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To show that the phone’s camera is highly capable, Nokia has collaborated with professional photographers where they were asked to use the Lumia 1020 in their type of work, in place of a traditional camera.With Alvarez, he was asked to document the American Southwest during a 10-day journey, which was tied to a Nokia ad campaign in the photography-centric October issue of National Geographic and an online advertorial component detailing Alvarez’s assignment on Nat Geo’s website.I ended up being able to shoot the camera at much slower shutter speeds. I was talking to the assistant director of photography with National Geographic after the ad came out, and he just said, “Really, you shot this with a phone?
“Mostly my work has been centered around exploration, adventure, and natural history,” Alvarez said.
“I have been for years the guy they go to for physical exploration.” For his type of assignments, Alvarez normally carries three Canon EOS 5D Mark IIIs and half-a-dozen lenses, not to mention a computer, hard drives, and all the accessories that are part of a photographer’s gear.
So when Nokia approached him about testing a preproduction smartphone camera on a special assignment in which he would only use the phone, Alvarez was intrigued.
“I’ve always been interested in where photography is going and what the new cameras and devices will be like,” he said.
“They said, ‘Oh, and by the way, the ultimate destination for one of these pictures is gonna be a three-page photograph on the inside cover of the 125th anniversary edition of National Geographic that celebrates photography,’ I almost threw up.
I mean, I just thought, I don’t know if I can take the pressure.
Because I have this prerelease model, they asked me not to put it on a network – any kind of network at all. (I use it as a phone now – it’s great.) Since I turned to digital photography solely in 2003, my biggest concern is how I’m gonna keep my cameras powered.
And so we would recharge in the car, or I have a couple of little brick USB batteries that I would carry with me and charge the phone if we had some down time.
Now that you’ve spent some time with actually photographing with a smartphone for work, what are you thoughts about smartphone photography today, and where it’s going in the future? We saw a big change when people went from large format cameras to medium format cameras, and when people went from medium format cameras to 35mm cameras.
They’re the same sorts of debates about whether or not this is real photography that existed at the time, and I mean, there have been debates whether color photography was really photography. I think the introduction of barely inexpensive, extremely good digital cameras is probably a bigger disruption.