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Things I learnt when I photographed my entire trip using a smartphone

Recently I traveled to Mumbai on a four day trip.

When I was packing for the trip I took my DSLR out of the shelf and was about to keep it in my bag. I had to pack my EOS 550D, the kit lens (18-55 mm) and a 50 mm f/1.8 II, a pack of memory cards, flash, and a set of rechargeable batteries.

Then I thought “why carry such a huge gear bag! Why not travel light!?”

Also, I’ve always had this idea “a good photograph can be taken using any device, and you do not need a sophisticated camera to do it.” I’ve tried it before when I owned a digital camera. This time I decided to test it using an iPhone.

So, I placed the camera back into the shelf considering that I will shoot my entire Mumbai trip using an iPhone

All I took was the charging cable and the earphones. When I was done packing, my shoulder bag weighed light as a feather.

Usually it will be the opposite. I used to carry a huge bag with all the camera accessories and clothes. And having an alternate lens would often tempt me to change them often, making me greedy for getting more photographs rather than allowing me to enjoy my trip.

This time I decided “good or bad, you’re shooting only using your phone.”

When I came back from the four day trip, I looked at all the images and I was very satisfied. Also, never for a single moment I felt like ” damn I should’ve taken my DSLR”

You might say “hey! This guy is using an iPhone da.thats why he’s showing off by writing this blogpost”

Well, this applies to any phone with a good/decent camera. If you don’t believe me, check out my photo series The Unnoticed that was shot using a 2 MP mobile camera. (Samsung Galaxy Y)

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Coming back to the point, what benefits does one get with using a phone for photography?

1. You blend in

The problem with street photography using a DSLR is that you could often be spotted in a crowd easily. The huge black camera in your hand might give you up.

Using a mobile is often consider a casual practice. People take pictures/selfies everywhere. So, using a phone lets you blend in.

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Also the quick camera shortcuts and the zero shutter lag in many phones allows you to take your phone out of the pocket, shoot, and put it back – all within a few seconds.

You will feel like a gunslinger from the Wild West. I felt it. It was so cool!!

2. You Bring out the best with what you have

Shooting with a mobile phone will help you understand the limitations of your device and will help you find creative ways to bring out the best.

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3. You save space!

Raw images were a pain, at least for me. One trip and I will end up with 40-50 GB of images. 5 such trips and a major portion of your computer’s storage gets filled.

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But phones automatically process images into JPEG and they occupy less space. Even the highest quality JPEG won’t occupy more than 4 MB.

During my recent Mumbai trip, I took close to 800-900 images and it took less than 2.5 GB space in my computer.

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It is also easy to back up if you’re using a cloud service, like Flickr, or Dropbox.

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If you’re planning to print, exhibit your images in large format, or if you’re into fashion or professional photography, then a DSLR is your choice. No doubt!

4. You spend less time in post-processing

When you shoot in a phone, you can process it, upload it and share it from anywhere. It gives you the freedom to stay away from your computer and still share great pictures.

I use close to 9 apps to process my photos. That doesn’t mean I use all the apps while processing each and every photo. I use a combination of one or two apps per picture. And, I love processing pictures in my phone. They are simple and easy to use. You don’t have to be a photoshop wizard. You just need to know a couple of basic functions and you’re all set to go.

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Again, processing in your mobile phone will help you bring out the best result with what you have.

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