Click here to see a larger version of the finished photo.
Sometimes, your iPhone can be your DSLR’s best friend. And better yet, it can make your travel easier, too!
Skip and I like to indulge in something we call Slow Travel. When we’re going on a trip that has no time contract, we like to pad the dates and slow down a bit.
In July, we were invited to a party in Cleveland, Ohio. We had nothing planned for the days just before or after the party, so we decided to drive there from Virginia, instead of flying. Then, Skip set about designing a road trip that would spend most of the time on state and U.S. highways rather than interstates.
Back in the old days… before the 1950s… these were the roads you drove to go places in the United States. They could be slow but often were picturesque. You drove through towns and villages, along streams and rivers, and through mountain passes that would take your breath away.
In 1956, the Interstate Highway System was formed. Slowly, the old state or U.S. highways were superseded by interstates, designed to move traffic quickly from place to place. Bypasses were often added to direct the traffic around towns and cities. Speed had replaced the romance of the road trip.
During our drive on U.S. 522, between Unionville and Culpeper, Virginia, we passed a house and barn in the distance, with acres of green fields in the foreground. I thought it might make a good photo, but the light was too bright. I wanted to record where we were, so we would know how to find it again on our way back from Cleveland. Since I was driving, I asked Skip to take a quick photo with my iPhone. Of course, his fingerprint wouldn’t open my phone…
Here’s the first tip… You can launch your camera on your iPhone without entering your password. [Comment from 2022. Now you wake up the phone by moving it, then sweep from right to left on the screen to launch the camera! ]Just tap on the Home button quickly. Then, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Your camera icon is at the bottom right on the gray screen that opens. A quick tap on the icon, and you’re good to go. Remember, for this hint to work, speed is important. When you’re driving at 55 MPH, for every minute, you’re almost a mile down the road. I also use the Camera+ app and the Lightroom Mobile camera, which can be found by swiping right. However, you then have to enter your password for those apps to work…
Here’s the second tip… take a photo of nothing. The subject does not matter. Speed does.
And finally, the third tip involves a free app, Investigator… which you’ll need to download. When you’re ready to find the spot where you took the photo, you can load that photo into Investigator, look up the GPS coordinates, and ask for directions, all on your iPhone!
(I’ve updated this to reflect the way you use Investigator in 2022!)
In the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad, open the photo. Now, tap on the Share icon. It’s the one that looks like a box with an arrow coming up out of it. Scroll down the list of options and choose Investigate. (If you don’t see that option, be sure you have downloaded the app from the App Store and installed it. Then, be sure you have done the following: 1) in Settings, select Privacy. 2) Now select Photos. 3) Scroll down and select Investigator. 4) Select “Selected Photos” to allow Investigator to see your chosen photo. You can also choose “All Photos” if you’d like.)
Now, you’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of the window that opens and choose View all metadata. Finally, choose “GPS.” The coordinates are there in Latitude and Longitude. You can also see the altitude.
What if you simply want driving directions to return to the location of the photo? That’s simple! Go to the map that opens in Investigator and tap on it or choose “Open in…”
A window will open with a choice of map apps to use. It even works with Waze, my personal favorite! It will take you less than twenty seconds! Amazing! Guess what else is on that list? “GPS Location.” Another way to get your GPS coordinates. It even copies them for you!
Happy slow travel!
You can read more in this post about iPhone geotags, written in 2022: https://www.carolinemaryan.com/using-your-iphone-geotags
What a great article! I’ll try investigator today!!