I recently decided to travel around Australia for a year. For this occasion I started the blog iPhoneography Oz, a photo project that allows me to keep a souvenir of my trip. It is also a way to keep in touch with my family while allowing them to follow my adventures.
But above all it provides the opportunity for others to discover the wealth of this country. When I travel, the last thing I want is clutter and cumbersome equipment. But how to make this project work under these conditions? I started this project as a self-taught photographer, with noexperience apart from those amateur pictures of Mr and Mrs Everyone.
I have found a solution for taking professional-quality photos while still travelling light. I am really happy with the results so far. I am telling you, if I can do it anyone can! Today I am going to give you three tips for accomplishing this:
1. Use your smartphone rather than a traditional camera
DSLR cameras are certainly the best product currently on the market in terms of image quality. I am not expert enough to say more about it. But I do know this, they are expensive, heavy, bulky and may prove to be very fragile when travelling.
The compact digital cameras are a better option but we will see later that smartphones cameras are an even better alternative. These now have a quality resolution. I use an iPhone 4S, its built in camera has a resolution of 8 megapixels. This resolution should allow printing of a 16" x 21" photo (do you remember the last time you printed a photo of this size?). After establishing that the resolution is more than adequate, remember that you probably already have a smartphone (so no additional investment). If this is not the case, you should know that such a device within a contract will cost you little more than a good digital camera. Their compact size allows you to slip it easily into a pocket including a pair of pants or shorts (be careful when you decide to jump into the water though!). Which brings me to my next point...
2. Always bring your camera with you
Remember that while travelling you are not familiar with your environment, which is an additional reason to be always on the alert. Any photographer will tell you, take your camera everywhere you go! The shot of the year may be waiting for you just around the corner as you step out the door. And this is where the use of a smartphone camera becomes a huge advantage: you already carry your phone with you. So no excuses! Do not hesitate to shoot spontaneously as soon as you think you have an interesting subject. At worst you will delete the photo.
3. Edit and share
In my opinion this is the most interesting part of using a smartphone camera. There are many applications that allow you to edit your photos directly on the phone giving them a professional look. This is how you can turn your regular photos into great photos. No need to be an expert. With an application like Instagram (the one I use to edit my pictures published on iPhoneography Oz), the process is extremely simple and delivers surprising results.
The application allows the use of a filter to modify and improve the appearance of photos. Check out the results on my blog and have a go yourself. Now let me tell you something, I am colour blind. This means that unfortunately I cannot spend (and waste) time on more complex applications such as Photoshop. Here is another advantage of phone applications: the ability to instantly share photos on social networks. Your loved ones can follow your adventures in real time. Your edited photos are stored on the site but remember to make regular backups of your files on an external device (laptop, USB drive, external hard drive etc..).
Taking pictures with my smartphone is the easiest solution I have found to:
I chose to publish my photos in a blog to share them with as many people as possible, but the options are endless. The most important thing is that you now know how to take great photos while travelling light! Over time you will improve on all aspects of your photos - including subject, composure, exposure etc. Practise makes perfect! If you use Instagram, remember to consult their official blog or independent blogs such as instagramers that will give you valuable tips on how to tweak your shots.
About the author: Iclo is an avid traveller, who has visited 20 countries around the world. In addition to France, his birth country, he has also lived in England, Canada and India. If you have any questions on travel photography, mobile photography or social media sharing please do not hesitate to ask. You can also visit his website, iPhoneography Oz or follow him on twitter or facebook
If you'd like to photograh the world with Gecko's, take a look through all our trips. There's bound to be something that stands out!