When do you use a smartphone?
“At the moment I use the phone when I go out privately and I don’t feel like taking the DSLR. The quality of the phone is good enough to catch some great moments. This might be the future – not for everything – but now everyone wants things for the internet or for social. So it’s would be enough to shoot some stuff just with a mobile.”
“A friend of mine is a high end fashion photographer from Portugal. When a client asked him to do something just for the internet, he showed up with his iPhone 6. The client looked at him a bit strange but it was fine. If you see his pics, they’re incredible.”
You’ve done some shoots with a phone right?
“I did a personal project for Red Bull Photography called Two Different Worlds. I shot DSLR like normal and then also shot similar images with a Nokia Lumia 930 with different angles and continuous light. The results are amazing.”
“I did a commercial shoot with a Samsung Galaxy for Sandisk and shot a sequence with the camera. SanDisk wanted to show how fast the embedded memory is for an ad. I was really surprised going out with a phone to deliver to the client. That was the sign for me that mobile phone photography is really something for the future. Many people laugh about it, but already now the quality is way better than what we started with digital cameras 10 years ago. I remember I published one double page picture for Onboard with a camera that shot pics with 3,500,000 pixels – way less than a mobile now. Mobile phones are getting better and better.”
But surely never as good as a DSLR?
“Indeed. The camera in the phone is very small. You can’t get the same quality like a DSLR camera. Its lenses are high quality glass. You can’t put that in a phone for sure. And the shutter is a big issue too, as well as depth of field because you can’t control aperture. There are limitations, for example shooting at night. Many guys think that if you have an expensive camera, then you’ll shoot nice pics. Wrong. My girlfriend is doing the best pictures with her phone; sometimes better than me with my DSLR! It’s all about the timing, idea and framing.”
“Yes, there are apps for things like depth of field, time-lapse, long exposure, tripod type stuff. You can use the proper stuff of the real photographer such as sliders and tripods and also lenses. The industry is not sleeping and they know what customers need. I also use the phone for location checks. I use an app called Sun Surveyor which will give the sun’s position for example at 11am next week and I can plan the shoot better.”
What about creative shoots. Bet you can’t do them with a phone?
“Of course you can. With some little tricks you can create some unique shots.”
So you’re probably pretty stoked we added a mobile category?
“It’s a great idea. It’s finally the time to give it a chance. People will see some incredible stuff.”
Any maybe from yourself?
“I have some stuff in my mind I would like to shoot for the Mobile category this month. It’s something technical with external flashes, not just with the phone. I really want to get to the limit of the technique.”
Final word: a tip for aspiring photographers?
“You better start with something you really like to shoot. If you’re really motivated, take as many photos as you can – it’s for free! Use different angles, high and low, and learn out of the things you did wrong, otherwise you shoot the same stuff for years. And have fun…”
Check out the gallery below for a few of Marcel’s mobile shots and head to his website and Instagram for more of his work.
The world's greatest action and adventure sports photography contest is back and better than before with the addition of a new mobile category. Submissions close March 31, 2016.
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Exploring Marcel Lämmerhirt's passion for Mobile
Marcel Lämmerhirt is passionate about using smartphones and thinks that the addition of a mobile category to Red Bull Illume was a great idea. Here’s why:
When do you use a smartphone?