Holiday Phoneography: More Than Your Eyes Can See

8:01 PM
It’s the holiday season – a time of the year when there’s something for everybody to enjoy. Snow covers the streets, jolly songs are to be heard from every door or window, people hurry through the cities in search of the best gifts to buy for their loved ones, airports are crowded with wanderers returning home to their families, children are looking forward with excitement to opening their Christmas presents. It’s like the whole universe changes to contribute to this magical spirit. The atmosphere is filled with inspiration, and for photographers this inspiration looks like Christmas decorations. And when you look around you through a camera eye, it’s inevitable – you see more than your eyes can see!

This was my first very different holiday season. For the first time ever I saw so much more from Christmas, because I was looking at it through the lens of a camera phone. I am a proud owner of Lumia 1020 since March 2014, but never have I felt such a thrill to phoneograph as I did in December. I went out to check what I can get out of my Lumia and came back with astonishing results. Through my eyes, I was seeing cold winter streets, blinking lights and huge crowds. Through the lens of my Lumia, Christmas looked light-soaked, bright, warm, jolly and wonderful.

When you’re thinking “Christmas shots”, you’re thinking “night shots”. Currently living in Germany, but returning to my home country Bulgaria for the holidays, I had the chance to explore two countires’ Christmas spirit armed with my Lumia, a camera grip and a tripod. The manual settings of my Lumia, including up to 4sec exposure time allowed me to capture the lights in all their glory and get lots of details which I literally couldn’t make out with my eyes. 41 megapixels and the opportunity to zoom into every detail made that even easier.

When I want to photograph a night landscape, I make sure all settings are manual. ISO is always set to 100 or 200 to avoid too much noise in the picture. Thanks to the 4sec manual exposure, I can still get bright pics even with ISO 100 – before I got my Lumia, I didn’t even think that was possible on any other device but a SLR. Christmas lights look best in incandescent and luminescent white balance. My little secret is to set manual focus not to infinity, but to one step before infinity – gives some extra sharpness to the picture. Of course, settings may vary, but those basic guidelines have proven useful to me in almost every situation.

Now I get asked a lot which type of photography is my favourite - up to now I've never had an answer. But there's this special thingy which gives me the most perfect nighty Christmas feeling - and that's bokeh. Try to play with Christmas lights and manual focus – I promise you’re going to get astonishing bokeh results! Trying out different white balances may bring some extra originality to your shots.

I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that I used to model for 5 years before switching to the other side of the camera, but I get very positive feedback on my self-photography. Whereas for now I haven’t concentrated on selfies as my main photography style, I couldn’t help but try taking some in lowlight conditions. It proved a very difficult task as with the timer set to 10 seconds, you can easily miss the actual moment of taking the photograph, and the long exposure needed for lowlight photos requires that you stand still absolutely for at least 4 seconds to make sure the final product is sharp enough.

Now we all know that “photography” means “painting with light” translated from ancient Greek. Thanks to my Lumia, I headed off to 2015 happy that I have let the light paint more of the Christmas spirit than my eyes could see. But then it occurred to me that each and every moment in life contains more than could be seen with the eyes. Looking at ordinary life scenes through a camera lens can make them extraordinary. So make sure you have your camera phone with you wherever you go – you never know when inspiration will strike you! And never hesitate to capture more of life!

This Amazing article is originally written by Jullietta Stoencheva! She explained nicely about the Holiday Phoneography or Photography, whatever you'll call it ;) The first three photos are taken in Parzardzhik, Bulgaria and the other fors are taken in Cologne, Germany with her Lumia 1020.

For more photos from Jullietta you can follow her on instagram here and on twitter here

We, team NLUC & WindowsHive are thankful to her for her great contrubution for the whole Windows Phone community.

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