Welcome to the latest edition of Hi, EyeEm, featuring Kevin Thornhill today! Born and raised in London, Kevin is a mobile photographer 24/7 and knows how to transform an ordinary scene into a striking picture. Here’s a little chat with him to learn more about his images and thoughts on mobile photography.
Hello there! Please introduce yourself to the community.
Well, my name is Kevin Thornhill and my day job is an IT Project Manager. I enjoy traveling and all forms of photography. I was born and raised in London. As an adult, there is not much to hate about London except rush hour, but I do not intend to bring up kids here because the cost of living is way too high and to get a house with a garden and garage is insane. But, I love the history of London and in fact of England. London is so diverse.
Is there anywhere better than London to shoot motives on the street?
Well any capital city is amazing to shoot life on the streets. I recently spent 10 weeks in NYC which was a great experience. I was there for work, so I did not get as much freedom as I would have liked to explore the place. But I managed to shoot some pictures there thanks to my iPhone. Then I entered most of the shots into the street fashion comp run by EyeEm.
Just out of curiosity, how did you get into mobile photography?
Funnily, I started with the Sony Ericsson K800, which was a great camera phone. I avoided the iPhone for a long time due to the camera being terrible, but with the launch of the 3GS and Chase Jarvis’ book of iPhone photography, The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You, motivated me. I have always preferred capturing candid moments over posed shots. Chase basically brought home that the fact that sometimes it’s more about the moment than the quality of the image. It’s better to capture something then nothing. I used to be the photographer for a friend who ran boat parties and always aimed to capture the true feel of the night along with the cliché group posed shots.
So when thinking about the (relatively short) history of mobile photography, do you think street photography mostly began with the iPhone being introduced? And what role did apps like Instagram, Hipstamatic and EyeEm play?
As we know street photography began long before the iPhone came onto the market. For me, the street and candid work started during my travels around the world and the iPhone allowed me to shoot in closer quarters because it is silent. Apps such as EyeEm, Instagram, etc., gave an outlet and a place for like-minded people to easily share work and to capture how we view our daily lives.
Absolutely. And these apps also let you share immediately what you see. Does this immediate sharing aspect play a big role in your work or do you mainly shoot with the iPhone for other reasons than immediate sharing?
Immediate sharing is a great motive to shoot - to be able to capture a moments and upload it to the world in seconds is somehow exciting. Mundane things can evoke thought and discussion light and contrast add intrigue.
Do you use mobile photography mainly as a tool for candid shots (where nobody notices you taking a picture) or would you also consider using it as your main medium of image creation?
It would not be my main medium, but it is the camera that is always with me. And I recently got the iPhone 4S so I am looking forward to see what it can produce.
Awesome! Any first feedback on the 4S?
Battery drain is ridiculous. But photo taking is far quicker as the memory writes are quick, editing images in Camera+ and Photogene is also more responsive.
And finally, what’s your vision for the future of mobile photography, any utopian thoughts or dreams?
At the moment, there is a lot of talk about using the iPhone to control DSLR Cameras. If the tech gets better regarding image quality then the iPhone could be the multimedia student’s dream. The timelapse and stedicam video feature is superb. The list goes on and on.