Small Picture vs. Large Picture

Beyond Distraction

Why take in the sights when you can be staring at your mobile phone? That should have been the title of this post, for the epidemic of small screen fixation has by now reached astronomical levels. The day I took this photo, I had to literally move out of the way because a young woman went right through the space I was occupying a mere fraction of a second before, while her eyes were glued to her mobile’s tiny screen. Don’t think she ever saw me, or cared for the shadow that jumped out of her way so she could barrel through without a concern in the world. And as to the gentleman in the photo above, I stood next to him with my camera for nearly ten minutes, never to see him raise his eyes from his phone, or care for a second to anything that was going on around him, which obviously was plenty enough.

So what to make of this collective obfuscation that has enveloped our society? From a photographer’s point of view, it kind of makes our lives a little easier, as no one even notices you unless you appear digitally within their screens. But even this is a double-edged sword, so to speak, because as it becomes easier to photograph the phone zombies out there, the activities in which they engage while we click away are becoming a lot more boring. For too many people, the big picture has lost too much ground to the small picture. Life around them seems to have become too boring, specially when compared to the constant refresh of their mobile screens. People just don’t go away with the click of a button, and conversations will always require more words than texting. That small screen sure sounds a lot more convenient, not to mention less time consuming. The problem is that you just can’t fit enough of life into one of those tiny screens, and no matter what you do, those small screen will never love you back for that matter. It glows without shining a light on you, and for a price.  A temporary necessity transformed into a constant one. A window to all but what surrounds you.  And there’s always a lot going on around us.


Working Out With A Camera

The Ricoh GR, with its small size and incredible capability, is the perfect camera to carry with you when working out.
The Ricoh GR, with its small size and incredible capabilities, is the perfect camera to carry with you when working out.

I have started working out.  Well, not working out as an olympic hopeful would work out, but rather something more like going for a walk with the intent of detecting any degree of perspiration.  I even get to look the part, with my Pearl Izumi jacket, my New Balance walking shoes, my long-distance runner’s cap, and a great Timex triathlon sports watch.   I’m definitely all decked-out, if you know what I mean.  But while all of this is fine, what really makes my workouts so valuable is that I get to carry a camera with me to  capture the unexpected photo.  Of course, stoping to photograph every interesting scene I come up to does break my exercise rhythm (what rhythm?), but it is crucial that I try to avoid the post-exercise depression that could ensue if I miss the infamous photo every photographer misses when they don’t have a camera with them.  My choice of camera for these cardio outings: the legendary Ricoh GR (read about this little wonder here).  The problem is that even after a couple of times out on my way to becoming a mean, lean, fighting machine, I have kind of forgotten about the exercise part.  Photography is just that enticing for me.  Light, bracketing, composition, and all things photographic seem to conspire against muscle tone development.  Definitely a tough going, but I guess no one ever said that this exercise thing would be easy.