Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Not a Shutterbug, and, Gadget Envy:

I've never been a big fan of cameras. Sure, all shy kids go through a phase of hating their picture taken, and yours truly is no exception. But I'm talking about taking pictures, not being in them, and in that sense I'm only just feeling interested in doing it at all.

Pictures destroy memories.

At the least, pictures distill memories. Instead of having a vivid, multimedia (wow! Buzzword like it's 1995! I'll get to that later.) recollection of an experience, all I get is that one frozen, crystallized image of What Was. Also, pausing Real Life to Take a Picture quickly becomes wearing. Some say that the images are catalytic, that in seeing a single image of a place and a time, their sequence of memories is kick-started. If it works for you, I suppose.

When I went to Europe (for the first time) this summer, I tried to take my little digicam along, since it was likely this would be the only time in my life I'd see most of these cities. In two days of twenty, though, my memory card had broken, and I felt liberated.

This is so with bike riding, too: especially now with spring peeking its head around the corner, there are countless images I see while Out There that I'd love to snap a pic of, but I don't feel so excited about stopping the entire ride just to take a shot. I don't like fumbling about with a camera, either: with bothering to take the thing with me, to need to protect it from the elements, make sure it's charged, that whole deal.

Enter the mobile phone that is also a camera. I think I might get one soon. Oh, sure, I had a camera on my cell-phone twice before, and it was sort of a “gee whiz, this is cool” thing. Most recently it was on one of those Motorazr (“Razor”) deals that had become so ubiquitous, until the sucker got stolen in a moment of my inattention. I discussed that phone's virtues, or lack thereof, here, but be warned, there's also a potentitally politically charged bit in that post. But that camera was fairly low-resolution, and nearly impossible to use effectively. The shutter delay was prodigious, and the angle of the digital viewfinder with the handset open was almost useless. It was a toy, nothing more.

But now we've got stuff like the new LG enV (do they mean for you to say it out, “envy?” Wikipedia says yes), which, due to the a beautiful hand-me-down courtesy of Moore's law, boasts a two megapixel camera, the same as my old Canon point-and-shoot, and you can hold and view the thing like a normal camera.

What do I want to do with a thing like this? Well, take pictures, I suppose. Mostly, honestly, it is for you, dear reader. While I've no interest in running a blog that's one of those frat-collages of all of the cool stuff I've done, there are all sorts of images of the beautiful Pacific Northwest that I'd love to share with you. If you haven't been there, you haven't seen it, right? Heck, I've been kicking around the Puget Sound for almost two years, and I didn't know if you took that left out of Wilkeson, that you got to the seriously impressive Wilkeson Elementary historic building, and then to idyllic sunset lake. I mean, heck, it's about two miles out of town. Can I move there?

So, while I'm not going to go whole hog and get an iPhone (beautiful things, those, but then you are roped into a data plan), I'm either going to snag one of those enV's, or try to rope myself into something like an iTouch. Erm, iPod touch. Or whatever you call it. Curse you, Apple, for making the device that is (almost) I want, but not letting me have it.


  • At 10:54 AM , Anonymous jimmy said...

    One of my funnier memories of bike racing is from the Columbia plateau stage race, on the last day, about 35 miles in, when we were just trying to survive the hurt that symmetrics were bringing. I looked over to my friend Brad to see how he was doing, and he was riding no handed, with a disposable camera, aimed at a herd of cows off to the right side of the road. So you don't always need a camera to capture memories, since I will probably remember that forever, but a disposable camera doesn't hurt either.

  • At 8:29 PM , Blogger STOKED I AM said...

    Even better, Jimmy, is taking pix from the back of a tandem. I have one of Mt. Hood on my computer desktop. At a meeting in CO Springs, it wowed some folks who were speechless when I said I took it during a race (ooops, they were all UCI officials). And Argentius, in defense of picture-taking and digital images, when you can scatter them through places you visit in stressed-out times (desktops, for example), they transport you, however fleetingly, to sunny, relaxed memories.


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