Stealthy Lumia 1020 food and people snapping, the Vikas way

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I was struck by some of the observations and turns of phrase in today's Conversations' piece, profiling chef Vikas Khanna, his love of food and also of candid shots on his beloved Lumia 1020. See what you think of the quotes below.

From the article:

As host of the television show “MasterChef India” and owner of Junoon in New York City, Vikas Khanna promises viewers and diners a gastronomical delight. But equally tantalizing are the photos of the dishes he clicks for his books. With 16 cookbooks, four documentary films and counting, we caught up with Vikas during a recent visit to Amritsar, his hometown, during the launch of his latest book “Amritsar- Flavors of the Golden City.”

You mentioned that you clicked photos and recorded interviews with your Lumia. Have the photos been reproduced in the book?

I always keep the Lumia 1020 with me wherever I go. You don’t need tripods or multiple-lighting equipment to get a shot; you just need to have a vision and an eye for detail. In fact, majority of photos for my forthcoming book (450 pages!)  have been shot extensively with the 1020.

Is there a team to help you to set up a frame?

I work on my own for the simple reason that when I see a frame, for example a car that is moving, I feel the need to capture it instantly. The best part of working with a Lumia 1020 is that it lets you capture the moment there and then. It is best suited for people like me who prefer to click the photo in that instant and live that moment.

But here's the bit that struck a bell with me in particular:

Sometimes I feel that people who are being photographed don’t understand how powerful this phone is and thus they never pose and the process of taking a candid moment is never lost. Compare the same situation with a big, bulky camera and we find people start posing for the photos. This is where 1020 comes to my rescue. I get much better quality with rich colors.

Exactly. Though the bright yellow of the default Lumia 1020, with that big black circle does give the game away a bit, so I tend to leave a black CC-3066 Qi charging shell in place, meaning that my phone just looks.... black. As Vikas says, people don't freak out the way they do if you point a big DSLR at them and tend to act more naturally. 

It also helps in shows and performances, where theatre staff get nervous if you take in a standalone camera, but are happy to allow phones.... if only they knew, etc. 8-)

Of course, the same applies to many other top camera phones, including the Lumia 830, 930 and 1520, but the 1020 remains special because of the purity of its low light captures and the Xenon flash, providing either motion-freezing or fill-in flash in daylight conditions, as needed.

Although I've almost never photographed my food(!), it's undoubtedly a social trend, which Vikas thankfully has liberal views on:

Food has to be clicked the moment it is brought out. There is a saying we have in India, ‘Eat the food; it is hot and freshly made.’

Chicken Tikka

Number one: You have to take two photos of the dish, first from a top angle and then from eye-level as you need to give perspective of the dish. You need to show the spread as well.

Number two: The perfect time to click any dish is the moment it comes to your table.

How do you feel when people Instagram your dishes before they even eat their meals?

I personally feel that by not allowing the patrons to click photos, you are disturbing their food experience. The person has earned that dish and you need to give him full honor and let him take that photo. In fact, I have been told by many that I should be on Instagram and post my photos.

Some Michelin chefs don’t allow pictures in their restaurants as they are concerned about the lighting. They don’t want their food to be misrepresented. The lighting in a restaurant is low and dramatic but I feel smartphones like Lumias are not sensitive to light and we get food photos even then.

Good stuff. Is it just me, or does every piece about the 1020 also make you want to break out your own 41MP monster? The 1020 certainly seems to be the sort of phone you 'love'. Compare, for example, to the Lumia 830, which I think is an astonishing technical achievement but which is hard to get emotionally attached to.

Source / Credit: Conversations