If you visit my site regularly, you will most likely know that my Sony Nex C3 has been my constant companion on my travels. I am very proud of my photographs, and am always seeking to improve my photography. However, sometimes a bulky SLR is not the most convenient travel item, so for my recent trip to Gdansk I decided to rely solely on the camera of the iPhone 5 – This is not a sponsored post
First Up: Gdansk – Some Facts
With the notable exceptions of Warsaw and Krakow, Polish cities tend to fly under the radar of most travellers to Europe; yet the narrow streets of the coastal city of Gdansk easily rival the Old Towns of Brussels, Stockholm or Tallinn.
Flanked by elegant redbrick town houses, coloured in assorted pastel shades, these cobbled streets are not only very pretty but have also witnessed some important moments in Twentieth-Century history. For the Westerplatte region of Gdansk is where the first battle between German and Polish forces took place, a conflict that escalated into the Second World War.
Not only that, but a Solidarity Trade Union Movement that began in Gdansk in 1980 is said to have been an influential factor in the fall of the Berlin Wall 9 years later.
My two-day trip to Gdansk seemed to offer the perfect photographic opportunity to try out the iPhone 5 camera, although it was with some sadness that I left the Sony behind.
Shooting with a smartphone is certainly convenient. During my first day in Gdansk I spent many hours meandering amid the cobbles and spires of the city, and was certainly grateful not to have the added weight of an SLR dangling around my neck. With the iPhone sitting lightly in my pocket, it was much easier to avoid the ‘tourist look’. I managed to get a few good snapshots of the area.
However, I found that there were more than a few occasions where I longed for my Sony:
- Low-level shots (a personal favourite of mine) were more difficult to compose. Plus I felt rather silly lying on the floor shooting with a smartphone. After a while I gave up on this angle.
- High-level shots were also difficult to compose as holding the phone above my head one-handed, and trying to click the shutter on the screen, while keeping the phone still, proved problematic.
- Shooting from the top of the church tower was also difficult, due to the overwhelming concern that I might drop the phone. I missed the geeky-but-practical neck strap of a regular camera.
Here are some of my best shots.
The photographs were not actually too bad after some sprucing up on Lightroom, but they do not seem as sharp as the photographs from my Sony. The composition of my pictures is certainly sloppier than I usually produce.
I am not yet ready to give up on using the iPhone for my travel pictures, especially if I can experiment with some photography apps, but for my next trip I will be packing the Sony Nex too.
What do you use to take your travel pictures? Do you prefer to use a camera, or your smartphone? Do you have any recommendations for improving my iPhone pictures? Please let me know in the comments below.