When Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 Plus last year, they highlighted the smartphone’s dual camera setup for taking exceptional portrait photos. Since then, every smartphone manufacturer caught on with the trend of utilising two cameras for capturing portrait photos. In fact, it has now become a norm for those obsessed with taking multiple selfies in a day, to get a dual camera phone that can take good portrait shots. And, they will insist you to grab a dual camera phone as well for the same if you haven’t got one. Or should you?
Earlier this month, Google unveiled the Pixel 2 with a single camera setup, promising great portrait photos from the front and rear cameras, courtesy of their complex AI algorithms. In essence, they showed that all you need is a little bit of thinking to get good photos without filling the back of your phone with camera lenses. However, there has been a trick existing for as long as the camera’s existence on this planet that can take portrait photos with depth-of-field effects as good as those phones with a dual camera.
A portrait photo is all about getting the subject in prominence with the help of depth-of-field effects. Dual camera phones use two lenses to capture the foreground and the background separately, fusing them together during post-processing. If getting the subject prominent is your primary objective, then why not rely on your camera’s inability to capture fast moving things at a distance sharply?
Therefore, here is a way in which you can take a portrait photo on any smartphone without the need of any additional hardware modification to your existing smartphone.
- Open your Camera app and switch to the selfie camera.
- Hold the phone firmly, in a position where it is easy to tap the shutter button.
- Start spinning on your feet, like a top, and tap the shutter button while you are spinning. You can also spin around sitting or kneeling on a rotating chair.
- Stop spinning, open the gallery and bask in the glory of your portrait selfie with the background blurred out.
- You can also achieve slightly better results with the rear camera, provided that you can manage to keep yourself in the frame while spinning.
To be honest, this may not be the smartest way to get a portrait photo, especially in public places. But hey, you get portrait photos with the background blurred out automatically while retaining yourself (subject) in sharp focus, without needing to spend a fortune on an expensive smartphone with two camera sensors. However, do note that you cannot edit the depth-of-field after you have clicked the photo.
So there you have it — if you were looking to get a new smartphone for the sake of snapping portrait mode photos, then forget your iPhone 7s or OnePlus 5s or Galaxy Note 8s. All you need is your good old smartphone and a pair of steady hands to get yourself a reasonable good portrait photo.
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