March 24, 2014 12:00 pm

Capturing the 7 natural wonders of the world with Lumia

We’ve partnered with National Geographic and photographer Stephen Alvarez to capture the seven natural wonders of the world – using Lumia smartphones. Last year Stephen went to explore the iconic American West using the Nokia Lumia 1020, and now the story continues.

“It is hot. It is humid. It is steep. I am glad my cameras don’t weigh anything. Toward the top, trees disappear and are replaced by grass wet with dew. As we reach the summit, there she is—glowing below us in shimmering pre-dawn twilight. Rio de Janeiro as I’ve never seen it before, stretched out, sparkling, and gorgeous. “

This is how National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez describes a perfect moment, a perfect sunrise, that turned into a perfect picture captured with a Lumia, in the picture perfect city of Rio De Janeiro.

In his assignment to capture the seven natural wonders of the world, Stephen went to Rio to challenge the imaging capabilities of our flagship Lumia camera phones. He was armed with the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520, that come equipped with PureView technology, ZEISS optics, 41MP and 20MP image sensors respectively, and our latest imaging innovations.

Stephen-Alvarez-in-Rio

From action shots to low light, to shooting in creative camera angles and in raw DNG format – the Lumias didn’t disappoint.

“The Nokia Lumia smartphones I’m using capture all the detail, and continue to get better with each software update. The Lumia 1020 was good when I first used it last summer, but with the addition of DNG support the camera really shines ” Stephen says.

Here’s a video of Stephen’s assignment to Rio, shot with a Lumia 1020 and 1520:

The Rio gallery

Here’s a collection of images Stephen took with the magnificent Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 camera phones during his Rio expedition.

Sheer fun at LEME beach. Shot with a Lumia 1520.

Sheer fun at LEME beach. Shot with a Lumia 1520.

“..I’ve found that working without a viewfinder is liberating. I’m able to shoot from crazy angles that I’d never attempt using a regular camera with a viewfinder. I can hold my Lumias up high, down low, close to my face, or way out at arm’s length. I’m a much looser photographer with the Lumia than with a DSLR. I feel free and the sheer fun of it inspires me to try new things.”

A local boy playing soccer in Vidigal Favela neighborhood in Rio. Shot with a Lumia 1020.

A local boy playing soccer in Vidigal Favela neighborhood in Rio. Shot with a Lumia 1020.

“To make this frame I waited until the boy turned uphill and fills the right hand side of the frame leaving the bike to anchor the left.”

William, the popcorn man, at the beach below Sugar Loaf. Shot with a Lumia 1020.

William, the popcorn man, at the beach below Sugar Loaf. Shot with a Lumia 1020.

“When I first used the Lumia 1020 last summer, I was struck by how well it worked in low light. But the latest software from Nokia has made the 1020 a truly astounding low-light camera.“

Sunrise at Two Brothers Mountain. Shot with a Lumia 1020.

Sunrise at Two Brothers Mountain. Shot with a Lumia 1020.

“Shooting an image like this it helps to have a big, bright screen that I can view while looking straight into the sun.”

The perfect picture of Rio De Janeiro. Shot with a Lumia 1020.

The perfect picture of Rio De Janeiro. Shot with a Lumia 1020.

“I started shooting well before sunrise. Long exposures, not really thinking about what camera I’m using, just concentrating on the scene and how to capture the experience of being in this moment, surrounded by great people in this wonderful place. Truly one of the most beautiful cityscapes I’ve ever seen.”

“Then it hits me. I am photographing all this with a smartphone.”

Follow Stephen’s journey through the seven natural wonders of the world here.