The other day I got back from a lovely holiday to Fuengirola, a resort town on the Costa del Sol in Spain. This was different to all of my recent trips, as I would differentiate it to be a holiday and not a “trip” due to the fact it was relaxing, in a nice hotel with half board features. And although we done some trips into the nearby towns of Benalmadena and Torremolinos to see the marina and markets, we spent a lot of time taking in the sun relaxing by the pool which made for a nice break.
As with my other recent travels, I packed light and only went with hand luggage. Packing the essentials, and weather appropriate clothing. This time I decided to leave behind one of the most essential things, (beside passport, money, and phone) my camera. I decided to do this so I could travel a bit lighter, and because I would not be taking so many photos, as on my last trip to Dublin I used my camera once and for the rest of the time ended up not taking it out of my backpack.
I know, it sounds horrifying, a photographer not taking a camera. But I can justify myself. I have been with other people on trips who don’t even own a camera, and just use an iPhone camera, which has a good quality. I can even remember at a university open day where my parents asked a lecturer if I needed a “expensive” camera to take the course (of course, I really really wanted one and was hoping for a “yes”!) and he said that all you need is an iPhone. Me leaving behind my camera was testing this theory in a way.
It worked well, I felt a bit naked with out my camera, but as well as having less to carry and worry about, not having it with me meant I spent more time looking around. Rather than focusing my gaze through the lens, I looked around more, experienced more and was more present. It also had other benefits, having the photos all on my phone meant it was easier to share them to social media platforms and show others, as I am notorious for leaving it a long time before sorting through travel snaps from my camera.
I already knew that the iPhone camera quality was good (I have the 6S), so there was no disputing that. I just did not know how it would fare being my only form of photography. It was good, made for easy photo taking around the pool, at dinners and drinks, as well as taking good shots where I would normally take a camera. Below are some of the photos I took with the camera, and the quality is fairly good (note – I do run some photos through editing apps such as Photoshop Express to enhance colour or make minor adjustments to contrast).
In short, was I happy with the results? Yes. Would I travel with just a phone camera again? Depends on the nature of the trip. Trips where I am making photo-based works and art then a camera is essential. Other trips I could survive with just a phone camera, although you do loose some image control and slight quality.
What do you think?