Painting with light - and the Nokia Lumia 1020

I would love to show much more from what you can expect from the new Nokia Lumia 1520 - in it's 5MP resolution, or the 19MP highres, or even its raw .DNG result. But unfortunately, like with so many other people dying to work with their new smartphone camera, time is just too scarce.

This evening I noticed an aging bouquet of flowers, lit by the lamp over our living room table. I just loved the way it looked and I wondered if I could capture its fantastic atmosphere and detail. Without using the flash, of course.

Now in situations like these, I guess it's essential to have a camera grip - without it I'd be lost anyway. So that's where the Lumia 1020 came in, since I don't have a camera grip for the Lumia 1520 (I don't think there ever will be one).

I fooled around with the settings, just for fun, seeing the different results. I focused on different parts of the bouquet as well. I selected three shots, both in their 5MP and 38MP resolution, I resized them and made some crops.

You'll find all the original shots on Flickr, and I will share the resized shots and crops here. Update: for your convenience, when you click on the shot, you will directly get to the original on Flickr.

The (automatic) settings of the first shot I selected were ISO-100 (1/10 sec). This is the (only) shot where I focused on the big flower on the left side of the bouquet. And in case you're wondering - yes, we have wall that looks like dark purple velvet.


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Under these circumstances, you can't make a shot with this much detail without a tripod (and camera grip, of course). I actually think the Lumia 1020 did an absolutely amazing job with all settings on "auto", and no flash. More after the break! :-)

The next two shots you'll see have different settings. From now on, the focus will be on the little flowers in the center of the shot. First ISO-100 (1/6 sec).


Again, the crops from the 5MP and 38MP originals:

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Next shot with ISO-160 (1/13 sec), but also, I changed the exposure setting in this case (-1 step it reads in the EXIF files).


Here are the crops

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I'm not sure which of these two shots I like best. The one in which I changed the exposure setting doesn't show the purple background as well, but the detail of the flowers is like they were painted by Rembrandt himself, so to say.

I'm still a long way from being a pro - I'm just having fun with my smartphone camera. Nokia is showing me the way though, offering the tools to become a pro maybe one day. I'm thinking about settings and experimenting way more than I ever used to, to be honest (and I still need to learn about Lightroom :-)

Capturing a more or less simple scene like this in difficult lighting circumstances is quite a challenge. You'll find all the original shots on Flickr. I wonder what you think of these results?

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