As you can probably guess, I love to take pictures. I love everything about it. I like seeing new places. I like seeing old places in a new way. I love to share the photos I've taken. I love the gear and the toys. Another thing I love is London. Yeah, the one in England. I've been there a few times and love it more each time I'm there. I love the history, the culture, the architecture, the people and so much more. It's just so classy. When I'm there I want to eat bangers, wear a scarf and a hat, drink a scotch in a bar surrounded by rich, dark wood and ride a lift up to my room to use the loo (if you don't speak English, that means take the elevator up to my room to pee). A few weeks ago I found out that I was going to London and Stockholm for work and immediately, I was pretty excited. I was going to get to go to London for the first time since I've been obsessed, uh, I mean "into" photography. The idea of being able to get up early and stroll the street of London taking photos made me giddy.
So we arrived in the early afternoon the day before we had work responsibilities, so I immediately wrangled the troops to start walking the streets, with my goal to take some great pictures. Now because this was a work trip and I knew I wouldn't have a lot of free time and I didn't want to bother everybody else with my gear, I decided to take my Lumix GX-1 micro four thirds camera instead of my Canon 5D. Now this camera doesn't take photos of the same quality as my Canon, but I didn't want to lug a lot of equipment around, so this was a great alternative. It still has interchangeable lenses, so you have a lot of freedom, but all three of the lenses I brought probably weigh less than one of my Canon lenses. I also brought two 16GB memory cards and two batteries. I brought two batteries cause that way I'd always have one charged, and when one ran out I could just switch it with the other... always being ready to shoot (remember this statement... it's important to the story).
So, I'm in the hotel room, freshly cleaned up from the long flight and ready to hit the streets. I grabbed my camera bag with the gear I mentioned above and met the team outside. "Where do we want to go," someone asked. "I don't care... let's just start walking" I said. We crossed the street and I came upon my first red phone box. For the record, I always thought these things were called phone booths, but I was quickly corrected by a local and told "they're a phone box, dummy!" I took my camera off my shoulder to start shooting. It wouldn't turn on. Turned it off and on and no luck. The battery was dead. Okay, I'm a dummy, I didn't charge the battery before my trip. Now I'm on the streets of London with a dead camera battery. NEVER FEAR, I have a backup! Remember what I said. It's important to ALWAYS carry a backup. You never know when you'll have a situation like this. So with an "I got this" smile on my face, I reached into my bag to pull out that spare. Put that sucker in and got ready to start shooting. Nothing. Crickets. Actually, not even crickets, cause they would at least make a chirping noise. I had silence. Because the backup battery wasn't changed either!!! I know, I'm a total dummy-head. No better way to make you look like a complete photography doofus in front of your friends then showing up with two dead batteries! So that was it. We only had this afternoon for free time, and i knew this was going to be my only opportunity to take shots of the city. Charging the battery would take at least an hour and that was an hour I didn't have. So, I put the camera back in my bag, reached into my pocket and took out my iPhone. Yep, that's all I had now, so that was what I was going to use. You've head the expression that the best camera is the one you have with you? Well, it's true. At this moment the iPhone was the best camera in the world. Now let's be honest, the iPhone takes good photos, but you certainly don't get the control or quality you get with a more traditional camera. You can't really control ISO, aperture or shutter speed. You can't blow up the photos large either, but for now it was what I had, so it was going to work.
Below are some of my favorite photos from England... all taken with my iPhone. So enjoy the photos and when you're done, go CHARGE YOUR CAMERA BATTERIES!!! Believe me, it's the kind of mistake that I'll only make once. Maybe twice, but probably once.