From the Nokia Conversations piece:
So, Olivier, how did you get into photography ?
It all really started with my Nokia N8 in 2010. Before that, I had several other Nokia devices like the N95 and the 5800 XpressMusic which took, at the time, good quality pictures for smartphones but wasn’t really thinking about photography. With the Nokia N8, I discovered the basics in mobile photography. There weren’t many options back then and it was perfect for an beginner like me.
Then came the 808 Pureview which I still have and still use for the camera. I bought it at the release in July 2012 and learned so much on it. At first, I didn’t understand everything but thanks to a lot of reading, all the Nokia and Pureview websites and blogs and the Nokia community on Twitter, I made great progress months after months and learned how to use the different settings. I tested Rich Recording by recording electric guitar and made my first time lapses. Again, I learned a lot from that.
Next came all the Lumia devices and I had the opportunity to use the 900, the 920, the 925, the 1520 and, of course, the 1020. It’s the one I like the most thanks to its camera. With the additional settings (exposure time, more ISO values and the Nokia Camera app), I learned new things and it revived my interest in photography. Not that I was tired of it but I wasn’t discovering new things with the 808 Pureview after so much time with it.
I love photography now. It has become a real hobby and I enjoy doing and sharing my things and looking at what others come up with. There’s always something surprising to look at and there are insanely talented people doing amazing photographs/videos with “just” mobile phones.
Where in Belgium do you like to shoots photo most and why ?
Belgium is a small country and there aren’t a lot of different sceneries to see. Basically, there’s the countryside, the cities and the sea coast. Not mountains, no oceans, no canyons, no desert, … But each type of scenery here is beautiful. There are cities like Brugge or Brussels (with its “Grand Place”) well known for their architecture. Like you’ll see on some of my pictures, the countryside can be flat in some places (north and center of the country) or hilly (south) with gorgeous nature, fields, forests and lakes.
I live in Brussels but I often go to the countryside because I have family there and it has become my favourite place to photograph. I love nature, walks, being outside and it’s the perfect place to capture animals, insects, flowers, reflections, great colours, gorgeous skies and clouds. I wish I had more time to capture the rest of the country though.
Olivier then delivers his three top tips for shooting better photos:
1) Try to look at things differently than your human perspective, even common and usual things. It can be from above, from below, closer, from unexpected points of view… Don’t hesitate to use a tripod. There are strict photography rules but try sometimes to go against them to see if it can produce something interesting. Try to maximize the shallow depth of field when capturing something close. Time is fun to play with too. Time lapses are an awesome example, as is pictures stacking.
2) Don’t stay on Auto mode and play with the settings. The Nokia Camera is designed to make everything available right way and you’d be surprised to see what kind of results you can have with the same scene by changing values like ISO, exposure compensation, white balance and/or shutter speed.
3) Remember you’re on a digital camera so you’re almost not limited in pictures number. Don’t hesitate to capture the same scene several times and from different points of view, sometimes very similar. One never knows what you could capture with a slight change. You’ll see later which one is the best. Try to share only your best photos and not the whole series of a same scene. It looks more professional. Over time, I’ve learned that not showing the failed or acceptable shots is what creates the amazed reactions when people sees the best pictures.
I'd agree with all three, of course. The last is one I've sworn by for the last 40 years - only show others your very best photos and they'll think that everything you take is a masterpiece! Conversely, show them all the failures as well and they'll realise you have photographic 'feet of clay'....
Here's one of Olivier's photos that I found particularly striking:
Depending of the weather and the season, the sky can look very different and I really like to capture it from the most beautiful blue to the most stormy clouds. In this one, I like the dark trees with the sun behind them and the intense colour of the sky.
I've written numerous editorials on the subject of camera phone imaging on these sites, of course. For example, here, giving my top tips. But a thought I've also expressed before is worth mentioning again - with a really top notch camera in your always-with-you phone, you'll be on the lookout for subjects and situations that will make great images. Whereas with a generic so-so camera in a generic smartphone, you'd see the same scene and think "Nah, can't be bothered, it won't come out very well" and move on.
And if Oliver's reading this, more examples of Rich Recording and your excellent rock guitar skills please!