Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

A Two-Week Vacation With NO DSLR

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Thursday, December 14, 2023

I know I'm late on this. It's been a fall.

We finally got a vacation in September - two weeks in the UK! Then we brought home an unwanted souvenir. Of course, work really backed up, and so, here we are in mid-December.

I did spend my illness - brain fog and all - putting together a journal of our vacation. You can see it here

Normally I lug along a DSLR and a couple of lenses. Of course, I always spend my time seeing everything through a viewfinder. I may never make it back to England again, so this time I wanted to take in the sights - and take pictures. Also, we were trying to minimize our baggage. One free checked bag along with the carry on and a personal item, not to mention leaving room to bring things home. Hey, cell phone cameras have really improved over the years, and with both of us carrying a Samsung Galaxy S23, it was the perfect time for both of us to go crazy taking pictures.

A lot of these pictures are of the "stop, aim, shoot, and move on" variety. Some of the places were very choked with tourists and sometimes I didn't want to block the sidewalk in order to set up a shot. That's what makes these even better, IMO.

These pictures have all had minimal clean-up. Some can still use more work, but hey, I was brain fogged! So, let's see a few pictures!

Trafalgar Nelson's Column at night. We shot this from several blocks away, as I recall. This camera does really well at night. I think I may have been in night mode when I shot this.

The London Eye. this is one of Paul's shots, taken from across the Thames. We had variable weather that day, as we did for most of the trip.

Leadenhall Market. 

Oxford, when it wasn't raining. The camera still got some good definition in the shadows and picked up detail on the buildings. This is another of Paul's.

I shot this on a seriously rainy day.

Doune Castle, Scotland. One day, Lad, all this will be yours.

A clockwork deer sculpture at the Glenfiddich distillery.

Staircase at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Manchester. This is a great building for interior photography.

A side street in downtown Manchester. I love how the colors pop on this one.

This one isn't the best at high resolution, but it shows you what the zoom lens is capable of. I edited this one in the phone. It was shot from Beacon Hill, which is on the castle grounds. We could barely see the building from where we were, which is why I'm so impressed.

Another night shot.

I know I can go back in Photoshop and get even better images out of these, but I'm still very impressed with that camera. Best of all, it was right on my wrist the entire time (thanks to a case with a wrist strap) and I was able to get a lot of pictures that I wouldn't have been able to get with the DSLR due to the time it would take to grab the camera and get the shot. Besides, that meant I could carry a mostly empty crossbody bag that I could fill up during the day with goodies! I also carried a small Gorillapod with a camera mount, but I don't think that ever came out of the bag. The other thing I did was sync my pictures to OneDrive. That's something I wouldn't normally do, but I had the space there and it provided me with some peace of mind should the phone have been swiped or I managed to break it. Hey, I'm a klutz!

The one other thing that I was very glad I did (and I do this when taking a DSLR as well) was to sit down at night and log all of the photos in my journal. What about GPS, you ask? Yes, klutz that I am, I forgot that I had GPS logging turned off, though I did remember the second day. I was able to go into Lightroom and use the maps feature to locate all of the photos and add them to the EXIF data. That was handy, because we used IrfanView to create a slideshow with location overlays pulled from the GPS data.

We had a great time, and I'm very glad that I didn't lug around a DSLR for once.

Filed under: Pictures   UK         

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