We all knew this day was coming, but many of us couldn’t have predicted that it would be this soon. Photographer Mike LeBrecht is no stranger to creating some memorable Sports Illustrated covers, but when pitched the task to photograph A-list celeb Dwanye ‘The Rock’ Johnson using a smartphone, he rose to the challenge.
The tool of choice: Motorola’s new Moto-Z, engineered with the imaging as its focus with a 13MP camera, optical image stabilization & laser auto focus. Although this doesn’t quite compete with industry standard DSLRs, any photographer would be willing to rise to the challenge and create equivalent or exceeding imagery given the chance to play with such technology. Paired with the Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod attachment, LeBrecht set out to photograph the world’s ‘sexiest man alive’ for the reputable magazine cover.
He first started with available light and slowly built in continuous light to produce an image with a higher production value and higher overall image quality. You can see in the BTS video the exact shot that LeBrecht clicked which winded up being the final cover image.
The Hasselblad Moto Mod gives the Moto-Z a 12MP 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor with a sensitivity range of up to ISO 3200 with a Hasselblad 10x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 25-250mm, and an f/3.5-6.5 aperture. In addition, it offers DNG raw shooting along with a Pro mode that offers control over focus, white balance, aperture, ISO, and exposure. Now tell me you don’t want to get your hands on one of these just to test it out? Regardless of your stance on smartphone camera tech, this is exciting simply because of the portability and ease of having such RAW capabilities built-in to an everyday device.
I don’t believe it’s fair to compare Smartphone Cameras to DSLR Cameras, but for everyday use and for aspiring photographers looking to develop photographic knowledge, the Pro settings on the Moto Z allow for the instant understanding of some of the same settings you will find on a DSLR. – Mike LeBrecht to PetaPixel
See more BTS images of LeBrecht’s light design and set here.