Every cyclists best friend …


The smartphone has changed the world, forever. For everyone. Even cyclists.

I ride long distances to remote areas without support. Yes, I have tools to change a flat tire but that’s it. If I were to hit a pothole and damage a rim or, worse yet, fall and injure myself, I would be stranded if it weren’t for my iPhone.

In years past, I was weary of travelling too far off the beaten path for this very reason. I would stick to busier roads where, if need be, a vehicle of some sort would eventually pass. Not so today. I travel where I like knowing that, if I do get into trouble, I can call for help.

But what I like most about my iPhone is the camera. Unlike my other cameras (and I have several), it is always with me. Every ride provides an opportunity to take a picture and, I am always ready.

In recent months, I have begun to take the iPhone camera more seriously. It is more capable than I first realized. Did you know there is an annual international iPhone Photography Awards competition?  If you want to see some remarkable images, take a look. But I digress.

At first, I was satisfied with the camera’s automatic settings. Then, once I learned that I can select where to focus the lens within the frame and, to actually adjust the exposure, I realized I can take as good of a picture with it as I can with my SLR. All of a sudden, difficult lighting situations became more manageable. Silhouettes and shadows were no longer a problem. I can concentrate on composition with confidence. Chasing Mailboxes illustrates her rides with striking iPhone pictures.

And, did you know there is a WordPress app? I’m sure you did. Frank Burns travels the world, illustrating his daily blog posts with only his iPhone. Right now he is cycling the length of Japan and posting every day. The keyboard may be small but everywhere he cycles he can blog, provided he has wifi access.

I recall the days I backpacked in South America with a camera bag and a hand-written journal. The journals and negatives from that trip are stored away, somewhere (I think). You see the difference.

This is old hat to many of you, I’m sure. I am slow out of the gate. I carried a Blackberry for years and, although it had a camera, I used the device for telephone calls and emails mostly. Now that I am an Apple aficionado, I understand what everyone has been raving about for years.

The Apple products are empowering and, some of what they have enabled, is good.

22 thoughts on “Every cyclists best friend …

    • It’s not about the equipment. It never is. It is more about what you see and feel. You also have to learn to look through the eyes of the camera. A camera sees differently. I look forward to seeing what you see.

      • I was just joking 🙂 indeed I have a great camera on which I spent a fortune and which I barely use. A shame!

    • That’s the point.

      These cameras are ubiquitous. And, they have changed the way we think about photography. I am not the biggest fan of selfies and shots of food-on-a-plate but there are people out there doing remarkable work with smartphone cameras.

      I also have cameras I have spent a lot of money on and, at one time, was proficient in a darkroom. It was expensive and time consuming. No longer. Digital photography and the iPhone have brought photography to the masses even to the children you would to see rule the world. Kids have no preconceived notion of what photography is and, they take some of the most remarkable pictures.

      I’ve said enough.

  1. I can’t imagine biking without having my cellphone, it is soooo comforting to you that I am only a phone call away from assistance.

    I own just a basic cellphone and bring my camera with me to take pictures, I think one wifi-connectable device is enough for me 😉

    • I was the same. I would carry a point-and-shoot camera in a case around my next. But I also always had my cellphone. When I realized how good the cameras were, I questioned why I need both. We’ll see where you are with this in a year or two. In the meantime, keep taking those pictures.

  2. I use the 18x zoom on my older camera, strung round my neck, quite a bit but can’t match this on my iPhone, mind you it’s a 3rd generation one & I’m certain the moderner ones are better. (shades of Luddite?)

  3. I still write on my trusty journal but I’m also glued to my iPhone. I didn’t know there’s an annual iPhone photography award. Good to know. I’m crazy with mobile photography lately. Try downloading photo editing and sharing apps like Instagram and VSCO. I share my daily rides and snaps with those app, sometimes I edit them and sometimes I don’t. Hence, the phrase no filter. Bike and shoot kind of thing, too.

    And I’m actually sending you a comment via the WordPress app. iPhone is really addicting.

    • I have been using http://www.fotor.com, a free photo editor, recently and have been really pleased. You might want to try it out 🙂 And, yes the WordPress app is cool. I use it frequently and, Frank Burns uses it to craft his posts as he cycles on his lengthy journeys.

  4. Pingback: Poloroid snapshots … | PedalWORKS

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