Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Best Camera You Have

Have you ever heard the expression "The best camera is the one that's with you? I heard it for the first time at Photoshop World in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. One of the instructors told us about Chase Jarvis who has authored a book called The Best Camera is the One That's With You in which Jarvis discusses the iPhone and the potential for nice photos using the camera application. I smiled when I said it to myself later in the day. Such simplistic truth, but why hadn't I thought of it.

The more I thought about it the more it got me to thinking. What Jarvis says is very true. There's no point in wishing I had another camera with me, because that isn't going to get me the photo I want. I've been in that place quite a few times and never thought about using my cell phone camera in place of my expensive Canon.

When I went to Vegas, I decided to leave my Canon at home. I knew I'd be using the bus and walking a lot. My hotel was on the other side of town several miles from the Mandalay Bay Hotel where the conference was being held. Lugging a heavy camera around or leaving it in my hotel room and possibly finding it gone when I returned made my decision to leave the big expensive camera at home a lot easier.

So I found myself in a quandary. The last night I was in Vegas I decided to walk and look and take in all the sparkle and drama that is the Las Vegas Strip. It was then that I began rethinking my decision about bringing my camera. I had a thought. What if I were to challenge myself to get some photos of the Strip using only the camera I had with me. Hmmm. . . well, that might work. I don't have an iPhone, but I do have a little LG phone with a 3 magapixel camera. If worse came to worse, I'd get some practice, but hopefully with a bit of forethought I might be able to come up with some descent photos. No, they wouldn't necessarily be iPhone quality like Jarvis's photos, but they would certainly help me to remember the feeling and sense of energy that is pervasive all along the Strip.

So out came the LG phone and my mind started working. How was I going to get my shots? I figured a higher vantage point might work best, so I climbed up to the street overpasses. Using the overpass and the fencing, I steadied my hand to keep the phone as still as possible and started shooting. Some shots were horizontal and I went vertical on others. Mmmm. . . not bad, but I'd have to wait until I downloaded them into my computer to see how they really looked.

I became a little braver as I worked my way down the Strip and decided to try shooting without a brace to steady my camera. Well, some shots were better than others, especially if there was more available light. All in all I was quite pleased with the results. No, I wouldn't be able to put them in a book like Jarvis did, but then my goal was a bit different than his. I wanted something to remind me of the sparkle, excitement, and the craziness that comes out at night all along Las Vegas Boulevard. I think I was able to do that and I'm glad I challenged myself. You can see all my photos from my personal challenge on my website.

Next time I'll be writing about the Bellagio Hotel and the spectacular art and decor they have in their lobby and conservatory. It was such fun spending some time enjoying it all. I'll also be introducing you to Dean who's quite an amazing man I met on the overpass near the Bellagio Hotel while I was out shooting my last night in Vegas.

Now go forth and challenge yourself to do something that will stretch your limits!

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