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Exclusive: Kevin Abosch Interview With OnePlus

We speak to Kevin Abosch, who has worked with OnePlus on the portrait mode, on technology and photography.

|  OnePlus 6 in Interviews
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Kevin Abosch

 

Kevin Abosch is a world reknowned photographer and artist, based in NYC, who famously sold a photo of a potato for $1 million. He has been involved with OnePlus, helping develop the portrait mode on the smartphone. ePHOTOzine spoke to Kevin about photography and technology, and how the two work (and don't work) together. 

 

 

What brought you to photography?

I received my first camera at the age of 8. It was made by Kodak and used 126 cartridge film. Due to the cost of film and processing, it was sometimes months before I would be given a new film cartridge.  I had only 12 exposures to work with so a lot of thought went into each shot. The resulting images were sacred to me.  Even as a kid I saw photography as a way to engage deeply with my subjects. 

 

How important is it to develop your own style in photography?

When we talk about “style” I suggest breaking it into two parts; aesthetic and the philosophical or conceptual treatment. The novice photographer might try to force these elements to define their personal style but I’d posit that the style of the artists whose work we connect with most deeply, happens naturally and over time. An artist’s stylistic consistencies are how we appreciatively differentiate one artist’s work from another. There are photographers whose work I don’t respond to positively on either an aesthetic or conceptual level, yet I love their work for being “so them.”

 

1/160 sec | f/5.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
 

How has the smartphone industry (and technology) changed photography in your opinion? 

I’m a reductionist by nature and I also don’t like being weighed down by equipment so the smartphone is especially exciting for me. As the technology in smartphone cameras improves, it continues to prove itself as a real and often preferred option when deciding how to take photographs.

 

You've been involved with OnePlus for the portrait mode on the camera, what are your thoughts on capturing lifelike portraits, considering a number of phones offer what some would consider over-the-top skin smoothing and other "beautifying" options? 

It’s all about balance and having a sense of that threshold of acceptable manipulation which of course is subjective. The OnePlus team understands this and is committed to giving powerful creative tools to mobile photographers while encouraging thoughtful creation. Any effect you apply to an image has an impact on the intellectual and emotional value of the image. Those “over-the-top” effects you speak of are intellectually insulting and emotionally corrupt. People respond to honesty but this doesn’t have to be at the expense of aesthetic. 

 

What do you see as being the next big thing in photography?

The next big thing is the next incremental improvement.

 

Kevin Abosch worked with OnePlus on the portrait mode on the OnePlus 6T, which was then added to the OnePlus 6 via a firmware update. When we reviewed the OnePlus 6, we were impressed by it's performance, as well as it's price. If you're looking for a smartphone for photography, have a look at our list of the best smartphones for photography

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