Put the Camera Down!

A few months ago, my son participated in the school play at his elementary.  Everything associated with the production was done by kids at the school, except some of the large scenery pieces (all sound, lights, spots, makeup, most costumes, etc.). It was so amazing to see what these young kids were able to do!  They performed for 3 nights and on one night, a mom of one of the kids in the show sat on the front row, with her Blackberry in hand.  She was working on it all before the show started and I didn’t think much of it.  However, when the lights went down, I was a little dismayed to see her still working on her phone.  For the first 3 scenes of the play, she worked on her phone, until someone went and whispered something in her ear and she got up and left.  I wondered if there was maybe a big business emergency that she needed to take care of and couldn’t wait.  I hoped it was something like that.  It made me think though about how often we are ‘present yet absent’ due to technology.

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That thought reminded me of an experience I had while on a vacation in Hawaii. We were going to Valcanoes National Park and planning on hiking out to the viewing area in the dark to watch the lava spitting out from the earth. I called my dad, who is an incredible photographer, and asked him for some bits of wisdom for the shooting situation.  I knew this was an experience he would LOVE!!  He loves science and geology, traveling, photography, computers (he’s a programmer)…yes, I am my dad’s daughter!!  I really wanted to get some good shots of this for him to see.  He told me some different settings to try, which lens to use, some different techniques for getting steady shots, and then said, “Steph, make sure you put the camera down and enjoy being there too!” I was a little surprised by the advice, but promised I would.  After shooting for a bit, I was holding my camera in my lap, and my husband asked me if I was ready to leave. I said, “No…just enjoying being here!”  The Jack Johnson song below always reminds me of that very sound advice from a seasoned photographer.  I think this song can apply to more than just our cameras though…it can apply to our Tweeting and Facebook as well…something I have to remind myself of often!

Enjoy your day!