Using an iPhone for Travel Photography
Published 30 March 2016
SLR Vs the smartphoneThere is no right or wrong answer for which camera to pack when you go travelling. I met many people who took a SLR for their trip, and on the other hand I many people who used a simple, compact digital camera, or their iPhone.For me I chose my compact digital camera (RIP) and smartphone because of size and weight. I grew to love photography on my trip, but I still wouldn’t get an SLR. The iPhone is simple, unobtrusive, doesn’t involve me carrying a lot of equipment, and most people I met were constantly surprised at the quality of the pictures, and how much I can do with it.Owning a SLR is like owning an expensive pair of sunglasses.Where SLRs have memory cards, all you need for the iPhone is Wi-Fi. Hook it up to Dropbox, and you can save all your photos, saving space on your iPhone for even more photos and videos.Owning a SLR is like owning an expensive pair of sunglasses. I’d be constantly checking it’s OK, making sure I don’t leave it on a table in a cafe, and snarling at anyone that handled it incorrectly. Put simple, the iPhone is the perfect travel camera because it’s small, compact, doesn’t cost £400+ and, like my Tayrona jungle adventure, I wouldn’t be too upset if it got drenched. I took a cheap pair of sunglasses travelling (parts of them melted), and I took my iPhone (no parts melted). Looking back, I wouldn’t have taken my compact digital camera at all.
Editing and sharing on the goThe great thing about travelling with an iPhone is you can edit and share photos on the go. I tried to stay away from Social Media as much as possible during my 6 month trip, but I was convinced the day before I left to tweet and share an update on Facebook once every three or four days, just to let family and friends know I was alive. I couldn’t argue. The iPhone made this an ideal strategy.Using an advanced camera app such as Camera+ also allows you to set the focus and exposure before you take the picture, giving you complete control.The bigger pictureYou can take incredible pictures with an SLR. The sheer size and quality is unmatched. But, eye for eye, the iPhone packs a punch. I only started to realise how good my iPhone pictures were when I got to a laptop or computer and viewed them on a bigger screen. I was amazed.
The four photos which have featured in this post are the best from my round the world trip, taken using Camera+, which (unsurprisingly for whoever’s used it) was the fourth best-selling app of 2012.Instagram is also a good app for sharing on the go, but don’t get lured into the square box trap. Sometimes pictures are best in portrait, or landscape. And remember, a hot breakfast tastes better than a cold breakfast looks.