Workshop: Paul Ripke x HUAWEI

A Few weeks ago an email had reached me in regards to a workshop taking place in Berlin. Berlin for the last few weeks has become quite relevant, so naturally it spiked my interest. As it turned out I was invited to a few hours with Paul Ripke in collaboration with HUAWEI at Blogfabrik.

Paul Ripke is a German photographer who recently resettled to Los Angeles. Paul is someone who I had always wanted to meet in person, so here was the chance. His portfolio spans from classical advertising to in depth documentary work. To say the least I was quite excited about the project coming together.

 Implied Selfie: Hold it like this Paul!

Implied Selfie: Hold it like this Paul!

 3 Minute Challenge: Who takes the best profile picture for Paul? I came in second.

3 Minute Challenge: Who takes the best profile picture for Paul? I came in second.

Upon arrival at Blogfabrik, a collaborative workspace for content creators, a dozen amazing, friendly and likeminded people greeted me. The day ahead of us could only hold good things. Quite late, at noon, Paul started us off with a brief introduction followed by amazing personal stories. The first half we got to know each other followed by lunch and of course the handout of our tools for he day, the brand new HUAWEI Mate 9 and P9 mobile phones. I was in favor of the P9 as its smaller screen was a better fit for how I incorporate mobiles devices in my daily life.

Once set and done we started to explore, sure enough Paul had some hands on tips in regards to mobile image composition. The goal of this workshop was to reconsider the way we see things on the go. Creating photographs without prior planning and minimal props was the mindset of the day.

Paul emphasized to think outside of the box when choosing angles and compositions. He demonstrated the significant change of images when moving up high or down low. His personal favorite seemed the child perspective looking up at the world. Sure enough his tips influenced me the following day, but that is a story to follow in another blog entry.

 Symmetry with strong leading lines. Perfect for placing a central subject.

Symmetry with strong leading lines. Perfect for placing a central subject.

 Shallow DOF, low to the ground. Same location with a very different feel and purpose.

Shallow DOF, low to the ground. Same location with a very different feel and purpose.

As a photographer we often disregard what a mobile device is capable of. I like the use of tripods and wide-angle lenses, both things that are rather unusual in a mobile workflow. Shallow DOF, unthinkable, but with the P9 I found myself at ease with the incorporated settings. Super low angles? Flip it over and get inches away from that amazing puddle, line or leaf on the ground to get drastic changes in composition. Overall this part of the workshop highlighted some areas of (re-)consideration that through my particular way of shooting I had neglected.

Of course being indoors is a trap to my world of photography, but I soon found things I wanted to try out:

 Lights. Inside you need lights.

Lights. Inside you need lights.

 Exercises may and should be a game. 

Exercises may and should be a game. 

HUAWEI’s recent collaboration with Leica ought to bring new quality to mobile photography. This workshop was eye opening in regards to composing and utilizing manual camera setting on a mobile device, here the advanced settings within the camera app were a significant improvement over other devices I had previously used. As a visual person not having a camera can be detrimental when it comes to recording thoughts and visual cues. I personally only share work that I created with print in mind, so megapixels count, but even in this aspect HUAWEI was superior with its dual camera setup: One for color and the other for black and white.

I love telling „Instagram“ stories, which of course require a camera that can deliver a quality and most of all crisp images. Naturally I liked what I was able to produce with the P9.

Gallery images curtesy of Mattias Piket.

 

While the workshop took place indoors, I persuaded HUAWEI to let me keep the P9, Android based, phone for a walk around town the following day. Stay tuned for my next post where I will shine some light onto my workflow including shooting, editing and posting with the HUAWEI P9.

 

Links to learn more:

Paul Ripke: Portfolio / Instagram

HUAWEI: Mate 9 / P9 / Paul Ripke Collaboration

Blogfabrik: Website / Instagram / Daily Bread Blog