Going Mobile

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“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” 

 Susan Sontag

Coventry St. Michael's Cathedral Spire

Coventry St. Michael’s Cathedral Spire

This blog has a simple mandate – to share my photos and random thoughts as they come to me during the day.  My camera is a Canon SX 240 HS with a zoom lens 20X.  I confess that most of the time it is set on automatic so that if I see something, I simply “point and click.”  Over the past few years, I have gained a greater appreciation for photography and those professionals who master the techniques and innovative technologies being developed in rapid succession.

These past four weeks have reaffirmed that photos are a record of the lives we live, a cultural reflection of our time in history.  They form the collection of memories of our generation – fashion, food, architecture, transportation, work conventions and family structures.  We owe a great deal to the photographers of the past.  They didn’t have our digital cameras and they worked with harsh chemicals, yet their photos are a testament to their commitment to witness and record history.

In my recent travels, I embraced mobility via the iPhone. Initially, I thought it would be a good back-up, just in case my digital battery expired or I ran out of space on my SDHC Card, both of which happened.  My ‘back-up’ launched my “point and click” methodology into a new realm where communication merged with photography.  And this is when I had my “ah ha” moment. We intellectually understand that mobile allows multiple stories to be shared, exchanged, amplified and integrated within seconds, across a global world.  It is quite another matter to experience it first hand as an active participant.

Robert Frank once said, “Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference.”  Our ability to take countless photos does not diminish our responsibility for telling our story, for taking our place as a witness to our history.

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”

Dorothea Lange

34 thoughts on “Going Mobile

    • You are so, so, so right! And I especially value the contribution of women for they gave us insight into homes and family traditions! I think of the groundbreaking work of Gertrude Kasebier and Dorothea Lange. I am in the middle of going through the black and white photos taken by my grandparents. Gives new meaning to their stories…

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  1. How wonderful that you ’embraced’ your iPhone; a mini revolution of your own whilst you explored another technological (industrial) revolution.

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  2. We have come a long way from the little Brownie that I was so thrilled to receive as a Christmas gift so many years ago. I have yet to read the directions of the camera I bought about 8 years ago. But it seems to work OK without my fiddling.
    I wonder if they/somebody will invent a camera that takes different views/angles of the same subject with one snap. And for all I know, somebody already has. 🙂

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    • I had one of those Brownies as well! And they worked beautifully. In fact, most of the photos from my Dad’s stash was created with a Brownie. The technology that is coming out is extraordinary. I found an app (have not bought it yet) that creates “paintings” from your photographs in the style of famous artists like Monet! 🙂

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  3. Dear Rebecca,
    what a well of excellent quotations, thanky you so much. I’m packing right now, on my way to the Lake District and I have tons of camera equipment, not that funny! I’ll mak esure to take the iphone as well, that could solve all my problems! 🙂 🙂
    Thanks for a great post!
    Bis hug to you from Norfolk
    Dina x

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    • Have fun on your wonderful adventure – I will be thinking of you as your head up to the Lake District. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be this time of year! I’m tagging along with you “in spirit.” Hugs to all – safe travels. 🙂

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    • I often imagine what it would have been like to travel with her during the depression. I believe that her ability to humanize the consequence of this time period has left an indelible memory in the collective consciousness of North America.

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  4. You always share the most insightful quotes. I love perusing your sites for the quotes, Rebecca. Beautiful photo, too. -Lori

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    • I was thinking back to when I started using quotes. It all began when I crowded my life with all sorts of activities – my family, career, volunteer activities and educational pursuits. All of a sudden, my life was filled with “busyness.” One of my co-workers gave me a daily calendar that had a quote a day. Every morning, I would read the quote and then visualize the action of the meaning. It was like meeting with the author of the quote for coffee. I even remember the first quote:

      “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
      ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for adding to the dialogue!

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  5. I love the above comment from billgncs. I wish I’d thought of it. 🙂 Your capture of the cathedral spire is glorious against the blue sky. I’m also more of a point and shoot photographer and enjoy the new freedom that my iPhone has given me. A marvelous contraption indeed. 🙂

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    • It is a marvelous contraption indeed! And it rings, buzzes, tweets – reminds me of the Peter, Paul and Mary song, “The Marvelous Toy.” I am glad that I found another “point and clicker” that brings the world to my doorstep. As Ansel Adams once said, “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.” 🙂

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    • I am so very glad that you stopped by for and visit! Does that mean you are going to be blogging on WordPress? Come on over!! 🙂

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  6. “These past four weeks have reaffirmed that photos are a record of the lives we live, a cultural reflection of our time in history. They form the collection of memories of our generation – fashion, food, architecture, transportation, work conventions and family structures.”

    I just love this comment Rebecca – Absolutely, great comment 🙂

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  7. There is a real danger in this internet world for taking photographs for granted, as there are soooo many of them. I think some people forget that there is a real person behind every one of those pictures. And like you have said, ‘We owe a great deal to the photographers of the past.’ And without them we would have a very strange view of our past world, or no real idea at all! I’ve always thought the discovery of the first real photograph must have been such an exciting event! I wonder what those photographers of the past would think of our iPhones and the quality and speed at which those pictures go round the world – quite amazing really. I think it helps to be able to remember life before any of that existed!

    I always think that pictures look so much better displayed on the internet, really seems to make them shine! And your photographs on here are always really good, quite beautiful in fact. I should compliment you more than I remember! And if you have been relying largely on the automatic point and click option – well, that’s even more amazing – you’re doing so well!! 😀

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    • Thank you – you made my day! These photos were actually photos of photos that I found on the wall and was able to click before they took my camera away in preparation for the descent. I agree wholeheartedly with your ideas about photography. We live in a world where communication is going through a dramatic transition. Oh – what a good idea for another post. Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs!

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