52 by 52 9:22am, 16 February 2012
Photograph something you've been looking at or walking past for a long time, but which you've never photographed before.
— Palani Mohan

Palani Mohan has travelled the world photographing feature stories for international magazines. His latest book, Vivid Hong Kong, is a beautiful portrayal of this city that Palani once called home that’s all the more remarkable because it was shot entirely with his iPhone.


Vivid Hong Kong

“Like most iPhone users, initially I treated its camera function as a toy – for playing around, for taking pictures of my kids on our holidays. But quickly I realised my phone could be also used to tell stories in a way impossible with conventional camera equipment, the tools that I’ve been using professionally for more than 20 years.

I moved to Hong Kong for the first time in 1999 and the first book I ever published was about Hong Kong. It was shot on black and-white film, the old-fashioned way. A dozen years later, having returned after living and working elsewhere in Asia, I decided to look at the same city with new eyes, and with a tiny camera and in colour.

Walking the city with only a mobile phone makes you invisible as a photographer, enabling you to get close to your subject, and allowing for a degree of intimacy that is all but impossible when carrying chunky cameras and bags of heavy gear."


As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group, this can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts this week.

— 52 by 52 team
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 6 years ago
Maybe this week leave the camera at home and use the phone. The change of technology and "invisibility" may bring some interesting results and get me to see familiar places in a different way.

This photograph of a cabinet in my house was taken as a response to the sunlight catching the handles. I put my lunch down and grabbed the camera, knowing that the light would change and the moment be gone. I had never even thought to photograph it before!

Cupboard doors
david_gillett 6 years ago
I think I might do the same Julia, gets some fantastic results from her iPhone. I've had a quick go around the streets of Bath before but found the slow shutter speed frustrating. Beautiful textured shot!

Last year I must have pelted past this coffee kiosk in Bristol Temple Meads a hundred times or more without paying it any attention. Missing my train meant I had time to take this shot:
Folk House Course: #1 - Routine by david_gillett
Larking About 6 years ago
A great brief - hopefully it will get us looking and thinking more. I think I'd like to tap into the more mundane object and structures on the street I probably like but would not think of photographing normally
Mark W Russell 6 years ago
What an interesting brief. I agree with Danielle, this might bring a focus on the mundane and "ordinary" and raise them to the interesting.
I love Palani Mohan's work. I have been a big fan for ages. The colour and movement he gets in so many shots is sensational.
This brief has re-energised me after feeling somewhat uninspired in recent weeks.
@markglomas PRO 6 years ago
iPhone - check. In Hong Kong - check. Feeling some pressure on this challenge - check!
Julia M Cameron PRO 6 years ago

Work in progress!
Julia M Cameron PRO 6 years ago
Great advice form Larking About. Looking at mundane street "items" from a different angle....?
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