Armed with a Samsung Galaxy S8, we sent three talented urban photographers out to explore and share the world around them. Find out more about Ron Timehin’s unique shooting style and his tips to capture hidden gems…

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Specialising in street, landscape, cityscape and portrait photography, Ron Timehin describes his body of work as “atmospheric”.

Dark, but beautiful, his Instagram feed is full of everyday scenes, shot from a new or different perspective. Every image tells a story, and every back road is an opportunity. But how does he consistently capture what others fail to see? It all starts with a bit of online research, and our most reliable network ever…

Location, location, location

“Research and scouting locations is at least 30 percent of the job,” Ron explains.

“I normally start online, searching a few key terms that I’m looking for in my destination of choice. From there I often use Google Maps/Earth to get a bit more of an inclination of what exactly I’m looking for. Then, when on my way to the location, I will often take the back streets to discover other hidden gems.

“Rooftop bars also offer great vantage points of a town or city.”

Don’t underestimate the basics

When it comes to Insta-worthy photos, Ron says it really is all about nailing the fundamentals of light, composition and focus.

Instagram-worthy shots are all about nailing the fundamentals of light, composition and focus.

“I often visit a place more than once to shoot it in the ideal light. Bad weather often makes for great photos!” he says. “I then spend time composing my image, making sure – if I’m going for a symmetrical shot – I get it spot on. The buildings aren’t going anywhere so there’s no need to rush.

“Lastly, I play around with different focal points. Depth of field on a subject within a wide space can often work well.”

You can learn loads more about nailing light, composition and focus in your photos right here.

Be creatively confident

Ron says there will always be elements in your vicinity that you can use to add extra interest to your shots. Some won’t work, but others might – it’s a case of trial and error:

“Things like lights, glass, puddles, leaves and smoke can all be used in many ways to add another dynamic to the image. Be creative with them and be confident when you do so,” he says.

“I often try many things that ultimately suck, but the process of doing so will help me find that one killer idea.”

Choose your tools and keep your patience

Ron says post-production is where he finds a lot of his joy, but it’s hard to edit a bad photo. It’s important to take the time to capture the image as close to the way you want it at the time of shooting.

“Editing gives me the ability to really convey my vision,” he explains. “I used to edit on my mobile phone using the Snapseed and the VSCOcam apps. However, I now mainly use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to edit.” On the go? Adobe has an awesome version of Lightroom available on both Android and iOS.

“I naturally see more perspectives or elements to use the longer I am in the space,” says Ron. “Patience definitely plays a part.”

And when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S8, Ron says he was very impressed.

“The S8 would be a great product for anyone to start experimenting with photography with – it’s very easy to use!”

“The amount of detail it was able to capture in St Dunstan-in-the-East was incredible. I actually started photography using a mobile device, so the S8 would be a great product for anyone to start experimenting with photography with – it’s very easy to use! Collaborating with Vodafone UK too, and utilising their breadth of network, allowed me to share my favourite shots with my followers and friends while on the move in a flash.

Ron’s final tips for aspiring urban photographers?

Practice makes perfect

“The more you explore and discover, the more tips and tricks you’ll pick up in finding the real hidden gems. Do some research, find a destination and then take all the back routes to that spot.”

Get more tips for perfecting your smartphone shots… Discover how the right lighting can make all the difference to your mobile photography with founder and editor of Mobiography.net, Andy Butler.

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