I’m not a huge gadget person, but my 3 year old cellphone was literally dying recently, so after much hemming & hawing I decided to take the plunge and purchase an iPhone. Immediate love! No longer am I trying to remember where this or that is, I can just use the maps app and find out its exact location. Just brilliant, especially in such a walking town as New York. I’ve also become one of those people with the little white cords hanging out of their ears, as I navigate the city streets to my own personal soundtrack. All the while being mindful that is important to pull them out every now and again so as not to miss out on all those great spontaneous conversations that you have with strangers, which is such a pivotal part of life in this city. Sometimes one little moment I have with someone, a brief connection with another human sharing this experience, that brings a smile to my face and makes my day. I love picking an album that suits my mood and walking down the street like I’ve got a juicy little secret in my head, but I equally love the cacophony of traffic, honking horns, people yelling – all the hustle bustle that makes New York so unique. It’s all about striking a balance, you know?
My favorite thing about the iPhone is probably the camera. As a photographer, it’s been a life-changing tool. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been out in the world, sans my rather large Nikon SLR, when I see something that I want to capture and I’m not able to. Doh! No more, “I gotta come back and get that later”. I love that I always have a camera with me now, and a pretty good one at that. Though you need to shoot mostly in decent daylight (there’s no flash capability) and have super steady hands to focus, it’s great to feel as though there won’t be any more missed opportunities.
My favorite thing to photograph with my iPhone at the moment is New York City “street art” – graffiti, posters, murals, quotes, found objects, etc – mostly in and around my East Village neighborhood. Art that exists for everyone’s eyes, by artists for the masses, for public contemplation and enjoyment, a la Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and De La Vega. It’s raw, it’s temporary, it’s often there one day and gone the next. It evolves, as people come by and add to it, until it’s inevitably papered over with some new advertisement, or painted over completely, forever. Hence, I love the immediate accessibility of my iPhone camera, and all the joy I experience capturing these fleeting works of artistry, where I live right now, in the present moment, so long as it lasts.