How many of them are living in the moment? What’s the smartphone to digital camera ratio? How many people whip out their camera in a crowd because everyone around them is? Questions on a rainy Saturday evening…
I have faced the dilemma of whipping out a camera or being present: link to franklinchen.com
I don’t have a definitive answer, but have developed some heuristics to guide my behaviors and thoughts. For example, if everyone’s whipping out their camera, then I won’t, because there is no added value to my photo. If nobody else is doing it, and nobody else is noticing, but I see something, I’ll whip mine out unobtrusively.
I feel no need to ever take a photo of the president for any reason.
An amazing photograph. I did a rough count, and found that the looking-at-camera people outnumber the looking-at-president people by about 2 to 1. I wonder if it was like this for his entire appearance.
A couple of months ago I went to a Jackson Brown concert in the Bay Area. Brown was up on stage with a dozen different guitars, telling stories and singing and riffing on everything from meaningful one night stands to the challenges of fatherhood, when he called out an audience member in the front row for recording him with a cell phone. “There’s this weird need to document every moment of our lives,” he said. “You used to just go to a show and listen to the music.” he equated the endless recording with narcissism, an attempt to prove that we were somewhere interesting. This photo bears out that discombobulating phenomenon eloquently.
I went to a music recital yesterday. I deliberately refrained from taking any photos or videos during it, until the very end during some applause when I took a single photo. I enjoyed the concert very much.
I just got back from vacation recently and for seven days I didn’t turn my phone, checked email sparingly and didn’t bring a camera. I was travelling with two other people and they did the same. I was asked repeatedly for pictures when I got back which made me realize two things- we are too open with our private thoughts/memories. Facebook, twitter and blogs make us show off every aspect of our lives, including trips. I just saw a status update from one friend in the middle of the Amazon! Second, I think it also brings people together. I know that people want to see what I was up to, maybe to get a clearer sense of what I experienced. But having these private memories with only 2 other people makes us much closer. Our private jokes and funny encounters are only recorded in our minds. No iphone ‘s needed.
I’d be there with my phone, maybe even my camera taking a couple of snaps. Stan touched on it – it takes mere seconds to take a few pics, I’d be kicking myself forever if I missed out on having a few souvenir photos of my few minutes having an audience with the Pres.
If I weren’t being paid there to be there as a photographer, I’d leave the camera at home. And what would I do instead? Well, I’d pay attention to what the President has to say. Hard to do that when you’re busy working a camera.
Funny. I recently asked a similar question, of friends, regarding my perception that people often whip out their smartphones because they see others piddling on theirs.
I don’t know pulling out a camera to capture an image — even if everyone else is doing it — defies the the notion of being in the moment. Perhaps if Obama, in this case, were talking, and not simply descending the steps of Air Force One, then, yes, people wouldn’t be in the moment; because they wouldn’t be focused on what’s being said. With that said, I guess the purest sense of being in the moment is not worrying about snapping pictures, and, instead, is just absorbing everything that’s happening; including being in the swarm of people taking pictures.
I’ve been realizing some times it’s better to live in the moment than try to capture the moment.
In this picture’s instance I would take one picture and put it away just to say hey ya I was there. But to stand there and record the entire moment, why? It’ll be recorded by someone else. It isn’t necessary.
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