Do Smart Photographers Travel With Smartphones?

For a long while, traveling without my Nikon DSLR made me feel anxious. Actually, I felt naked. I needed the security of a strap slung over my shoulder and a lens cap in my back pocket. Lately however, I’ve been thrown into situations that require my photo happy self to take a deep breath and ditch the extra luggage. And this is where the withdrawal begins…

Perhaps what I fear most is lacking the ability to capture an image in a moment of intense inspiration- a kind of fuel that makes a me stop in the middle of the street and take a knee to get the perfect shot regardless of the people running into me, the kind of creative outburst that interrupts vacation activities with friends. Not being able to act on this photographing habit (or dare I say impulse) is like being a junkie without his or her fix. I become obsessive, thinking over and over again, “damn that would have made a great picture. If only I had my camera…”

Then one day, I got my hands on an old issue of American Photo that talked about the budding realm of smartphone photography that was supposedly revolutionizing the practice. I was obstinate and unconvinced-until I saw the photos. They were stunning and admittedly way better than anything I have ever taken on my digital camera. Moreover, I’ve been constantly seeing the “Shot on iPhone 6” billboards displaying exquisite images. A new hope emerged and I vowed to be unafraid of losing my picture potential on excursions as long as I was armed with my Samsung.

The result: painless and fairly picturesque. Below are some of my favorites so far.

*all images taken on a Samsung Galaxy S4 by Carly Christine Photography




Surprise Bouquet


With all the different filters out there, you don’t need anything fancy to convert your photos to black and white!

And the overall quality of the image is surprisingly high.




Rain in the Window




San Fran Salutations







Truck on the Road


Carmichael Botanical Gardens


Summer Bonfire



Somewhere Near Wine Country

The best part is that the device fits in a single pocket! My smartphone will never replace my Nikon, but it helps conquer that craving for creativity. To any photographers like me who shy away from their phone camera, don’t dismiss the functionality of your cell! Since many of us carry around our phones 24/7, repurposing your mobile device as an art tool can open up even more opportunities to be inspired. So be spontaneous next time you travel and leave behind your clunky camera. Afterall, this is the 21st century.


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