Smartphone Photographer Marco de Groot Interview (Mobile Creator Series)
Are you a lover of architecture photography? Well, even if you aren’t, and we reckon you will be after this edition of the Mobile Creator Series, you’re sure to fall in love with the work of Marco de Groot – @marcorama.
The work of this young Dutchman is almost ‘other-worldly,’ seriously, it looks like it could be from the Jetsons. Marco’s style is appealing though, as it’s linear and well-placed subjects always delight.
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THE MOBILE CREATOR SERIES
WHAT IS THE MOBILE CREATOR SERIES?
MCS is an initiative to discover and highlight photographers pioneering mobile photography. It’s a series of interviews and collaborations that highlight the potential of smartphones and the innovation of the people using them to push the envelope of traditional photography.
The goal is to inspire new photographers to think outside the box – to create with the tools you have available. Secondarily, we want to dispel the notion that smartphones aren’t comparable to conventional cameras. The artists featured are our evidence.
Without further ado, meet Marco.
THE MOBILE CREATOR SERIES: INTERVIEW WITH @MARCORAMA
NAME: MARCO DE GROOT
LOCATION / HOMEBASE: UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS
FAVORITE GEAR: CANON EOS R WITH A TS-E17mm IS ON MY WISHLIST, BUT FOR NOW I USE A SAMSUNG S10 AND A CANON EOS 6D2 WITH A 16-35mm
Hey there, Marco! So, here’s the obvious question – do you choose to use a smartphone for photography instead of a traditional camera? Is it a full replacement or just a supplement?
Hi, thanks for having this interview with me.
What a great question: for me and my style of photography, the smartphone is not my primary choice as a camera. But, it is also more than a supplement.
I am a firm believer the best camera is the one you have on you, and that’s always your mobile.
Do you think smartphones offer any significant advantages over traditional cameras? Are there serious shortcomings, in your opinion?
Yeah, it is low profile, and it doesn’t look professional: this means security people don’t get nervous when you arrive and ask to take a photo of a building.
The sensor isn’t as good as an SLR, but with the proper usage, it is a fantastic camera! I love how close the lenses are to the edge, which makes it perfect for reflection shots in mirrors, glass, or puddles!
And, phones are thin so you can stick them between glass plates and get an impossible angle on places.
(If necessary: ) How do you overcome the drawbacks of smartphone photography?
Smartphones are more than just cameras – they can edit and publish photos too. Do you use any other phone features in the course of your work?
The portable computer part is terrific. When traveling, I edit most of my photos on my phone, yeah.
I sometimes use a phone as a mirrorlike surface to make an image that would be otherwise impossible. The flash can also be used for light painting.
Do you think there is any type of gear that is critical to enabling mobile photography? What is it? Why?
The short answer is no, from the box the modern phones are great camera’s.
Any secret tricks or techniques you can share for people interested in improving their mobile photography?
Start by shooting a lot, before Instagram I had a daily photoblog. Find your passion and go deep with that subject.
Shoot in RAW so you preserve more details so you can brighten up the shadows. Shooting in the RAW can mostly be done in the native camera app, but when not possible, get a 3rd party app to do so.
For reflections like in a puddle, hold your phone upside down, so the camera is closest to the water. A lot of phones are waterproof, so don’t be afraid!
Any final words of advice to aspiring photographers?
Don’t let your gear limit you, set out what you want, and try to do with your available camera.
Shoot a lot, find a social network that suits you, and look up your niche and connect with others. Meeting with likeminded people is the best thing to do for your mobile photography.
I’ve tagged most of my mobile shots here to keep them separate from my traditional ones.