I started running on the Christmas eve back in 2015, and I fell in love with it very fast. Since then, I’ve attended only one race, and it was the Zagreb half marathon (in 2016; also, it’s worth mentioning that I’m already signed up for the Zagreb half marathon 2017 in October). I haven’t planned on going to Zadar to run the Wings for Life 2017 only because it was a bit far from Zagreb, and I didn’t know how to pull that off.

Fortunately, an universe had something in plan for me, so I applied for the race month before it, so I ended there (with my whole family). I couldn’t spend much time there (I won’t be mentioning that the Grand tour crew came the day after I left for Zagreb, and that makes me cry really hard!), so we decided to travel on the same day as the race.

This wasn’t promising…

I woke up around 4am, and by 5am I was driving towards Zadar. The weather forecast wasn’t so good, which showed already while we were leaving Zagreb and driving on the highway. Oh yes, I want to mention that ALL these images were taken with my smartphone, but I’ll talk about it a bit later in the text.

Ok, now we’re talking

So, as you can see, the weather was awful. With only one stop, we came to Zadar pretty early, somewhere around 8-9am. The race was scheduled at 1pm, so we had a plenty of time to get our numbers and rest for a bit. When we came to Zadar, the weather was still pretty bad, but at least it wasn’t raining.

The first photo I took when we came to Zadar

While walking around the city, I took a couple of photos. Comparing them to the ones you’ll see in the second part of this post, these images are too depressing.

“I’ll catch you!!”

Since I didn’t take my smartphone to the race (now I’m sad I didn’t), I don’t have any photos of that, so I’ll just continue with the story after it. Short review of the race: My plan was to hit somewhere from 15km to 20km, anything lower would be a bit disapoointing for me. Since the sky was cleared up just before the race, it was slowly getting hot, so that was troubling me. I had two „crysis“ during my run, but at the end, I succeeded and I reached 18.39km by the official timing, and 19.1km by my watch, so I could round that to 19km. I know, maybe I could pull the 20km, but I’ll leave that for the next year. 21-22km, maybe? I’ll do my best.

My number

After the race, we decided to go to our two apartments we rented for a night and chill a bit. Since this isn’t a personal diary, I’ll stick up to the storytelling part of this 36 hours-or-so.

View from our apartments: the day of the race
View from our apartments: the day after the race

I’m mentioning the weather forecast again because they say that the Monday will be awful, but it was one of the most beautiful days EVER! Since we weren’t in a hurry, we decided to take a walk around the city and take as many photos as we can. Someone for Instagram, and someone for the photography related website – this one.

Church of St. Donatus

We had a couple of locations in our „roadbook“: we started at the seafront, then head to the Sea organ, Monument to the Sun and the last location was the Bell tower next to the Church of St. Donatus. Here are the images I got there.

Sea Organ
Sea Organ
Sea Organ: JUMP

Before this, I was in Zadar only one time and it was back in 2009 when I used my first ever DSLR – Sony A200. Who could’ve known that I will be there 8 years later taking photos with my smartphone with my whole DSLR equipment staying at home – that makes me laugh so much! I would like to come to Zadar with my DSLR and make more photos, and I hope I’ll do it very soon!

Monument to the Sun
Monument to the Sun
Monument to the Sun
Church of St. Donatus and the Bell Tower
Church of St. Donatus and the Bell Tower
Church of St. Donatus
View from the Bell Tower
View from the Bell Tower
View from the Bell Tower
View from the Bell Tower
Ok, I know the quality is AWFUL, but I wanted to show you how the sports center Visnjik looks from the Bell Tower. For me it looks like the UFO landed behind those buildings
The Bell Tower
The Bell Tower
View from the Bell Tower
View from the Bell Tower
View from the Bell Tower
View from the Bell Tower
View from the Bell Tower
Inside the Bell Tower
Inside the Bell Tower
Inside the Bell Tower
Inside the Bell Tower

A couple of more from the city…

After these locations, we had one more stop before we started our journey back to Zagreb. It was a rainy drive home, but I’m so happy I attended this race and made these images.

Looking just fine…
No, don’t you start…
Nooo
Damn you rain…

After watching all these images, here’s a short review of the photos. Once again, it was challenging for me, and a bit risky, to use only my smartphone and not taking at least a minimum of my equipment. Whenever I’m making a photo story, I pack light with the help of my Newswear belt, but taking photos with a smartphone (I use Samsung S7) is something completely else – it’s MUCH easier! And I’m not talking about the weight, I’m talking about simplicity of taking photos. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my whole DSLR family, but taking photos with a smartphone is like taking photography to its roots.

For the last couple of months I’ve been using only my prime lenses (24mm, 50mm and 85mm), so I didn’t have any problems with „zooming“ with my smartphone, but sometimes I would like to have a bit shallower depth of field and wider angle.

My go to prime lenses: Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Sigma 24mm f/1.4 ART and the Canon 85mm f/1.8. And my zoom lenses (17-40mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/2.8 are usually at home)

Conclusion: if you’re good in photography and you LOVE it, the smartphone can do much for you, but don’t be lazy and start leaving your DSLR at home. Smartphones are AMAZING and teach you a lot, but the DSLR is a DSLR.

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