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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-Xperia-PRO-I-Scott-Kranz-4.be110857376e1c1dc5afaa178864837f.jpg

“Jaw-Dropping Views” – Scott Kranz Tests The Xperia PRO-I Among Washington State’s Fire Lookouts

We connect with Scott Kranz (@scott_kranz) of the Alpha Collective to learn more about his photography project focused on the standing fire lookouts throughout the state of Washington. See some of the beautiful images he was able to create using the new Xperia PRO-I and read more about the ongoing project below.

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photographer and filmmaker Scott Kranz (@scott_kranz) of the Alpha Collective has tackled many creative projects throughout the course of his career. While most of these projects are defined by a particular season or timeframe, one in particular has been ongoing for Kranz for several years. “It focuses on the standing fire lookouts in Washington state,” Kranz explains. “Over the course of my being here since 2013, I've visited almost half of the fire lookouts. And I would hope in the years to come, maybe by 2023, I will have visited all of the standing fire lookouts in Washington, of which there are roughly 90 historic standing fire lookouts in the state.” We connected with him to learn more about his ongoing project and his experience using the Xperia PRO-I to document these standing fire lookouts and more.

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Scott Kranz used the Xperia PRO-I for his ongoing photo project capturing the fire lookouts throughout Washington State. See the beautiful images he was able to create.

One reason why Kranz embarked upon this project photographing the various fire lookouts is simply because they are a part of the state’s history. “Most of these structures popped up in the 1900s,” he explains. “I think by mid-century, there were around 500 or 600 fire lookouts in Washington state. Now due to a variety of reasons, there are roughly 90. And I say roughly because some of these lookouts don't even resemble what you would consider a lookout. It's almost like a wooden ladder leading to this platform in the trees, or some are in such disrepair that they might not even be considered standing. It seems like every year another one is removed because it’s in such disrepair, so they are a part of history.”

The project isn’t only about the photographs for Kranz. Another reason why he continues the project is purely for the experience of reaching these structures settled on top of unobstructed mountaintops. “It's always an exciting experience to reach these fire lookouts,” he says. “You travel up through the forest and reach this mountaintop of what would otherwise be pure wilderness or an inhospitable area. But you find this structure that you can make your own for a moment or a night or longer, and it's always a really fascinating experience.”

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

He continues, “Each of these lookouts has been built where staff could see as much of the landscape as possible. So assuming there’s visibility, which isn't always guaranteed in western Washington, but by definition you are pretty much guaranteed sweeping, jaw-dropping views of this surrounding landscape. A heavily forested landscape that really kind of stretches on forever.”

For this portion of the project, Kranz was using the Sony Xperia PRO-I and testing its capabilities for his photography style and workflow. "When I first heard about the Xperia PRO-I," he says. "the initial thing that caught my attention was the fact that it has the same one inch type image sensor found in the Sony's RX 100 line. I've been shooting with Sony for a number of years now and one of my first Sony cameras was actually an RX 100 and I've always been really pleased with those cameras. When I need to go fast and light I've been supremely impressed by the quality from those little cameras. So when I heard that this Xperia PRO-I had the same type of sensor my interest piqued and I wanted to try it for the lookouts."

The fire lookouts are placed for a photographer's convenience and Kranz pushed the Xperia PRO-I's multiple lenses to capture different views of the landscapes with the fire lookouts. “There were times when I was right next to the fire lookout and couldn't back up any further,” he says, “so I used the 16mm wide angle and it was great to have that option because physically speaking I couldn’t back up more to include all of the lookout at 24mm. I'm not always only wanting to shoot wide, but more tight and kind of a telephoto focal length and composition. So I also used the 50mm in those scenarios as well, shooting out toward the surrounding mountain layers and these iconic peaks and volcanoes that are here in Washington state. So having those two lens options, in addition to the main 24mm, with the one-inch sensor, is amazing.”

Photo by Scott Kranz. Sony Xperia PRO-I

Scott Kranz using the Xperia PRO-I 

Kranz stayed inside a fire lookout for a night, and while there he saw the perfect opportunity to create a long exposure with the Xperia PRO-I. “I was winding down for my night in the fire lookout, which is kind of this cool experience of beauty and solitude because you’re just sitting in this historic lookout. As the stars were coming out, I stepped outside to take a true long exposure, which I had never done with a smartphone device – I'm talking like 15 or 30 seconds long. I was just genuinely and extremely impressed by its ability to capture the scene at that long exposure with seriously little noise. That was really fun to shoot the stars and to shoot the low light with a smartphone was again a first for me.”

The project will continue for Kranz and he will continue to take on more of the adventurous projects that make up his portfolio. “I have great privilege to get into this mountainous landscape and recreate the way I do,” he says. “From hiking, to ski touring, whether in challenging conditions or terrain, it’s not uncommon for me to grab my camera. And to have a camera that is truly pro level in a smartphone in my pocket that can be taken out in a moment's notice and then put away in a moment's notice…that's huge.”

See more of Scott Kranz’s work on Instagram @scott_kranz.

See more about the Xperia PRO-I HERE.

See more about the Xperia lineup HERE and HERE.

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