image, offers perspective, and adds drama.

3. Take advantage of the Golden Hour

The most critical ingredient in all great photographs is lighting. The best images always make interesting, powerful use of light. The sun’s angle significantly affects the warmth, contrast.

Practice understanding how light works, reflects, and warms. As often as possible, shoot in the warm “golden hours” of early morning and late afternoon (one hour after sunrise or one to two hours before sunset; this is when the sun is low and the light is soft and yellow/orange).

4. Take photos and videos during the Blue Hour (Night Mode)

Blue Hour is that magical time when the sun has already set, but there’s still some light left in the sky. This twilight period  — typically about 20 minutes after sunset — is special because, for a few fleeting moments, the sky takes on a predominantly blue shade.

Night Mode on iPhone 12 makes it even more dramatic. Night Mode automatically turns on when the camera detects a low-light environment and, using a combination of hardware and software, helps bring out the detail in the dark areas of your image while preserving the night time feeling.

5. Take some risks

An iPhone is much easier to handle than a DSLR — it is lighter and more compact, which means that you can use it to effortlessly make more interesting photographs. You can use this to your advantage: be on the lookout for dynamic and creative angles, and experiment and push yourself outside your comfort zone.

Shoot without looking at the screen. Track a moving subject with your camera. Get on the ground and shoot up or get on a balcony and shoot down. Keenly observe your surroundings for natural frames, symmetry, reflection, patterns, and textures.

The more creative you get, the more you’ll learn about what works and what doesn’t. Your photographs will be better or maybe you’ll just get lucky and make a beautiful accident.

#ShotoniPhone, Today at Apple sessions, Apple Music hits

On a related note, Apple is also showcasing its #ShotoniPhone movie — Nian — which is directed by Lulu Wang. The movie is a reimagining of a Chinese New Year legend as a contemporary coming-of-age story. The team shot the whole movie using an iPhone 12 Max. You can view the film here.

For those wanting to level up their photography and videography game, there is also Today at Apple sessions starting this February until March 14. During the sessions, you can connect with various photographers and videographers and learn the tools of their trade.

Virtual Studio: Picture This with Scott A. Woodward (14 February, 3:00 pm)

As part of the Joyful Perspectives series, join award-winning photographer Scott A. Woodward online as he inspires you to reframe your every day using your iPhone. He’ll share his pro tips on everything from cool composition to capturing the magic of the golden hour. You’ll explore night mode, portrait mode, and more to take striking photos in all situations. You will also get editing tips to make your pictures pop.

Sign up for the session here.

Virtual Studio: Celebrations in Slow-mo with Chai Yee Wei (20 February, 3:00 pm)

Capture celebratory moments in slow motion using your iPhone in this virtual session with filmmaker Chai Yee Wei. He’ll share how memories are best-appreciated frame by frame and how he stretches time to amplify them in his work. You’ll explore Slo-mo, Timelapse, and more to record fun videos at home with the Camera app. Join more sessions to push your creativity in the Joyful Perspectives series.

Sign up for the session here.

Virtual Studio: Crafting Stories in Film with Ang Geck Geck (27 February, 3:00 pm)

Discover how to shoot and edit emotive stories using your iPhone with filmmaker Ang Geck Geck. As part of the Joyful Perspectives series, she’ll introduce you to her visual language and share tips on framing your shots using the ultra-wide and telephoto cameras. You’ll explore the creative power of editing in iMovie to craft your own compelling narrative. Sign up for the session here.

Meanwhile, Apple Music has also collaborated with 10 top C-Pop artists such as E.SO, Miriam Yeung, Shi Shi, and Nathan Hartono to curate a playlist based on the theme “Recharge, Review, Remember”.

You can access these playlists with the following links:

App Store and Apple TV deals

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, special deals on design and editing apps will be available at the Apple App Store. There will also be limited-time in-app purchases from select games such as Genshin Impact, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Clash of Clans.

Meanwhile, Apple TV subscribers can get family-friendly hits such as Frozen II, Onwards, and Sonic the Hedgehog at unmissable prices from February 11 onwards. Classic Chinese movies such as God of Gamblers, A Better Tomorrow, and Once Upon a Time in China will also be available in 4K.


Leica is looking for a new partner after breakup with Huawei

Xiaomi could be the next partner




Leica and Huawei made cutting-edge phones that could often defeat professional cameras when it comes to photography. Sadly, the partnership may have to an end as reports suggest the lens maker is looking for a new partner after ditching Huawei.

