Salt Lake City Through the iPhone Lens

Camping in Salt Lake City. #SLC #travelI had this brilliant idea to try and use my iPhone camera more often. I know a few iPhone photographers (or phoneopgraphers, if you will) who take stunning photos with nothing but their phones and a few apps, and the idea of touring a new place without hauling my big DSLR around appealed to me. I also love learning new skills and stretching my creative muscles whenever I can.

And so, for my first few days in Salt Lake City, I used nothing but my iPhone to capture the beautiful landscape and dramatic architecture of one of America’s most beautiful places to visit.

It was not the best idea I ever had.

If you squint, you can see the Salt Lake City skyline against the mountains. What you can’t see is that there seem to be mountains everywhere you look here. They aren’t just off to one side or way outside the city somewhere in nature; they are everywhere. They are a constant backdrop against which normal life moves here.

Normal life in Salt Lake City, it seems, includes a public library with a rooftop garden – and more mountains. (Or maybe the same mountains? It’s hard to tell.)

Speaking of the library, we’ve spent the majority of our time in the City Library, the main branch of the Salt Lake City public library. You might not consider a library as one of the places to visit when you’re traveling, but we’ve come to love popping into libraries on our USA road trip. Their great for free wifi and getting a feel of a city’s unique vibe.

The vibe at the City Library was undoubtedly cool. Hip. Modern. Progressive.

None of those are words I would have associated with Salt Lake City before this week.

To be fair, we haven’t done a lot of exploring yet. We’ve mostly driven from one hotspot to another and eaten Ethiopian food. On Thursday we’ll begin a three-day marathon tour of the city’s more notable tourist attractions.


I think I’ll be bringing my regular camera.

Do you take a ‘real’ camera with you when you travel, or does your camera phone do the trick?

This post, like this trip, was made possible in part by our book sponsors. They happen to have a great book available featuring some of the sights of Salt Lake City (and they aren’t taken with an iPhone.) Check out Salt Lake City Then and Now.

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  1. naomi says:

    Oh see, I think your iphone pics are great. I definitely take my “real camera” though … even though its wicked heavy. The new camera bag/purse DOES help tremendously.

    Is Salt Lake City on your list of potential future residences?
    naomi’s most recent post: DILLI HAAT

    • Miss Britt says:

      You know, it’s not even the weight so much as the mindset. I find when I’m carrying my camera that I’m constantly looking for photos as opposed to letting myself just be in the place and experience whatever it is we’re doing.

      I think we have picked a future residence, actually, but this is a REALLY cool place, except for all the white people. :-) (Plus it’s a long way to anywhere else.)

  2. Nanna says:

    Wow, A rooftop garden on a library? I LOVE it!!! Such beautiful scenery.

  3. martymankins says:

    You have found one of the cool things I’ve liked about living in Salt Lake. The mountains that surround the city (Wasatch on the east and Oquirrh on the west) and how well laid out downtown is. While I live more in the valley, I always enjoy visiting downtown.

    BTW, your iPhone took some really nice pictures.
    martymankins’s most recent post: Music Monday: Randy Rhoads – 30 Years Gone

    • Miss Britt says:

      Thank you again for dinner. I think it’s really cool how easy it is to get to your place from downtown, too – and of course your gorgeous view!

      • martymankins says:

        You are most welcome. It was great to have you, Jared, Devin and Emma over. A great night. And yes, the view from our house is one of the things I enjoy – makes dealing with the traffic noise not so bad.
        martymankins’s most recent post: Browser A-Z

  4. Megan says:

    Funny, I’ve decided to take my iPhone pictures, too. I think I need a newer phone though (I have the four and there’s no zoom – boo!). I just use that for everyday kind of things, day-to-day stuff and regular outings. For travel, or for a place that’s particularly photogenic, I take the DSLR.
    Megan’s most recent post: Outward Bound

  5. Ren says:

    How ’bout iPhotographers? Or does that collide with CNN’s iReporters concept?

    Currently, my iPhone is my goto camera if I wasn’t planning to take photos. My Canon SX230 HS is almost always nearby, so if I expect to take more than a few shots, I’ll probably pull it out. Or, just as likely, if I find myself missing the optical zoom (14X).

    If it’s a planned photography situation, and I don’t mind the extra bulk, I’ll bring my Canon 40D. Just a few years ago, the quality of the results was probably the biggest reason to use the DSLR. Now, however, unless it’s a low-light, no-flash situation, the quality across the three cameras isn’t typically great enough for me to care. The shooting experience, however, is vastly different and all else being equal, I’d much rather look through the 40D.

    Regardless, nice shots of SLC; my only visits were bookends around a ski trip to Snowbird that really didn’t allow any opportunity to see the city. If Marty would ever get around to visiting us Austinites, I’d then owe him a visit, thereby justifying a SLC visit. :-)
    Ren’s most recent post: New Zealand Trip, Day 5: Kaikoura

  6. heidikins says:

    You’re in my town! (Hi, I’m not a stalker or anything creepy, I’ve just been reading your blog for several years and commenting exactly thrice…that kind of makes me sound like a stalker. Crap.)

    I love the mountains here, they are so beautiful, especially right now with the dusting of snow and what-not. I’m sure you have a huge list of things to do here, but I’m gonna email you my standard “awesome things about SLC” list anyway. It can’t hurt, right? :)

    heidikins’s most recent post: Eastern Montana and North Dakota

  7. Lisa says:

    I take both if I’m planning to take photos. I can get some great impromptu shots with my iPhone but it’s nice to have the kind of shots my Canon takes to play with later.
    Lisa’s most recent post: Avoidance

  8. Lynda says:

    I have actually been thinking of getting a new point and shoot camera, just so I don’t have to lug the heavy one around all the time. The past few trips, I have just used the phone because I had too much luggage for the camera to be carry on.

  9. ocb says:

    Couldn’t be a better time to visit here. (slc) It is supposed to be 70 for the next few days. Enjoy your visit! :)

    • Miss Britt says:

      It was GORGEOUS yesterday, wasn’t it? A bit chillier and overcast today, but still nice for walking around. Lucky us!

      • ocb says:

        It really was. The wind today is a total drag. But hey, it’s not snowing! That will be next month. ;)

  10. [...] images being created with iPhones, I decided to start practicing to see what I could create. As Britt said, it seemed like a good way to stretch creative muscles. My results have been mixed, but I can only [...]

  11. mountains make me happy. looks like i’ll be adding SL, UT (loved the slut shirt you posted or pinned or whatever!) to the list of places that i would jump at visiting. i mean, marty and reba are there so i’ll have a couch to crash on. well, i guess i should ask them, but details, details.

    last fall i had the pleasure of working in palm springs, ca for a few days. the way the city is surrounded by mountains captured my heart. amazing to see them in all directions. love at first sight!
    hello haha narf’s most recent post: Life Changing

    • Miss Britt says:

      I’ve definitely developed a new appreciation for mountains on this trip. They are just amazing and I keep saying “man, look at that!” Jared is starting to get annoyed, I think.

  12. Great tour….I also loved your post on confronting your bigotry. I featured this one in my weekly “Check Out Time” post:)
    D.J. – The World of Deej’s most recent post: Check Out Time – The Week in Travel

  13. [...] spent the last week in Salt Lake City, a place I knew very little about before visiting. A week in a new place is almost guaranteed to be [...]

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