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I tried 5 photo hacks from the internet. Here are the results

Last week I was given the challenge of taking creative photos or “mesmerising” shots at home with just my smartphone camera. Seeing as the Movement Control Order (MCO) has been extended for another two weeks, I jumped to the chance of giving myself a little makeover with this feature, you know, just to remember what it felt like to look decent for the outside world.

Obviously, what better place to pull inspiration from the internet than on viral social networking site TikTok. I was a little skeptical going into it because some of them seemed so strange. I mean, who would have thought of sticking your phone in a washing machine right? Well, someone did apparently…and I did it too.

However, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Turns out a bag of chips isn’t just good for keeping chips crisp, it’s also a mini Instagram museum in the right circumstances. So, if you’re bored at home and you want to try these out for yourselves, here are my top 5 challenges.

1. Washing machine challenge

To do this trick, you’ll need to simply walk up to your washing machine, open up the doors, stick your phone in and take a picture.

Before sticking your phone in the machine, switch to flash mode on your phone camera and then change the perspective to front-facing. I found that using your phone’s timer also helps you prepare for a picture better.

The method made a lot of difference as the flash reflects off the shiny surface of the inside of the washing machine, and act as a pretty good “fill” light. It almost makes it seem like having professional studio lighting. Well, professional-ish. I highly recommend doing it because I really liked the end result. I also am easily amused at the thought of myself sticking my head inside a washing machine, so take that into consideration.

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2. Snack bag challenge

What you need for this trick is an empty packet of chips. You can choose the type and flavour, that’s all up to you, as long as you’ll know it will have a shiny metallic colour on the inside.

Use scissors to cut both ends of the snack bag and don’t forget to wash the insides with soap and water before doing the trick. Then, take a selfie but with your face into one side of the packet and the camera phone on the other side of the packet. You should get the same kind of result as the washing machine trick, where the light bounces around the metallic surface to give you a photo-studio feel.

My concern was that my snack bag was too small, otherwise its a pretty neat idea. I liked the result, even if it did only take a picture of a quarter of my face.

3. Camera zoom selfie trick

I was intrigued with this trick but I wasn’t convinced that it was going to work too well. I was also reading the comments below the tweets and I got a few pointers as I went in for the challenge. One note is that this will work better on phones that have a zoom on their front-facing camera. Unfortunately, I don’t have one of those (I’m using an iPhone 7), however I could use Snapchat or Instagram’s in-app selfie camera instead.

The idea is that instead of taking a close-shot selfie like I would normally do, try holding your phone further away from your face and then zoom in using your front-facing camera. The results should look better than an up-close selfie.

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It’s important to catch good lighting for the trick, as a flash would make the light too harsh on your face. My only qualm with this is that I had to use Instagram’s front-facing camera which doesn’t take great quality selfies, but I think this trick really does make my features look more flattering in natural light.

4. Strainer challenge

This trick I saw on TikTok is made by professional photographers using DSLRs, so now that I think about it, I don’t know why I thought I could have made this work. I borrowed the house strainer that I usually use to drain out instant noodles, and had a family member help carry an extra phone to shine a light over the strainer.

I chose to take the photos in a dark room to make the strainer filter ‘pop’. Verdict: it didn’t really work. It was hard to have a person carry a strainer AND carry a light source in order to take a picture. You really do need natural lighting, or one of those portable light sources, to make it a little better. Also, I think a strainer with smaller holes and pretty patterns might work better.

5. Pantyhose challenge

I know that I can achieve the same effect with a downloadable filter, and I would have also saved myself from using pantyhose. That being said, using a pantyhose as an dreamy filter intrigued me enough to want to try it. To do it, wrap pantyhose around your phone tightly and try taking pictures. I found that it worked better with flash mode on.

I stuck my phone on my bookcase and set a self-timer to stand further away so I could make it look like someone else is taking the photo. I do like the outcome, but I’m sure the girl in the TikTok video used a different coloured ‘filter’, or stretched the ‘sock’ even more.

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If you’re keen to try these ‘TikTok’ tricks, Oppo Malaysia is currently holding a contest called “Home CreativeXplorer”. The contest encourages you to use anything you can find at home to create fun and interesting photos, and stand a chance to win 4x Oppo Reno2 and 8x Oppo Enco Free worth RM11,988.

You can choose one of the four different themes from this challenge—a washing machine, a bag of potato chips, a fridge, or you can create on your own. Upload your entry to your Instagram or Facebook account (Remember to set your account to public), write a creative caption. Here are some examples from Facebook influencer Kate可恩.

If you’re posting yourself doing the washing machine challenge, include the hashtag #OPPOxWashingMachineChallenge

If you’re posting yourself doing the snack bag challenge, include the hashtag #OPPOxSnackBagChallenge

If you’re posting yourself doing the fridge challenge, include the hashtag #OPPOxFridgeChallenge

If you’re posting yourself doing a challenge that you’ve created yourself, include the hashtag #OPPOxHomeCreativeChallenge

Then, add these hashtags as well #OPPOHomeXplorer #StayHomeStayFun

For more information, visit Oppo’s Facebook page.

Alternatively, if you’re more of a fitness enthusiast, you can join their FitnessXplorer Challenge where you can stand a chance to win 4 units of OPPO Reno 2 and 7 units of Oppo Enco Free. The deadline is on the 14th April.