Iphoneography: USA iPhone Travel Photography

Radich NY-Times Square iPhone Panorama

Someone much wiser once said something like ‘the best camera you have is the one you have on you’ … and as my iPhone 5 is nearly always always in my pocket, it has become my go-to image creator. The quality of the images you can capture are quite amazing for something that also does a pretty good job of acting like a phone … and a computer. And with the outstanding Photoshop Express app, the level of post-production and editing you can do all in the palm of your hand rivals what many amateur photographers do on their desktops.

On my latest overseas trip to the USA my iPhone well and truly got a workout on the streets of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Reno. Around NYC I often carried my Canon EOS 1D MkIV, but with the ability to edit on the fly, then directly upload to Instagram and Facebook, I found that I have enjoyed the shots I took with my Apple phone much more. And sometimes having the limitations of a non-optical zoom, 8-megapixel mini-lens makes you think just a little bit more creatively to make the most of those limitations. So take a look at some of my shots, and if you like what you see, follow me on Instagram for more of my iPhoneography.

Click on the photos below to see larger versions…

5 Nights in New York…

New York is an amazing city to take photos of. It’s so picturesque with all the buildings, people and places. You don’t need to wait for brilliant sunsets, or blue skies; you can get a good photo rain, hail, shine…or snow. It’s hard to go wrong when you take a camera out of your bag or pocket.

I flew into The Big Apple after partying till 3.30am after Torah’s Gold, waking at 5.30am to get to the aiport in time, and arriving at 8pm NY-time…and it was straight to my friend Annika’s West Greenwich Village apartment…and surprise, surprise, a couple wines and beers and I was out on the town again. I like to go out and enjoy a few beverages, but after 10 days on the party programme in Vancouver it was starting to get a bit difficult to keep going. But once out in SoHo and up in a rooftop Meatpacking District club, I managed to find a second, or third, wind.

New York is always full of surprises, and it was good to do some new things, like walk across the Brookly Bridge and take the cliched suspension-wires shot. Down in SoHo we met Annika’s Finnish friend Stephanie at the same horrible Starbucks I had once spotted legendary photog and deviant, Terry Richardson. Just as we were about to leave a weird, toothless, dirty and tatty homeless guy chatted up the girls – turns out he too is a photog, Mark Fisher (only then did I notice the two MacBooks on his table and multiple camera bags  shoved under the table). He was off on a drug-come-down babble giving Stephanie advice on her jewelry line and how to make it big in the Big Apple. Despite being such a weirdo with such dirty fingernails and one missing ring finger, he actually had some good ideas. A definite surprise.

The rest of my time in NY was a mixture of walking around, going for dinner and sunday brunch, dropping by Stephanie’s apartment which she shared with an old English drag queen named Livinia (let me tell you, there was some interesting literature on the shelves), then heading out to an assortment of bars in the East Village, and then just catching up on some rest after 10 hectic day at the Olympics. I just had my little Sony Cybershot in my pocket – more discreet, and easier to carry – and I’m pretty happy with the overall results. Yeah, there’s some barrel distortion, but for a 150 bucks it takes some nice shots and I don’t have to worry so much about breaking or losing it. I’m pretty simple with my photo-editing skills, limited to just the (now-problematic) Canon software and Photoshop. Before I stole his crampons, Himbrechts had put me onto Adobe Lightroom (which now has a version 3 Beta you can download for free) and so I mucked around with the presets, or just gave a slight tweak with some contrast and saturation. I hope you like the results.