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Jose Luis Saez Martinez took first place in the iPhone Photography Awards in 2015 with a dramatic black-and-white image, but it’s just one of his many pieces that capture the essence of mobile photography. As he proves through his work, color isn’t everything when it comes to emotionally moving your audience. We spoke to Jose for more insight into his inspirations.
“The most challenging aspect of photography, in general and even more in mobile photography, is to take it seriously. A good photographer must invest a lot of time in their photography, and for non-professional photographers like me this is the most challenging aspect, to find enough time.”
“Kids. To show their spontaneity and happiness whit in backlight photography is really difficult. I think my best [subjects] are kids on the beach at sunset. That takes my breath away.”
“I am the photographer of backlights subjects, mainly by shooting at dawn or dusk. Light conditions are much better during these golden hours. I [also] love urban scenes and architecture – huge [structures] with tiny people in them to show a sense of loneliness. That’s what I think my audience expects from me.”
“Inspiration comes from many sources. I love the best film noir of the ‘40s, some recent films as “The Road,” and the classic black and white photographers. I carry all that in my personal backpack, and of course my photography is a result of these influences.”
“Well, I have lots of them but 90% of my photography has no accessories at all. But when necessary, I love using my Shoulderpod S1 Smartphone Rig tripod mount, as a tripod itself or on a Gloxy GX tripod, and of course a remote control shutter. This is the way I achieve a really good quality. And I also have a 3-in-1 lens (fish-eye, wide angle and macro). Keep in mind that an iPhone is like any other camera and accessories are great for widening its potential.
“Symmetry is always a good choice for square format photos, but spending time and effort on the selection of a scene is of central importance to ensure a good end result. My main advice is always to choose a scene without any disturbing or distracting elements. Including objects that have nothing to do with the story you’re trying to tell reduces the power of the picture, so keep it simple. I also need to set aside time for ruling out photos and editing the best from each session. I utilize a poor 5% of the total quantity of my work. Improvisation does not function in the vast majority of cases.”
“In terms of editing, I always increase the contrast and reduce the brightness a bit.”
“First you need to know what the goal of your photography is, then you have to put the time into looking for good scenes. You should make sure you have enough time to shoot regularly. And never forget this quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson: ‘It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera…they are made with the eye, heart and head.’”
To view all of Jose’s work, make sure to visit his Instagram (@jl_saez).