Ladakh and why the iPhone 4 is the best camera I had in a while
iPhonography is the term that I thought would fit better to what I can see as a completely new field of photography that is coming up all of a sudden. I ran a search online and it seems I was a bit behind on what was going on in this field and there are many websites fully dedicated to iPhonography. This is good to know. I’m totally a fan.
iPhonography is where it is at for great travel photos
I have just come back from a two week trip with my daughter in Ladakh. This was not the first time I go to Ladakh and I was a bit thoughtful about what kind of images I was expecting to be shooting there. Ladakh is so over photographed that it is very difficult to do something different than what has already been done. This was not an assignment and I could afford to play around. I decided to take one body with only two lenses, the 35/1.4 and 85mm/1.4 and maybe shoot in B&W.
So we arrive in Leh on an early morning flight from Delhi and my friend Tashi Angchok picks us up at the airport and takes us to a small friendly guest house where we settled in over a cup of salt tea and a simple breakfast. A day’s rest is mandatory when flying into this high altitude desert so we spent the day reading in bed and anxiously waiting for the day after. I must confess that on a ‘family vacation’ state of mind I was more concerned about having a great time with my daughter than about looking for great images. I had my camera with me in a bag but the phone was much more accessible. A couple of days before going on this trip I got the iPhone 4 and was happy to play with it. Come to think about it, what most of us want when we go on a family trip is very simple really. We all want to have beautiful pictures that we can share of our facebook page and show our friends where we’ve been and how cool it was. I am no different in that sense. Yes I am a photographer but when I’m with my daughter I am first of all her father.
Why is the iPhone 4 the best camera I had in a while
I was not looking to take pictures that I could then sell on my archive, nor was I looking to impress anyone with my photography. Less than anything else, I was not expecting to be surprised. Now here is the thing with the iPhone 4 camera; it is GREAT! it is small, handy, sharp, cool, smart and has the ability to post process the images on the spot using some incredible apps that you can get for free or buy for a dollar on the app store. The light meter is surprisingly accurate even when shooting snow that as we all know would require over exposing with any other camera. The iPhone 4 has two other fun features that were not there in the previous one; HDR capability, which is great for shooting outdoors in high contrast situations, and a front camera that enables you to take your own picture without being a trapeze athlete. Very cool.
However, the best thing about the iPhone camera is that it is actually a camera and not a toy. I ended up only using this camera on the entire trip and I am not at all disappointed with what I got. On top of all of this, I can see that I have not shot Ladakh in the same way as I’ve seen form others and in that sense I can say that I think it is fully fantastic.
So . . . An iPhonography photo tour maybe?
This trip had actually started me thinking and I am seriously considering going back to Ladakh for a ten day trip at the end of September and run an iPhonography photo tour/workshop. I am working on the itinerary now and will announce the dates and all other details on the website asap. This will be the first photo tour/workshop but there are others I am going to run this year, iPhone or no iPhone. Let me now what you think . .
Here are a few fun pics form this trip. Enjoy
And an incriminating picture of me with my iPhone shooting the Bactrian camels in Nubra valley, shot by Tashi Angchok.
And a cool picture with Liah on the day we went to Tiksey and Hemis gompa (Photo by passing stranger 🙂