People say that the best camera is the one you have with you, but I don’t go all the way in on that.

The camera I always have with me is my iPhone, first a 5 and now a 6s. Both have been fine for everyday snapshots — far better than any snapshot camera I owned even 10 years ago. I’ve even used them to take some pleasing artistic photos. But I muff one in 10 shots because they’re hard to hold steady. And the images go blotchy when I zoom in close. Also, their angle of view (about 60°) is too wide for the close work I like to do.

But before I go to work each morning I step into my garden to see what’s bloomed since yesterday. I pull my iPhone out of my pocket, snap a fresh bloom, and text it to Margaret for a quick morning smile.

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That’s what your phone’s camera is brilliant at: instantly sharing images of what you’re seeing and doing right now.

How useful! Margaret likes to grab selfies of us when we’re out and about to record the day’s memory. While we were in New York City earlier this year, I took several snaps with my iPhone to share on Facebook and to email to my mom in realtime. And when I come upon an old car parked, I pull out my phone and shoot the car from every angle so I can later write about the car for Curbside Classic.

I’ve read articles that wring their hands over how legions of photos on our phones will be lost because we don’t properly label and archive them. I’m not sure it matters for most of these of-the-moment photos. They’re much like these flowers: beautiful for the moment, but soon withered and fallen and swept away by the wind.

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Beautiful for the moment, but soon withered and fallen and swept away by the wind

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8 thoughts on “Beautiful for the moment, but soon withered and fallen and swept away by the wind

  1. When I look back at old photos taken before the advent of the cell phone camera, most of them captured family events. The camera always came out to capture the family gatherings, usually in posed group shots with some others thrown in. What is mostly missing were shots made on ordinary days or of ordinary situations and things. Which are my favorites when I find them.

    This is where the cell camera is a game changer, at least for we non-photographers who never usually had a camera out and ready in the day to day.

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    • Yes. My mom has boxes full of birthday and Christmas photos, but few just sitting at McDonald’s or downtown shopping or whatever. The stuff of life, the stuff I wish we’d really recorded.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bodegabayf2 says:

    I was lucky to have grown up with a Dad who shot lots and lots of Kodachrome. Important events and just day to day stuff. Even luckier to have a Mom who stored all those old slides carefully so that five decades later, my brother, sister and I all have digital scans of those slides. Priceless! I’m just wondering if people today are thinking at all about archiving any of their memories?

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    • It’s the day to day stuff I’m happiest to have. I wish I’d shot more when I was a kid. Mom recently dug out the family photos and perhaps in time I’ll have the opportunity to scan them all in.

      No way are most people thinking about archiving the memories. But if Facebook lives for the ages, it will become the ultimate family “moments” photo repository.

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  3. I agree that phones are not the best camera pictures you want to keep or print. I concur hole heartedly with

    “I’ve read articles that wring their hands over how legions of photos on our phones will be lost because we don’t properly label and archive them. I’m not sure it matters for most of these of-the-moment photos. They’re much like these flowers: beautiful for the moment, but soon withered and fallen and swept away by the wind.”

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  4. I agree that I somewhat disagree that the best camera is the one you have with you. However I agree that it is great that we nearly always have one with us now, and we can capture every minute detail of our life…this is the Mac & cheese I had for lunch, this is the dress I didn’t buy today, etc. But, I have seen some beautiful photos captured on phones. They may never make a great wall hanging but some people are very talented with them. I, however love grabbing my big ol’ camera and hunting down my perfect shot.

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