For some, ‘selfie phones’ are the best invention since, well, camera phones. These days, manufacturers like Vivo, Oppo and Gionee are cashing in on this obsession, and even budget smartphones have decent selfie cameras (around 5 MP).
The Big Three
Take, for example, the Vivo V5 Plus, which we had the opportunity to use. It comes with a 20 MP moonlight camera (so you can shoot selfies under the night sky) and there are a gazillion settings that allow you to look better than you actually do. There’s an option to make your complexion fairer or rosier and you can brighten your skin tone, which is a feature that is pure gold in a population obsessed with fair skin. There’s also the Gionee A1, with a 16 MP front camera that has a selfie flash and a f2.0 aperture, which facilitates brighter photographs. In comparison, the rear camera is just 13 MP. Another option is the Oppo F3. What stands out about it is that it has not one but two front cameras — one for a personal selfie, and one for a group selfie. The camera for the personal selfie is 16 MP, and the one for the group selfie is a 120° wide-angle camera, which allows better results than the standard 80° front cameras. Additionally, it also has features like blemish-reduction, which stokes the narcissist in you.
Other than the already loaded cameras, people are now buying selfie lenses that you can clip on to the phone, so that you can take pictures from a wider angle. Some of these lenses (especially the ones for the iPhone) can be as expensive as Rs. 5000, for which price you can get an entry level smartphone.
Another clip-on accessory is an LED ring, which can do the trick if your phone doesn’t have a selfie flash. Then there’s the ubiquitous selfie stick, which people are using to take photos from a taller height. All of this, just so that you can get more likes on Facebook or Instagram.
How To Take The Perfect Selfie
- Follow the rule of thirds. This means that you can make sure that your face is either on the left or right side of the photo, rather than in the centre.
- Take photos from a higher angle. If you place your camera lower, your chin will get more exposure, and that isn’t too photogenic. Have fun with your expressions. A straight face won’t get you the desired likes, so it’s better to smile or pout.
- If you don’t want your hand (or the background) to play spoilsport in making the photographs beautiful, try cropping the bad bits out.
- It’s good to extend your neck a little forward, but don’t do it at the cost of making yourself uncomfortable. If you are having fun while taking selfies, it shows.
The Ugly Side
While there’s nothing wrong with shooting photos of yourself once in a while, it’s a bit odd to be obsessed about it. Last month, we ran a feature on modern-day addictions and spoke about a 24-year-old student who took more than a thousand selfies a day. Posting your photos throughout the day, fishing for likes and reassuring comments can be self-destructive behaviour. A few months ago, there were three cases of people admitted to AIIMS because they couldn’t stop taking selfies. Then there are people who take extremely dangerous steps, like standing on the edge of high rise buildings to display their daredevilry.