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Mobile Travel Photography with the Huawei P9 by Tim Moolman

We are privileged to introduce the effervescent South African Photographer and Fujifilm X-Photographer, Tim Moolman. Tim is a commercial and documentary wedding photographer, and in his spare time pursues personal photography projects including street, travel, editorial and documentary photography.

In recent years, mobile photography has grown rapidly and is taking the photography world by storm. Tim took some time to tell us about his recent project, travelling around the country taking photos with a mobile camera only, the Huawei P9. The pictures he is about to show, speak for themselves and prove that it is not the size of the camera that matters, but the creative mind of the photographer! As Eve Arnold says, “It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”

 

huawei p9 illustration

Huawei P9

Over to Tim Moolman: 

Towards the end of 2016, I was approached by Huawei, to test their P9 cellphone camera. While I have conducted similar tests going all the way back to 2006, this project promised to be something unique for a documentary photographer.

I was tasked with travelling to all nine provinces in South Africa and shooting nine different subjects in each province. These images would be used online and in various publications to show the quality of the Huawei P9 camera. 

Without providing a full review of the P9 camera’s abilities and image quality, which is excellent by the way, all I can say is that mobile travel photography with the P9 was a lot of fun!  Using a mobile phone that fits in a pocket or handbag, which is lightweight and has excellent battery life allows you to treat an adventure like a photographer should; focusing on making images, and not firing a broadside of selfies to instagoogletweetface every few steps! 

My experience proved that mobile phone cameras are indeed very advanced (as I write this in 2017) but bear in mind that for a working professional photographer, the same leaps and bounds are happening amongst our own advanced DSLR and mirrorless cameras. So, whilst mobile phone cameras are improving all the time, our professional gear remains the highest quality solution to getting great images. I am not ready to replace my Fuji gear for a cellphone camera yet, but I enjoyed the P9 tremendously as a tool to create images, which reminds me of a quote by Jase Jarvis, “The best camera is the one that’s with you” 

 

It is in that light that I am showing you some of my favourite images from this project: 

a bmx rider casts a silhouette over a skatepark in edenvale gauteng.

A BMX rider casts a silhouette over a skatepark in Edenvale, Gauteng.


photographers making portraits on an instawalk in braamfontein, gauteng.

Photographers making portraits on an instawalk in Braamfontein, Gauteng.


johannes, a shepherd making his way home outside bloemfontein in the free state.

Johannes, a shepherd making his way home outside Bloemfontein in the Free State.


trees cast their morning shadows on a crisp winters sunrise in dullstroom, free state

Trees cast their morning shadows on a crisp winter’s sunrise in Dullstroom, Free State.


the cooling towers at a decommissioned power station stand as silent relics while pedestrians walk, and taxis rush, to work in bloemfontein, free state.

The cooling towers, at a decommissioned power station, stand as silent relics while pedestrians walk and taxis rush to work in Bloemfontein, Free State.


lee, a tattoo artist in bloemfontein, poses by a gallery of his work. free state.

Lee, a tattoo artist in Bloemfontein, poses by a gallery of his work. Free State.


savanna, poses for a portrait in kyalami, gauteng.

Savanna poses for a portrait in Kyalami, Gauteng.


models show some sass at the durban july horse race in durban, kzn.

Models show some sass at the Durban July horse race in Durban, KZN.


the world-famous pier at umhlanga rocks silhouetted against a postcard sunrise.

The world-famous pier at Umhlanga rocks silhouetted against a postcard sunrise. KZN.


kids about to enjoy their bunny chow, a curried meat dish served in a half loaf of bread. umhlanga, kzn.

Kids about to enjoy their bunny chow, a curried meat dish served in a half loaf of bread. Umhlanga, KZN.


skateboarders synchronize their kick flips at the moses mabhida soccer stadium in durban, kzn

Skateboarders synchronize their kickflips at the Moses Mabhida soccer stadium in Durban, KZN.


flip it! a tree reflected in the crystal-clear waters of a stream in the drakensburg  mountain range, kzn.

Flip it! A tree reflected in the crystal-clear waters of a stream in the Drakensberg Mountain range, KZN.


Beautiful decorative tablecloths hang outside a tourist shop in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga.


a well-known hiking trail, the blyde river canyon, looking spectacular in the afternoon’s last golden light. mpumalanga

A well-known hiking trail, the Blyde River Canyon, looking spectacular in the afternoon’s last golden light. Mpumalanga.


road side stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables are a common sight on the roads in mpumalanga

Roadside stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables are a common sight on the roads in Mpumalanga.


line. tar. shadows. a minimalist image made in the afternoon sun. mpumalanga

Line. Tar. Shadows. A minimalist image made in the afternoon sun. Mpumalanga.


young children play football in the dust next to a farmer’s tractor in mpumalanga.

Young children play football in the dust next to a farmer’s tractor in Mpumalanga.


bex enjoys an early morning hot air balloon ride in limpopo province.

Bex enjoys an early morning hot air balloon ride in Limpopo province.


street vendors selling their wares in east london, eastern cape.

Street vendors selling their wares in East London, Eastern Cape.


graaf reinet on the left with the peak of spandaukop to the right shot as a panorama, eastern cape.

Graaf Reinet on the left with the peak of Spandaukop to the right shot as a panorama, Eastern Cape.


alec models under continuous light in a studio in east london, eastern cape.

Alec models under continuous light in a studio in East London, Eastern Cape.


rock pools in jeffreys bay peacefully await a new day. eastern cape

Rock pools in Jeffreys Bay peacefully await a new day. Eastern Cape.


ostrich races in the western cape town of oudtshoorn.

Ostrich races in the Western Cape town of Oudtshoorn.


a panorama of beautiful light on the wide-open roads heading south in the western cape

A panorama of beautiful light on the wide-open roads heading south in the western cape


kickflipping in long street in the centre of cape town’s city bowl. western cape.

Kickflipping in Long Street in the centre of Cape Town’s city bowl. Western Cape.


bubbles, a large cape fur seal, stops by for a treat in fish hoek, western cape.

Bubbles, a large Cape Fur Seal, stops by for a treat in Fish Hoek, Western Cape.


hikers greet a fresh sunrise on lions head featuring table mountain as an epic backdrop. cape town, western cape.

Hikers greet a fresh sunrise on Lions Head featuring Table Mountain as an epic backdrop. Cape Town, Western Cape.


unemployed. taking a break from searching for work, springbok, northern cape.

Unemployed. Taking a break from searching for work, Springbok, Northern Cape.


kids playing outside their homes pause and laugh with amusement at the photographer. springbok, northern cape

Kids playing outside their homes pause and laugh with amusement at the photographer. Springbok, Northern Cape. 


stepping back in time on the streets of kimberley, northern cape.

Stepping back in time on the streets of Kimberley, Northern Cape.


spectators celebrate a skateboarder’s trick during a contest in bryanston, gauteng.

Spectators celebrate a skateboarder’s trick during a contest in Bryanston, Gauteng.


the striking architecture of the soweto theatre in soweto, gauteng.

The striking architecture of the Soweto Theatre in Soweto, Gauteng.


For more of Tim Moolman’s work, check him out online:  


About the Author:

Shawn Marran
I am Danie Bester's Personal Assistant and Geek. I live in Centurion and joined the DPC Team as a Web Administrator. I manage the DPC site as well as our Student Network Photo Critic. Current long term goals involve being trained in web design. I frequently get compared to an Owl because of my love for the night. I enjoy Night-time photography as well as urban landscape, architectural and abstract photography.

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