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Tips for great pics

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National Geographic photographer, STEPHEN ALVAREZ is no stranger to capturing the world in detail. He shares some simple secrets to taking great photographs on a smartphone.

With a phone being small enough to not attract any attention, you can capture images of people in their natural state, images you wouldn’t be able to with a normal camera.

Top tips include:

1.        Watch the Light

Shooting during midday when the light is the harshest? Find a way to use it to your advantage. Sunlight has an effect on the outcome of the photographs depending on the time of the day you shoot. Morning sunlight is the best time to shoot as the light is softer and adds a special glow to subjects.

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2.       Shoot High, Shoot Low, Shoot Sideways

Don’t be bound to the “regular” ways of shooting. Don’t be afraid to photograph from different perspectives and angles. Get down on the ground, climb up the stairs, or lean out a window for something new.

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3.       Make Friends

Portraits are great images that can captivate and also share a story about that particular moment. Make new friends and don’t be afraid to ask people if you can take their photograph.

4.       Pay Attention to your Edges

Frame your photos with different layers like trees, leaves, mountains etc. This will add depth to the image. Also pay attention to whether you are cropping an image too much.

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5.       Shoot Early, Shoot Late

The best light is definitely during “golden hour” (the first hour of light in the morning and the hour preceding sunset) when the sunlight has been filtered by the atmosphere, removing the harsh blues. Take advantage.

Dawn breaks behind Ama Dablam, shot from a ridge in Khumjung, Nepal.

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Smash hits the Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Competitions

Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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