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Take better night shots with Huawei's P40 Pro

Night photography used to mean lugging around bulky camera equipment, but with the Huawei P40 Pro, you no longer have to do that.
(Above) An eight-second exposure image of fountains at Gardens by the Bay, shot using the Huawei P40 Pro. The smartphone's Silky Water photography feature makes flowing water in long-exposure images look silky smooth. (Left) A nine-second exposure im
An eight-second exposure image of fountains at Gardens by the Bay, shot using the Huawei P40 Pro. The smartphone's Silky Water photography feature makes flowing water in long-exposure images look silky smooth.ST PHOTOS: TREVOR TAN
A nine-second exposure image of the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, shot using the night mode of the Huawei P40 Pro.
A nine-second exposure image of the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, shot using the night mode of the Huawei P40 Pro.ST PHOTOS: TREVOR TAN

Night photography used to mean lugging around a bulky DSLR camera, a heavy tripod and accessories such as a cable release or a black card.

But with the new breed of smartphones that feature premium camera technologies and photography features - such as the Huawei P40 Pro - you no longer have to lug all that around.

Here is how you can up your night photography game with your smartphone.

NIGHT MODE

It sounds obvious, but use the night mode of your smartphone camera when shooting night scenes.

Such modes utilise computational photography - a fancy term to describe image-capture and processing techniques that use digital computation instead of optical processes to create beautiful night scenes.

The P40 Pro takes it a step further by allowing users to take up to nine seconds of exposure in its default night mode setting.

See the nine-second exposure shot (above) of Gardens by the Bay, taken using the P40 Pro's night mode without a tripod.

EXPERIMENT

Photography involves a lot of experimentation and learning from mistakes. It is always good to try alternative methods of shooting.

With the P40 Pro, one can try other night-mode options, such as the Light Painting feature.

Light Painting offers shooting options such as Traffic Trails and Silky Water.

As the names imply, the former lets users photograph night scenery with light trails emanating from passing vehicles, while the latter lets users have silky-smoothlooking water flowing from a fountain, for example.

Plus, you need not worry about setting the correct aperture or exposure. The smartphone camera automatically does the job for you.

USE A PORTABLE TRIPOD

While long exposure is great for handheld night shots, nothing beats combining it with a tripod.

With the P40 Pro, this is especially so when using its Traffic Trails mode.

When using smartphones, a lightweight, portable tripod such as the Joby GorillaPod will do the job.

Such portable tripods usually come with a smartphone mount, so you can easily fix the smartphone in place.

Find a flat surface to place the tripod and start shooting.

If you are using the GorillaPod, its flexible legs mean it can be mounted anywhere stable - for instance, by coiling the legs around railings or poles.

• This feature is brought to you by Huawei.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2020, with the headline 'Take better night shots with Huawei's P40 Pro'. Print Edition | Subscribe