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Smart-Art: Life Through an iPhone 5

By Sophie Pettit 5 November 2014
  A smartphone may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you consider modern art, but for 25-year-old architecture student Eloa Defly, it's his brush for painting a picture of the unique beauty of his home city, Macau.  


Capturing Macau from all angles.

  Using an iPhone 5S, Defly immortalised Macau's essence through a collection of mobile photography, showcasing everyday street scenes. His album, ‘Urban Fabrics’, pays homage to the complexity and beauty of Macau generated by centuries of cultural fusion, including shots of characters and cityscapes taken from different perspectives. “I cover a wide range of topics but I am very passionate in urban scenery. Something about people and spaces just takes me away,” Defly told Localiiz. “Cities tell us many stories and shooting is the most efficient way for me to discover a place and remember it, it opens my eyes to details.” Defly discovered his eye for beauty the day he first wore eyeglasses to correct his myopia. “I couldn’t believe how beautiful the world we live in is. Now I can’t imagine having my sight taken away from me,” he said. Now in his fourth year of studying Architecture at the University of St. Joseph in Macau, Defly has an unstoppable passion for photography, taking more than 27,000 pictures over two years of exploring the city, day and night. “Different times of the day are all special in their own way,” he explained. “I shoot at the earliest hours when the city comes to life, through to dusk, when the sun has set but the sky still has a glow and the city and cars’ lights are already on. I appreciate light and textures, and the more details there are, the more there is to appreciate,” he said.

Defly (pictured left) appreciates the design of Hong Kong's architecture, fascinated by the city’s infrastructures, and the diversity in functions, styles, and spaces. “Hong Kong is a city easy to fall in love with and has a lot to teach. As an Architecture student I learn a lot from the planning of public spaces, the transportation systems and use of spaces. The underground circuits, the pedestrian bridges, and interconnectivities are just so interesting to me,” he explained. With so much attention spent appreciating the surrounding environment, why does Defly rely on an iPhone? “I do shoot with cameras other than my phone but some of the best moments that I captured were with my mobile phone,” he told us. “Andrew Harvey once said 'the best camera is the one you have on you' and the thing that I always have on me is not my wallet, watch, or any other accessory, it is my mobile phone, which implies that I always have a camera on me.” Using a smartphone for photography does have advantages too, Defly explained. “Mobile phone apps are extremely powerful nowadays and every new editing tool or update provides me more options, which enlarges the possibilities.” And it seems that with his dream to never stop discovering the world with his iPhone in his pocket, the possibilities of creating smart-art are endless. Click here to check out more of Defly's eye-catching creations. Got anything you'd like Localiiz to share? Send us your stuff!

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.