Copenhagen and the Art of Taking Photos for Blogs
By Andrew Cottrill . October 10, 2016
Copenhagen, you’re the end, gone and made me a child again. Being a writer, the most exciting prospect is getting to travel to write. Getting paid to holiday. The dream. But there’s always been an obstacle to this: you have to also document your trip with photographs.
And I’m probably the most incapable photographer around. I have no patience for it, I don’t have ‘an eye’ for framing photographs, and I feel endlessly embarrassed as I stand around, camera in hand, waiting for the magic to happen. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that explains why my articles are so long.
So when I got the chance to try out Huawei’s flagship P9 Plus (the one armed with the 12 megapixel camera built by the German engineers at Leica) during a trip to Copenhagen last weekend I figured I’d find out what this camera phone can do in the world’s most incapable hands.
I first started out trying to take photographs of anything around me. Anything different or quintessentially Copenhagen.
But again, I felt those pangs of ‘why am I doing this?’ and ‘I’m holding up traffic here’ embarrassment.
I then pretended to be a blogger and took the obligatory ‘sitting here with a coffee, watching the world go by’ shot.
But pretty soon I realised that the best pictures I was taking were of things that interested me, and the Huawei’s point and shoot, instantly professional photos helped me capture whatever I was trying to capture.
Like this car, just round the corner from the royal palace (’cause who needs more photos of that?).
And I realised you could use a photo to tell a story about your subjects.
And that the wide aperture mode makes every photograph look like an advert for whatever you’re focussing on.
But having it always in the back of your mind that you’re there to photograph means you’re constantly on the look out for scenes or details you want to capture. You realise that without that little voice in your head, you might not have noticed these things.
That’s not all I noticed in Copenhagen. I noticed (time and time again) that my puny euros were no match for the Danish economy. I noticed my net worth shrinking by the hour. But I was on holiday, so I ran with it.
Time to test my food photography. Copenhagen’s a great place to try this as it boasts loads of interesting restaurants and, comparatively (to Berlin), Copenhagen isn’t a rip-off – you can get high quality things for comparatively cheap. Like at restaurant Manfreds here, a beloved, trendy little restaurant where their daily special costs just 145 kr. and will be one of the nicest things you’ve ever eaten.
We got the kitchen seat, the best seat in the house. It gave me an opportunity to capture some action shots.
But most importantly, a blogger needs to sell a lifestyle – some sort of aspirational, ‘wow, that guy knows how to live’-type thing. Well, I was lucky enough to stumble across a craft beer bar called the Fermentoren.
This is no ‘sell your kidney for a 0.4 beer’ trendy Mikkeller bar. It’s a living, breathing, ‘have a 0.5 glass of 9% locally-brewed beer for 50dkk’, Mos Eisley bar of freaks, weirdos, musicians, beer fans and general good people. I instantly found my home-base for the weekend.
In Copenhagen, there’s a difference between paying for quality and getting ripped off. Paying more doesn’t equal better. As with smartphones, where there’s been a steady turning of the tides against firms like Apple, which is increasingly seen as just needlessly overcharging. The Huawei is considerably cheaper than its iPhone counterpart, doesn’t come with the iPhone’s baggage, and I can’t imagine a better camera phone in this generation of smartphones.
But what really connects Copenhagen to Huawei? Realising I’d be writing this article, I’d had this thought constantly in the back of my mind. What was the metaphorical device I’d use to somehow link these two disparate things together? Then I saw it.
Huawei, elevated above Copenhagen’s regal Kongens Nytorv square, overlooking two crowds of people: an older group of anti-immigration protesters (probably Samsung and iPhone users…), shouting that things should stay the same, facing off against and a younger set of progressives, chanting that change is welcome. Old vs. new. A changing of the guards.
What was the message? Just because something is new, foreign, and perhaps has a hard-to-pronounce name, that doesn’t mean we should be afraid of it – we should instead embrace it for the new qualities it brings.
And what of my photography skills? I might not need to delete the numbers of every photographers I know just yet, but with the Huawei P9 Plus I can certainly delete half.
Huawei P9 Plus