A Camera in Every Pocket

Did I do that correctly?  I’m not supposed to capitalize the word “in”, even though it’s part of the title, right?

Digressing in the first sentence.  Definitely a sign of things to come.

You probably already know (since most of you actually know me, in meatspace (ugh)) that I’m a geek. I know that I am, because I generally don’t have to tell people that I am.

As a geek, I was glued to the edge of my Steelcase Leap (I swear this isn’t a sponsored post, but it’s going to sound more and more like one. (It is a super comfortable chair for office work, though.  Cheaper than the Aeron too)) for the Apple Keynote.

I grew up on PC’s and became a fan of Apple with the iPod, then the iPhone.  These gateway gadgets lead me down an ever more fraught path of appreciating build quality, execution excellence, and beautiful design.

As a dad who dabbled in photography, I’ve been very pleased with the quality of the iPhone 4 camera.

Gimme 5

Katie, in the back of the car

In fact, all of the shots posted on this blog were taken with my iPhone 4.  The iPhone 4 is great because it’s the Camera You Have.  When there’s a party or a special day I’ll drag the D200 along, but most of the moments in my life occur between parties and special events.  My phone is always in my pocket.

Yes, the shots are sometimes noisy and the dynamic range leaves a lot to be desired, but the right environment can give you some excellent photos.

My heavy iPhone Camera use is the primary reason that I was a lot more excited than some of my friends during the Keynote.  The new iPhone 4S was announced, and it has an 8MP camera, with improved white balance, faster camera access and quicker photo-taking than any of its competitors.  That’s great, and they bumped the video recording resolution up from the 720p of the iPhone 4, to 1080p.  Yeah, your pocket can now take full HD video of…I guess the inside of your pocket.  What that means to me is, I can get stuff like the below, in high resolution, any time.  No $800 Canon HandiCam.

The iPhone 4S seems like a handsome upgrade for parents, or anyone on the go who wants to photograph and document their lives without adding another device to their pocket.

That got me thinking about the effect of photographing and documenting my life, in the way that I’ve been able to since I got an iPhone and suddenly had a camera with me all day every day.  I love the photos I have, especially the photos with the kids, because I can look at them and remember the day, and the events surrounding each picture.  I cannot describe how meaningful this is for me.

While I think that recording memories is vital, I am fully convinced of the enormous importance of being Present.  I think focusing on photographing and videotaping every precious moment has the unintended effect of taking us out of that moment, and blocking us from fully experiencing it.

I’ve started limiting myself to one or two photos, I’ve started challenging myself to be fully present and engaged with my kids, and I hope you will too.  A photo to remember the day is important, but days to remember are more important.  Be a participant, not a spectator.

Except, when you are being a spectator (Come on, we’re still parents, we need some pictures!), be one with an iPhone 4S, because you’ll probably already have one in your pocket, and it’s got about the best sensor in a cell phone camera.

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