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June 26, 2015

Narek Hovas shoots street photos on his Lumia smartphones

Mobile photographer and part-time gardener Narek Hovas loves capturing the hustle and bustle of the city streets of Yerevan, Armenia, where he lives.

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(Click on the pictures to see the unedited version)

Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones are capable of helping everyone become a better photographer. Instead of using a DSLR to take his amazing street photos, 24-year old Narek uses the Microsoft Lumia 630 and the Lumia 1020.

“People often get shocked when they see me clicking photos only with my Lumias,” he said.

He started with the Lumia 710 when studying photography in school. Since then, he’s been featured on Microsoft Lumia’s social networks and 500px, the online photo community.

“I can proudly say that I’ve achieved a lot in the world of mobile photography thanks to my Lumias,” he said. “Now, individuals and agencies approach me to buy these photos.”

Q: How do you use your Lumia day to day? 

I use my Lumia 630 for checking emails and chatting with my friends via WhatsApp. I also follow my favorite soccer club Real Madrid and read tennis news via MSN Sports app. The 6tag app lets me manage and organize meetups for @igersArmenia.

I also play games such as Cut the Rope 2 and Cross Court Tennis 2. The Lumia 630 is a simple phone but lets me do almost everything I need. But since my work is all about photography, I also have my Lumia 1020 for my photography tools. I love shooting in RAW mode.

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Q: What makes street photography interesting to you?

I enjoy street photography because it lets me document the world around me in my unique way–things I would overlook if I were walking without my Lumia. I share events that are there for everyone to see but disappear in seconds.

Q: How do you compose your street photos?

When I’m on the street, I search for subjects and objects and then shoot the same scene from different angles and positions.

The rule of thirds feature helps me place the main objects in the right places. While composing the frame, I also think about how much space and depth I need in my picture and why.

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(Click on the pictures to see the unedited version)

Q: How do you edit your street photos on your Lumia?

[That’s] my favorite part. After choosing the best shot from the [image] gallery, I start by adjusting an image’s contrast, brightness, saturation, highlights and shadows.

Then I add filters or textures–it depends what mood I want to present.

I use sepia or black and white when I see drama or sadness in the scene. I add noise or shadows to strengthen the atmosphere of antiquity and use the blurring tool to guide the viewer’s gaze towards the sharpest point in the picture.

Many editing apps on the Windows Phone Store provide high-quality filters, masks, and tools and let you add wonderful effects.

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(Click on the pictures to see the unedited version)

Q: Can you share some photo-editing tips?

Always experiment with apps and be attentive to detail. Never forget what your main object in the photo is.

Second, get inspiration from other professionals but never copy their style. Create your own!

Third, turn your colorful photos to black and white occasionally as colors conceal certain things and forms. But in black and white, the same forms appear more accurate and you get more aware of the composition.

Last, don’t over-edit your photos.

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(Click on the pictures to see the unedited version)

Q: What are the top five Windows Phone editing apps you would recommend to budding photographers? 

First, Lumia Creative Studio: A user-friendly app that lets you crop photos easily and is perfect for color-pop [images] and blurring.

Second, Fhotoroom: It has a huge range of high-quality filters and tools for editing.

Third, PicsArt – Photo Studio: It has large communities [in which] one can share photos and get likes and followers.

Fourth, Afterlight (99 cents) offers powerful [editing] tools and has a simple design.

Last, 4Blend HDR to capture high-dynamic range (HDR) pictures and show awesome results in different light conditions.

Q: What do you do in your spare time besides thinking about your next shot?     

I like watching movies and love reading about various discoveries in microbiology and underwater explorations.

Thanks a lot for talking to us, Narek.