Nairobi-based photographer Abdul Mutuma calls himself a, “passionate hobbyists like most camera wielders these days.” What that description doesn’t reveal, however, is that Abdul captures amazing macro images using less gear than any other macro photographer we know.
He’s not sporting a DSLR and a pricey macro lens. He’s not even using a nice point-and-shoot with a quality “Macro” mode. No, Abdul uses a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, and a DIY Macro lens he hacked together by cannibalizing a broken point-and-shoot.
That combination together allows him to capture images like this:
Abdul’s macro “journey” began in 2011, after seeing a YouTube tutorial on the lens reverse technique for DSLRs.
“My mind was blown!” he told us over email. “Unfortunately, I lost my camera in a theft after my macro discovery… I was gutted. I didn’t shoot macro for two years, actually forgot all about it.”
Two years later he did return to the world of close-up photography, this time using a Nikon D5100 and a series of ever-more expensive and effective macro methods.
“Then, one day, I stumbled upon an article on the Internet about macro photography using a phone,” he writes. “I went through tons of articles about DIY mobile macro set ups and was inspired. My first experimental lens was a success.”
Screwdriver in hand, he tore into a broken point-and-shoot he had lying around, collecting all the optical bits he could find and assembling them into a hacked lens with some help from the Internet.
To his delight, he said, “It worked! It’s been a year now and I’ve not touched my DSLR for macro. I exclusively use a mobile phone for all my macros.”
And when you see the results he’s getting, you may understand why his DSLR has so little pull on him. Below is a collection of our favorite macro images Abdul has captured with his Samsung/DIY setup:
I feel like the mobile photography world is growing bigger each day. Especially with the advancement of technology, will it replaced DSLRs? I don’t know, but I’m hella glad I am not towing behind kilos of gear to shoot what I really love.
I’ve shot more with my mobile macro DIY setup and more interesting pictures than I did with my DSLR.
To see more of Abdul’s work, follow him on 500px and encourage him to keep uploading his amazing mobile macro shots. And don’t forget to check back with ISO tomorrow, when we’ll share Abdul’s 7 top tips for aspiring mobile macro photographers.