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How 5G is giving photographers more room to be creative

Fashion and celebrity photographer Benjo Arwas has a new assistant on set: 5G

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It may seem like 5G, which is set to become the default cellular network in the USA, represents a different tech sector than actual mobile devices. It’s a comparison of hardware versus the infrastructure that accommodates said hardware, right? But the products that utilize 5G are inextricably tied to the network, both in terms of functionality and groundbreaking mobile tech potential.

Take the example of Benjo Arwas, a photographer and director who splits his time between Los Angeles and New York City. His Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G has already become, in his own words, a “game changer” when it comes to how he approaches work and creative projects (and his personal life — expanded storage space means he has more room to store videos of his daughter).

For instance, Arwas says that every time he starts a photo shoot, he now uses an app to determine the position of the sun in the sky, which is crucial for good lighting. He can achieve a high level of shot consistency by using the phone’s integrated camera functions to initially set up shots, capture panoramic images, etc. He even uses the phone to stream, download, and play music during his shoots — a process that he says is crucial to creating the right mood on set.

Then there are the advances in actual photographic tech that have become integrated into phones, advances that are all slated to improve on 5G devices. While increased zoom and resolution have certainly improved the quality of the images Arwas makes, the entire concept of streaming and watching, say, an 8K video exists because of the bandwidth and streaming tech facilitated by improved telecommunications networks.

It’s not like Arwas was shooting on a daguerreotype with glass plates before he had his current phone. Tech has always been a part of his work. But the capabilities of contemporary devices, bolstered by the rapid flow of digital information which can exist in a 5G world, allows him to do both preparatory and post-production work with increased speed and efficiency. Rather than devoting hours to setting up shots or putting together a playlist, Arwas now has more time to focus on his creative output.

What’s more, he can now distribute said output with a level of quickness and ubiquity that just wasn’t possible in the past. If marketing is telling people the story of your product, faster 5G networks and more advanced devices allow a wider audience to easily access a more in-depth version of said story.

Arwas says he is often asked these days to provide behind-the-scenes content that delves into his creative process and collaboration style. He embraces this sort of output as it gives the work “more life,” he says. Increasingly, what an audience consumes is not just an end product, but the creative highway that leads to said project. By inviting fans and potential customers into his process, Arwas creates a more intimate bridge between content production and consumption.

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