According to Teme on Twitter, Leica and Huawei have decided to call off the partnership. It isn’t surprising because Huawei’s P and Mate series are radically hit due to American sanctions, barring it from using Google Play Services, Arm chipset architecture, and more. Sales have dropped massively outside of China, and its Honor division has been sold to another Chinese conglomerate.

However, it doesn’t mean Leica has given up. The German optics giant is now looking for a new partner, and the probable candidates include Xiaomi and Honor. Teme suggests it could be Xiaomi. But Leica could also proceed with a multi-brand partnership similar to Zeiss, with possible candidates being Xiaomi, Sharp, and Honor.

The partnership adds a lot of weight and becomes an instant selling point for many photography enthusiasts. Leica’s implementation on Huawei’s phones has received critical acclaim, beating benchmark numbers and setting new records.

Recently, OnePlus teamed up with Hasselblad to deliver an above-average experience but failed to impress. With Huawei on the sidelines right now, there’s an excellent opportunity for companies to join the trend and dominate the photography segment.

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OPPO Reno6 series leaks, likely to launch on May 22

Just a week to go!



File photo: OPPO Reno5

OPPO Reno6 series is said to launch quite soon and will replace the Reno5 lineup. The Reno6 Pro and Reno6 Pro+ have recently received 3C and TENAA certifications, revealing quite a bit about their hardware.

It’ll make its debut at the brand’s mid-year gala event that will be held on May 22nd. The Reno6 Pro+ will have a 6.55-inch display and a 2200mAh battery. It’s expected that to have two battery packs, so the total output should be ideally 4400mAh. Rumors suggest it could sport a Dimensity 1200 chipset, though this can’t be confirmed immediately.

The Reno6, on the other hand, shall house a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, punch-hole cut-out, and a 90Hz refresh rate. The device might ship with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage that could be expandable. The Dimensity 900 SoC is expected to offer better performance than the Dimensity 820 and Snapdragon 768G chipsets.

The cameras could have a 64-megapixel primary shooter and a 32-megapixel front camera for selfies. Details about the other rear sensors aren’t available right now.

We’ll just have to wait a week to find out what OPPO has in store for everyone. The Reno lineup has worked wonders for the Chinese brand in the midrange segment. Despite OnePlus’ Nord, the Reno lineup has stood strong and continues to attract photography enthusiasts.

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ASUS Zenfone 8 Series: Price and availability in the Philippines

Pre-orders come with a freebie!



Zenfone 8 Flip

Yes, they’re back for real! After skipping a couple of generations, ASUS is bringing back the Zenfone to the Philippines. They’re bringing over both Zenfone 8 Series phones — the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip!

Both phones are flagship level being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. But they’re pretty different. Here’s a quick look at their specs side by side.

Zenfone 8

Zenfone Flip 8

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Display 5.9” Samsung AMOLED, 120Hz 6.67” Samsung AMOLED, 90Hz
OS Android 11, Zen UI 8 Android 11, Zen UI 8
Configuration 6GB + 128GB

8GB +128GB

8GB + 256GB

16GB + 256GB

*No storage expansion

8GB +256GB

*Up to 2TB storage expansion via MicroSD

Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Cameras 64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

12MP front-facing

64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

8MP telephoto

*Flip camera module

The Zenfone 8 is unique in that it offers flagship capabilities in a compact body. The phone has a 5.9″ display Samsung AMOLED display. For comparison, the closest thing to it overall is the iPhone 12 mini which has a 5.4″ display.

Watch our Zenfone 8 review


Meanwhile, the Zenfone 8 Flip is ASUS sticking to their guns and offering something unique in the flagship segment. As the name suggests, this has the Flip camera module. So when taking selfies, you’re essentially using the best cameras on the phone that’s typically only on the rear for every other flagship.

Read our Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

Zenfone 8 Flip

Price and availability

The ASUS Zenfone 8 Series is available for pre-order starting May 14, 2021 at official ASUS Concept Stores,
accredited online and offline shops. Successful pre-orders will get a free Rhinoshield Solidsuit Hardcase and a JBL Go 3.

Pricing are as follows:

  • ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip, 8GB + 256GB, Galactic Black and Glacier Silver — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 16GB + 256GB, Obsidian Black — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 8GB +128GB, Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver — PhP 34,995
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