From puddlegrams to tiny planets, long exposure to colour pop, you name the photographic genre and Instagram has it.
And this is one of the reasons we love Instagram so much. The opportunity to experiment with different types of photography, while being encouraged by your peers, can produce some pretty astounding results. This week’s Nokia Lumia Instagramer embodies this sense of creative camaraderie so obvious amongst Lumia lovers. Based in Washington D.C., USA, Bryce Mcnitt’s Instagram gallery is full to brimming with beautifully varied pictures. But before you take a look at his top ten, why not read his thoughts on the wonderful world of mobile photography. Over to you, Bryce.
So, Bryce, first things first, which Nokia Lumia do you have and what do you like most about it?
I have the Lumia 1020 and what I love most about it is the manual control interface on the Nokia Camera app. The ease with which you can adjust your photos is really terrific, you can shoot several different styles in a very short period of time, and you don’t have to toy around with different knobs and buttons like on a big DSLR. I was out doing some night photography with my Dad, who is a professional photographer, and he was blown away with the quality of shots I was getting in low light, and how easy it was to adjust ISO and white balance settings.
The other thing that I love is that these photos can be blown up to 30”x20” size (poster size) and they still look great. I’ve got my wall covered with huge prints of my work and they look great. Try that with an iPhone!
Finally, I’ve recently read a few articles about DIY lens attachments and filters to augment long exposure night photography, so I’m super stoked to take my photos to the next level.
Where do you shoot most of your photos and what sort of photos do you like to take best?
I shoot most of my photos in Washington, DC. I usually hop on my bike and throw my phone and a Joby Gorillapod in my coat and see what I find. DC is great because we have great street photography, the national monuments, and also Rock Creek Park, which is a huge and beautiful natural area that runs right through the city. I’m also lucky enough to get out of town pretty regularly, so I shoot whatever I can when I’m traveling.
I think the most exciting type of photography is street photography that integrates the people around me. I have to be fast to capture the right shot, and it forces me to learn the camera well enough to get the setting right when I see an opportunity. That said, I love to be out in nature and that will probably always be my favorite. There are limitless photos to take when you’re out in the woods or up in the mountains.
What are your top tips for taking Instagram photos on your Nokia Lumia?
Here are a few simple tips that come to mind:
1. Perspective: If you see a photo that you want to take, try it from a few different perspectives. Get really low, get really close, take one from above the subject, frame the subject differently, whatever you can think of! One thing I like to do is get my camera right down by the ground and focus on something in the foreground, while leaving the background a bit blurry. That can create a really cool effect.
2. Edit your photos: Even a small contrast adjustment or a saturation boost can really give your photos that extra pop. Some great in-phone apps are Fotor and Nokia Creative Studio. For those that shoot DNG, which I do, then I would suggest Adobe Lightroom (warning, highly addictive) which can really transform photos into something beautiful. Lightroom can be a bit pricey, but you can do a 30 day free trial that will at least give you an appreciation for what you can do with this amazing Lumia 1020.
3. Keep it simple: People love simple photos with a clearly defined subject. Try to avoid letting things get too busy, if your eye can instantly focus on the subject of your photo and the background isn’t too distracting, chances are people will really dig it.
4. Engage your followers and those you follow! The Lumia community is really really cool and really really social. I’ve learned a lot from some very friendly people. I’ve even met some great local photographers through the @igdc meetup group.
Which five Nokia Lumia instagramers do you recommend everyone to follow?
This is difficult because there are so many great Lumia instagramers out there. I gotta give a shout out to @kennidenni because he taught me Lightroom, the rest are some newcomers that are doing really brilliant stuff.
What are your top ten favourite Lumia Instagram photos?
1. This is my most liked shot, a spring of rosemary and a cool orange house. Simple subject with some depth of field and good color contrast.
2. This might be my ultimate favorite. I was shooting this scene for about 10 minutes before I realized the trees were making a perfect reflection on the polished stone. This is the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. Just shows you that you might have to shoot something for a while before you see the picture you really want.
3. This is a bit more abstract – the water, light, and sky all played against one another, I’m really happy with how it came out.
4. One of the first shots I captured in DNG. I put the leaf there to catch the sun – always look around for something to accent the foreground of a picture if you can find it!
5. Another instance where I was trying to shoot the sunset and then realized my shadow was making for a great picture. I really dig this one.
6. This was my first try at shooting light trails with long exposure. I shot with a 100 ISO and it came out nicely. I’ve recently learned that a ND8 filter will make these shots even less noisy, I can’t wait to get out there and shoot with one.
7. Once again I grabbed these leaves out of the stream and placed them in the foreground to pull the picture together, this one’s hanging on my wall.
8. Another slow shutter photo with a guy who was super friendly on the street. He loved that I had a little tripod for my camera. I really love shooting stuff like this and interacting with people I don’t know.
9. Everyone loves reflections.
10. Just posted this yesterday – the colors were really amazing and the melting snow had coated the rock face to make it glow in the sun. My buddy @thecolinkhughes served as a good subject for this capture. This is one of the photos I’ve been creating quotes from books that I’ve made up. I’ve gotten some good feedback from them – they are just for fun. I’d love to hear thoughts on the captions!
I think we can all agree that Bryce has nailed it when it comes to his photography. If you are as impressed as us, make sure you follow him on Instagram. And if you’re a Nokia Lumia instagramer, and you’d like to see your work showcased here, you can either follow us on Instagram or share your best pics with #Lumia, or both. In the meantime, let us know which of Bryce ’s photos most inspired you in the comments below.