How Matthew James Fell in Love With Astrophotography

All images by Matthew James. Used with permission.

Matthew James is a passionate photographer based in the UK. Like many of us, he’s been bored in the pandemic. But he’s found a lot of joy in taking photos. For Matt, all he needs is his Sony Xperia 1 II. Sony has gifted photographers with a smartphone that can do almost everything. With roots in their Alpha camera lineup, it’s a potent tool. In fact, it’s so powerful that Astrophotography is possible with the device.

This post is presented by Sony. Experience the power of the Sony Xperia 1 II from AmazonAdorama, or the Sony Store. Learn more about Xperia Trade-In offers.

Photographing the Night Sky With the Sony Xperia 1 II 

“The specs of the Xperia 1 II sold me straight away, and the announcement of the triple-lens excited me,” Matt tells the Phoblographer. “I could not wait to get out and try the phone out. Sure there were other flagships on the market which boasted more megapixels at a cheaper price, however, after having Sony after Sony, nothing could persuade me to make the change.” Matt says that he was sold by the 4K OLED screen and the features for passionate photographers like him. 

Matt is representative of a base of photographers who’ve embraced their passions seriously in the pandemic. He doesn’t want to carry around a large camera. So instead, he reaches for his phone. For him, he was blown away by all the settings. The Sony Xperia 1 II’s Pro Camera Mode presents photography’s essence in a completely different way. And with some trial and error, he got exactly what he wanted. He started with sunsets and the forest. But eventually, he tackled the night sky. Suddenly, Matt needed a tripod for his 30-second long exposures of the Milky Way.

“The Xperia 1ii is very quick and responsive, with the recent release of Android 11 I can see this device being one of, if not the best smartphone around for the next few years and I cannot wait to see what Sony has In the bag for future releases.”

Capturing Life with the Sony Xperia 1 II

Like most folks, Matt goes to Instagram for inspiration. But he’s also an avid Redditor. He loves the community’s feedback and upvotes on his images. But most of all, Matt is inspired by life around him. 

Take, for example, the lead image of this article. It’s a long exposure that Matt shot with a tripod. Matt tells us he did it in August of 2020 around midnight. “…the sky was clear, so I took my tripod out with me to a low light area on the Isle Of Wight in the UK,” he explains. “…As this spot was near the coast, it was quite windy, resulting in me moving slightly. However, I think it adds more action to the photo. I’ve had people compare it to a Sci-Fi movie poster!” Matt used various settings to get the image using the Photo Pro mode on the Sony Xperia 1 II. He praises the long exposure settings and the high ISO ability.

But Matt doesn’t only shoot at night. He’s in love with the sunset and everything in the sky. So with his Sony Xperia 1 II in tow, he shoots everything around him. Matt loves the fact that such a powerful camera is in his pocket. What’s more, Matt loves editing RAW files!

“…the RAW image format is also great as you get full control when editing your captured moments, another thing that other flagships lack.”


How Matt Caught the Photo Bug

“My hobby of mobile photography started during my teen years with the Sony Ericsson K790 Cybershot,” says Matt. “I would take photos of anything and everything, from cars to country landscapes. As I grew up and technology advanced, I stuck with Sony throughout the years.” Matt is truly a Sony fanboy! Starting with the Z1, he adored what the camera could do. He felt it was really ahead of the time with its 20.7MP imaging sensor. To him, everything else looked dated. 

Like many other millennials, Matt got into photography by what his phone could do.

“I stuck with the Z1 until the Z5 was released, which really upped its game with the 720p 120fps video recording. The next phone I had was the Xperia XZ2, the large screen, and fast performance was perfect for everyday life and the camera was outstanding, it took photos and made them look natural compared to other mobile devices. When the Xperia 1 II was announced I have hooked straight away and knew I had to purchase it on release in the UK.”

This post is presented by Sony. Experience the power of the Sony Xperia 1 II from AmazonAdorama, or the Sony Store. Learn more about Xperia Trade-In offers.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.