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The Best Camera Is The One That's With You

October 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Seeking ShelteriPhone 5

There's an old adage in photography that the best camera is the one that's with you. For most of us nowadays the one camera that is with us most all the time is our smartphone, in my case an iPhone 5. This definitely proved to be true for me the other day. I was walking up the steps in front of our house when I saw this woolly bear caterpillar peaking out from underneath a yellowed leaf. At the time all I had with me was my iPhone 5, so I composed a shot and captured a few frames. Later I decided to go back with one of my "real cameras" to get a better image, but by the time I got there the woolly bear was gone. So, my one opportunity to capture this scene was with the best camera I had with me at the time, my iPhone 5.

Now I'm not necessarily one to capture each and every scene that presents itself to me as I go through my life. But, when I see something beautiful, my tendency is to want to capture it in an image. Sometimes there are images, though, that you just can't do justice to. In that case, I just let it go. There was the time when I was out in the woods and had a stare down with a barred owl. The owl was up fairly high in a tree and all I had with me at the time was my Nikon D800 outfitted with a 28mm prime lens. There was no way I was going to get a reasonable photograph of that owl. So, I was happy to just stand there looking up at the barred owl with him just looking down at me. Another time I remember was out at Glacier National Park in my pre-digital days when we saw the most amazing display of northern lights I have ever seen. I had a camera with me and could have tried to capture something, but I knew there was no way I was going to capture the whole-body visceral sensation that I was having watching the northern lights ripple from one mountaintop to the next, so I didn't bother. I'm happy to have those memories. If I were back there today with the best gear that I've got, I'm still not sure I'd try to capture that scene. Some scenes are beyond capturing.


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