Mastering Drama Shot on the GALAXY S4 and Note 3
21st Oct 2013 | 11:41
Memories are made of this
By now, you're probably aware that the camera in your Samsung GALAXY S4 or Note 3 is, thanks to the wonders of software and a hefty dose of processing power, a veritable box of delights. And when mastered, it can capture shots that transcend the merely static and in some cases, produce results that appear almost magical.
A classic example is the Drama Shot. We can all appreciate a bit of drama in our lives, so why not in the photos we take for posterity? Let's examine what Drama Shot is and how to use it.
1. Figure out when to use Drama Shot
The GALAXY S4 and Note 3's Drama Shot function is pretty specific, so you won't necessarily use it often – but when you want to, you'll appreciate knowing how it works. Trust us: when you pull off a great Drama Shot, you'll be left with a truly spectacular keepsake.
Essentially, what it does is to take a sequence of shots, then edit them cleverly to produce what looks like a time-lapse photo, charting the progress of a moving subject across a static background.
2. Choose your subject
So, if you find yourself in a situation where one object in front of your viewfinder is on the move, then it's time to swing Drama Shot into action.
You might, say, want to capture your children as they move across the screen – taking their first bike-ride, say, performing in a ballet, or running across a playground. It's perfect for sporting events: capturing the progress of a motorbike as it rounds a bend, or a footballer or rugby player on a mazy run. And if you're into extreme sports, then it's ideal for freezing a perfectly executed snowboard, mountain bike or skateboard jump in time.
3. Select Drama mode
This is the easy bit – as you would expect, it merely involves firing up the camera on your GALAXY S4 or Note 3, hitting the Mode button and scrolling up to Drama.
At this point, you'll be given a small note explaining the Drama function. Essentially, it takes a selection of multiple-exposure shots and merges them into a single picture
4. Set up your shot
The first time you launch Drama mode, you'll be given a longer explanation of how it works, and it's well worth paying attention to this. First, it's vitally important to bear in mind that you need a subject that is moving from one side of the screen to the other, or else the results you get simply won't be worthwhile.
Second, because of the clever way in which the software goes about its business, there must be just one moving object – any more, and it will get confused. Third, you can't use the zoom when in Drama mode, so any framing is dictated by where you position yourself; you may need to move towards or away from your subject before taking the shot.
5. Take your shot
When you've got everything set up to your satisfaction, it's time to dive in and have a go. If you're not able to direct whatever it is you're shooting, then timing is of paramount importance – what you want to do is start shooting at the moment the subject enters one side of the frame.
Press the button once, and your Samsung GALAXY S4 or Note 3 will begin a shooting sequence that lasts a few seconds, with a bar at the bottom of the screen showing you its progress.
Don't worry if that process is still going on when the subject has disappeared from the other side of the screen – the software is sufficiently intelligent to cope with that. But it is vitally important to hold your GALAXY S4 or Note 3 perfectly still; avoid the temptation to pan it with the movement, as that will ruin a Drama Shot.
6. Trial and error
As you may have suspected, a bit of practice comes in handy with a new function such as this, and it may take you a few goes to pull off your first worthwhile Drama Shot.
If, for whatever reason, your first efforts didn't work correctly, it will be obvious from the camera display. If the Drama Shot worked, then you'll see a lovely sequence of multiple exposures apparently moving across the screen, and a reel of the shots across the bottom. If not, then it's time to hit the Cancel button at the top of the screen and have another go.
7. Select your shots
When it does work, though, it's deeply satisfying – and you will be given a chance to tweak the resulting image to your total satisfaction. This time, you will see a strip of single exposures at the bottom of the screen, some of which have been given green ticks.
Those are the shots which the software selected for use in the Drama Shot. You can fiddle around with them to your heart's content – un-checking the selected ones, and checking the ones the software opted not to use, if you wish. That process can come in handy to eliminate unsightly gurning on your subject's face (or, if applicable, to highlight it). But in our experience, the GALAXY S4 and Note 3's software usually gets its shot-selection spot-on.
8. Further editing
If you've selected your shots, but still feel a modicum of tweaking is required (for example, to get rid of a bit of blurring), you can launch the GALAXY S4 or Note 3's general picture editing programme by selecting the Edit button at the top of the screen.
Here, you can erase unsightly areas by rubbing the screen or, in the case of the Note 3, make fine adjustments with the S Pen.
9. Save your shot
Once you're done, you should be left with a wonderful shot that will leave your friends speculating whether you're related to David Bailey.
Which will somehow seem even more wondrous, given that you created it on the fly and in a matter of minutes. So do yourself a favour and don't forget to hit the Save button.
10. Share your shot
Now don't be shy – pulling off a Drama Shot is an achievement, which you really ought to let the world know about. And a good Drama Shot is bound to become quite a talking point.
So why not go into the Gallery, select your freshly minted Drama Shot and hit the Share button – Drama Shots are what the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter were invented for.