Best of: Camera phone photographers, part 3 – Igor Krieg
Igor Krieg is a Croatian-born photographer based in Frankfurt, Germany. An IT professional by day, he says his photography often starts with a big spreadsheet, clustering categories, potential locations and themes before setting out to shoot. With his self-confessed curiosity, he takes off on short trips for inspiration, searching for new ways to combine the rational and creative to produce the stunning photography we’ve seen from him to date.
1.Your photos seem to have a running theme of using vintage filters and selective focus to achieve their visual effect. Can you talk us through how you achieved that with your Xperia Z1?
Yes, I was really surprised by the post processing options available with the Xperia Z1. I tested multiple options across all the images and decided what suited best to particular images.
I used the “focal blur” effect from Pixlr Express in some of the images to guide the viewer´s eye. Selective focus is one of the current trends but I try only to use it in images where it helps to create a more expressive picture. Post processing is always an important part of my photographic work.
2. Composition seems to be a big part of your images in terms of the way it helps them tell a story. How was it different composing your shots on Xperia Z1 compared with other cameras you use?
The major challenge to me was having the Xperia Z1 frame that is used in the marketing campaign constantly in mind. It required moving the objects closer to the centre than I would normally do. I felt like constantly breaking the rules of aesthetic photography. But breaking the rules in a positive sense also means to be creative and forces you to try out something new or different.
Giving the images a square frame suited me perfectly as it is my favourite format. The only thing I missed shooting with the Z1 was the viewfinder that I am used to. It helps me to isolate my view from any surrounding distractions.
3. In a lot of your photos (particularly the “best hello” and “best action” shots), texture seems to be an important element – how did the Z1 stand up to this kind of environment and how did you achieve the highly textured effects?
In photography, just like in any other art form, there are trends that can be inspired by a variety of influences. In current photography there are almost no limits that are imposed by the technology.
It seems to be a fashion in modern photography for many photographers to try for maximum sharpness above everything else. I never worry about compromising on sharpness or the technical perfection of an image if I can create something more artistic. I use it to sharpen the image´s expressiveness or to transform it or to introduce new degrees of abstraction.
I constantly try to develop this further to achieve something unique that makes my pictures recognisable. For the campaign´s images I was easily able to use the preconfigured themes in Z1, subtly adding some vignetting and modifying contrast and sharpness to recreate the same feel as in my larger format photography.
4. If journalists or bloggers are reviewing the Z1 what tips would you give them for producing strong images that really test the camera’s performance?
My recommendation to any photographer using the Z1 is to free your mind from thinking that you’re shooting “only” with a camera phone. Shoot like you would shoot with your highly sophisticated DSLR or mirrorless camera. The limit is the photographer not the Z1.