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January 21, 2014

The 7 step guide to taking puddlegrams on your Nokia Lumia

Photography has always come in many weird and wonderful forms. Now, with the advent of mobile technology, this ability to dazzle with new genres has become even easier.

One man who has created a type of photography very much his own is Danish Instagramer Morten Nordstrøm. A few weeks back we showcased some of his work in our Around the world in 80 Lumias series. His puddle reflected images of Copenhagen, shot on a Nokia Lumia 925, have gained him plaudits far and wide as well as an ever increasing number of followers. In fact, this week he celebrated his twenty thousandth follower with a cool competition. We’ve now invited Morten back to share his magic, so we can all learn the incredible art of the puddlegram. Over to you, Morten!

1. Find a puddle


First of all, when shooting puddlegrams you will obviously need a puddle. The bigger the better, but you will be surprised how little water you need to make a big impact. Go check for yourself!


2. Focus on the focal point

My experience is that I get the best effect when I look for a strong central focal point and try to get some depth in the perspective. Streets often meet these requirements due to their vanishing points, which is one of the reasons puddlegrams are so good in urban cityscapes. Moreover they are often full of life, which gives life to the picture and helps telling a unique story.


3. Go low

Another thing is that if you want to do a proper puddlegram, make sure your lens is as close to the ground as possible – even if it means you have to turn your device upside-down (my Lumia’s camera is in the middle of the phone, so it means nothing, but in some phones the camera is placed in the corner, and here it can make a great difference). Moreover, mind the weather. Windy puddles won’t serve you well.


4. Get the right perspective

When it comes to shooting, I often think a lot about my perspective before I shoot. What will work? What won’t? Should I wait for somebody to walk by, or will that be interrupting? Other times I just walk around and look for details and shoot what I find interesting and inspiring.


5. Experiment with apps and angles

I’m always shooting with my Nokia Lumia 925 and I have been experimenting a lot with the different camera possibilities. Normally I just use the native camera, other times I use the Nokia Pro Camera or ProShot which gives me more adjustability. Good advice when taking puddlegrams is to experiment with the number of shots you’re taking and see the different outcomes you can get. Analyzing strengths and weaknesses in these will help making you a more skilled puddleshooter! I might as well just tell you now that people will be looking at you, when you sit down and place your phone in a puddle. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but in the beginning I chose to think about the magical perspectives I was capturing and said to myself, that they were only looking, because they didn’t know better.


6. Take time to edit

A lot of magic takes place in the editing process. For editing, I have explored the different Windows Phone app possibilities quite intensely. After doing this I ended up always using the same two apps: the Nokia Creative Studio app and Fhotoroom. They are very different and suits each other well. I like to keep things simple and often aim for a high sharpness, cold tones and not too strong colors, since I find them disturbing.


7. Stay on top of the crop

Finally, I pay a lot of attention in the cropping process. A good cropping can change a picture entirely and so can a bad one.


Seven fantastic tips to turn even an amateur Instagramer into the sharpest puddleshooter. If you want to see more of Morten’s work be sure to hook up with him on Instagram. In the meantime, why not grab your wellies and find some puddles. If you come up trumps, be sure to share your reflected glory on Instagram with the hashtag #Lumiapuddles,  so we can showcase the best of the best.