Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Master The Moment
Use your mobile camera to experiment and explore personal documentary
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
It's no secret that I'm an avid mobile shooter on a near-daily basis. While I continue to reach for my Nikon D3X and a sling bag of lenses for my documentary assignments, I use my iPhone camera to document and share my own life. I might capture spontaneous expressions or curious moments inspired by my children, create abstractions that move me, reveal my feelings through found objects or simply pause experiences I want to remember. Because my iPhone is always with me, unobtrusive to my subjects and easy to use, I reach for it instinctively when I feel the desire to quickly preserve a moment, no matter where I am.
Determined—and inspired—I hauled my first DSLR, a Nikon D80, and a lens or two in a backpack throughout each day. While carrying the camera and shooting daily wasn't always convenient, it prompted me to master that camera and its settings in a variety of environments. It also uncovered my love of documentary as an area of focus. And perhaps, most importantly, it taught me to move through each day with my eyes open and ready to receive images. On day 366, I remember thinking, "I can't stop."
Using my iPhone and a collection of photography apps, I now shoot, process, publish, share and exchange feedback on my personal photographs, the documentary of my own life, with a community of viewers around the world. It fulfills me in a way that shooting daily with my DSLR didn't because of the powerful community aspect of mobile photography.
The mobile experience of processing my personal photographs in real time, titling them in intriguing ways and sharing them with my viewers in Instagram and Twitter on my iPhone, has become almost as appealing as the act of shooting. Sharing my personal documentary regularly online has been a way for me to gradually open myself up and experiment with photography as a form of expression—to learn what it feels like to expose who I am, what I see and how I feel. It has helped me gain perspective on what it feels like to be the subject of a documentary study, a practice of letting my guard down and getting comfortable with a certain amount of exposure and vulnerability. Consequently, it has helped me gain a new level of appreciation and sensitivity for my subjects, and keeps me focused in the present moment.
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