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For photography newbies, a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera and a couple of lenses may be a little too pricey. Sometimes, a smartphone’s camera is all they could afford at the moment to get started in their craft.

If you’re struggling to make things work with your humble equipment, fret not.

Photographer Magic Liwanag during the launch of the new OPPO Reno Series.

We caught up with Magic Liwanag at the launch of OPPO’s latest mobile phones—the Reno Series. The acclaimed photographer took pictures around Bonifacio Global City with the new flagship phone, which features a revolutionary 10x Zoom and 48MP triple camera.

As a self-taught photographer who works his magic in capturing stunning imagery in travel, showbiz, and music events, we asked Liwanag his fail-proof tips in taking pictures using a mobile phone.

“The best camera is the one that you have.” 

“This goes without saying ha, but the best camera is the one that you have. Always. Whatever that is,” he told MB Life. “That’s my number one tip everywhere I go.” Regardless if you have a DSLR, a smartphone, a compact camera, or even a webcam, Liwanag reiterated that it will always be the best for you.

Wala ‘yan sa gamit. Wala ‘yan sa sitwasyon,” he added. “It’s all about how you maximize it.”

Know your equipment. 

Your smartphone is all you have at the moment, so for Liwanag, knowing everything about it should be a no-brainer. “You have to learn to maximize what you have,” he said. “You have to know what you can do with your equipment, like range and more.”

The OPPO Reno, for instance, let him shoot subjects with clarity with its 48 MP triple rear camera and its night mode, as seen in the photo below.

Photo by Magic Liwanag using the OPPO Reno 10X Zoom.

Keep shooting. 

As the popular saying goes, “Practice makes perfect,” or at least near-perfect. When it comes to photography, Liwanag believes in the same kind of persistence in practicing.

“Keep shooting, really,” he said. “Gasgas na siya na term pero if you don’t try, you wouldn’t find out.”

After all, photography all goes down to the basics—having an eye for composition, tone, and color. “Having an equipment and an eye for shooting goes hand in hand pa rin,” Liwanag added. “You can have the most expensive gear, but you also need the passion for photography.”

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