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December 6, 2013

Is this the most ambitious Nokia Lumia 1020 imaging project yet?

In September 2013, a team of six riders set out on a road trip to the South Island of New Zealand. Their aim was to document the local board sports culture and the only camera they had with them was the Nokia Lumia 1020.

The result is the Nokia Transitions project, perhaps the most ambitious venture anyone has undertaken with the world’s best camera smartphone. We got in touch with the project’s creative director Lee Righini to talk about the crew’s inspiration and challenges as well as what they loved about the Nokia Lumia 1020.

So, what makes Nokia Transitions such an ambitious Nokia Lumia 1020 project?

“I think that the reason is that we went to New Zealand to make an innovative road trip documentary and we did it all with a phone. We didn’t just make a film, we shot images, captured audio and filmed throughout with just the Nokia Lumia 1020. We then developed a bespoke website to allow people to experience this journey almost solely through the media we captured with the device. It was incredible to go there and capture footage and images that you know were going to be displayed full screen and used as the primary storytelling medium to record this amazing journey…it was not for the faint hearted.”


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What would you say were the main challenges and how did the Nokia Lumia 1020 cope with those?

“Firstly, we knew the image quality would be scrutinized, both technically and creatively. But we thought that the camera could be trusted for the task, and it turns out we were right. Then there were the also the physical challenges…we filmed and photographed on rain swept beaches, sometimes leaving the phone recording video or doing time-lapse in high winds with rain and sand sweeping all over it. It was literally exposed to the elements for hours.

The Nokia Lumia 1020s were rigged on vehicles and left outdoors overnight. We recorded the sound of rain and the call of Alpine parrots. We put the Nokia Lumia 1020 in a waterproof soft sac and swam around in some of the world’s most shark infested waters to get footage of an epic dawn session. The cameras weren’t at risk, but our photographer Tim Maher was! As Tim said, the device “may not have been designed specifically with all these extreme conditions in mind but it sure as hell could handle them.”

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No damage to any equipment, then?

“We did lose one phone, it dropped onto asphalt and the screen cracked…it still worked, though, so we started using that as our main camera for rigging to the car!”

What was your overall impression of the Nokia Lumia 1020?

“What we all found ourselves saying during this shoot was how amazing it was to have the Nokia Lumia 1020 on hand, all the time, in your pocket. Tim called it a pocket-sized wonder, because it never let us down, whether we were shooting in low light, bright sunlight, night-time, interiors, exteriors, landscapes, portraits, action, or travelogue. The camera grip accessory with a tripod mount was also very handy when we wanted to attach the Nokia Lumia 1020 to our various rigs.”

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The trip took the crew around the South Island from Christchurch to Kaikoura, Broken River, Westland and Wanaka. The images, interviews and video footage are absolutely stunning and make you want to jet off to New Zealand on the next available plane. But don’t take our word for it. Have a browse at Nokia Transitions and prepare to be amazed. Which of the locations would you most like to visit? Any favourites in the photos? Let’s have a chat in the comments section below.