High Speed Photography with the HTC One

Bursting balloon

It is clear that smartphone camera quality is improving rapidly. With innovations like HTC’s Ultrapixel camera, we’ve been pushing the boundaries of what is possible with mobile photography further out. But you still need a talented photographer. Put technology like this in the hands of creative minds and the possibilities are nearly endless.

One such creative mind is Alexandru Ivan. He has been using his HTC to capture remarkable moments in time – such as the split-second when a water-filled balloon ruptures. He was kind to share the results and answer a few questions about his process:

First off, how did you get these shots?

I made these photos with my HTC One, a tripod, and a black panel for the background. My studio was an improvised area with a lot of sunlight. I filled the balloons with water and hung them in front of the black panel. The trickiest part was to pop the balloons and capture the photos at the right time. I had to do it all alone, because I could not find anyone to help me at that day!

Anyway, I increased the contrast (in the camera app, go to “Settings”, then “Image adjustments”) and framed the balloon for shooting. I used continuous shooting mode and locked the focus and exposure (tap and hold on where you want it to lock to). I popped the balloon with a wire that had a needle attached to the end. After a lot of spilled water and a lot of shots I selected the best photos and did some post-processing in Photoshop, mostly editing the background since I did not had a proper black panel to cover the entire frame.

Bursting balloons

Where do you get your inspiration?

It’s quite hard to give a proper answer for that. Sometimes I just have a flash, “I’ve got to try this”, and sometimes I look at other people’s work they had created with fancy professional equipment and wonder if I also can do something similar with a mobile phone camera.

Bursting balloon

What are some interesting photography projects you’re working on now?

I also work on older pictures taken with previous HTC phones, either editing them using the phone software or with MX Camera (for symmetry effects). I’m also a graphic designer and enjoy post-processing and manipulating photos. Using HTC Zoe I like to make movies from my 4×4 expeditions.

What advantages do you have using a smartphone as compared to a standard camera?

I think the advantage is you may not need a lot of expensive equipment (timers, flashes, lights, etc.) to get great shots. All of these can be substituted with a mobile phone and a tripod. After a really quick set up you can create amazing photos, like these or my “ink series“.

  • Craig Fish

    Awesome! Here’s To Creativity, goes to show how good the One’s Ultrapixel camera is in the hands of someone with the talent that Alexandru Ivan has 🙂

  • Ahmad Abdel-Aziz

    Interesting article!

    Thank you Darren, and thank you very much Alexandru for passing the knowledge!

    I learnt lots of new things!

    I didn’t know that we can lock both the Focus and Exposure by tabbing and holding!

    Thanks again!

  • Jasper Makkinje

    Awesome shots. Amazing to see what’s possible with today’s smartphOnes 🙂

  • auricom

    Holy The Cow!
    How To Copy this?
    Hmm That’s Cool!!!

  • NightAngel79

    Those pics look amazing! Very cool idea

  • http://www.ahmetbolu.com/ AHMET BOLU


  • Guest

    A very good photo taken!
    I didn’t know that you could take more than 20 images in Burst mode. Got to know after reading this after I manipulated some settings.
    Thanks for the heads up! I’ll try more stuff now.