Hello again! When I posted back in May, I talked about how I used three different cameras while on vacation. Today I want to focus on how I used just one camera on my latest vacation: my smartphone. I brought both my smartphone and DSLR for this 5 week trip back home to Barbados, but after a few days I found myself using only my Samsung Galaxy S4. When heading out for the day with various bags containing picnics, change of clothes and more, adding a big camera bag just wasn't fun. So the big camera stayed home most days!
Before leaving on the trip I made sure my phone was loaded up with the photography apps I knew I would need. Apart from Instagram (which I won't focus on in this post), I also installed two photo editing apps: VSCOCam and Snapseed (iPhone). Both of these powerful, yet simple to use apps are available for iPhones and Android phones.
I also recommend installing Dropbox, which is a cloud storage service. It will automatically transfer and photos you take to a Camera Uploads folder in your cloud account. The advantage of this is that you can safely delete photos from your phone, knowing they are stored elsewhere.
The last thing I did, and maybe the most important, was to buy a protective cover for my phone. I knew I would be using it on the beach, and had nightmares of it being damaged by water or sand. I opted for a plastic waterproof skin, but would recommend looking into a hard protective case like LifeProof.
Lastly, since my cell provider in France charges ridiculous roaming charges, just about the first thing I did on arrival in Barbados was to purchase a SIM card and a data plan from a local provider. I knew I would have WIFI at my mum's house, so got a small data plan at a fraction of the cost, for using Instagram when out and about.
Okay, let's take some photos!
The Why of the Trip
There are always many reasons for taking a trip back home: spending time with family, seeing old friends, eating favourite foods. And for us there was also this:
Playing on these beaches as a child (and even a grown-up) is an important memory for me, so I was so happy we could give Kieran similar experiences.
I took hundreds of photos of him enjoying the beach.
Turn Around and Look Up
It's easy to focus on the main event, but even on the beach there's more to see than sun and sand. When I turned inland I saw this
and when I looked up, I caught this
Find a common thread
If you are doing a lot of the same activity during your trip (for us it was the beach), find something interesting and unique to do a photo series.
I loved the design of the lifeguard stations, so took photos of them on different beaches
Off the beaten track
No destination is just one thing, and Barbados is more than just the beach. I was excited to get a photo of the stately trees in a park in the countryside
this adorable shopfront in a back street in the city
and these ducks crossing the road!
You've heard it before, but I'll say it again: don't leave home without your phone camera! Also make sure it is fully charged and has free space. On that note, if you're travelling to a foreign country, be sure to check if you will need an adaptor for your chargers. Carry a car charger in your bag too, so you can recharge on the go! I would have kicked myself if I couldn't get photos and video of our unexpected encounters with the sea turtles.
So before you head out on your next trip, consider that you might be able to capture the entire thing with just your smartphone!