I have a certain obsession with my relationship with smartphones. I love it but hate it; I avoid it but it fills up my time way too much.
We gave our eldest child a smartphone back in 2014 or so. They use it a lot. It's the main way that I'm able to communicate with my kids right now.
But I also feel like it's taken over their life. And this article points out the deeper problem... that I've let the smartphone do parenting for me. That's where my sense of guilt comes from.
This past weekend, I drove up to Smithers, BC, to visit my kids. They're living up there and I had a 3½ day weekend, so I went up to visit them. It was good to see them and I'm grateful for the time I got to spend with them. It was also a little heartbreaking, considering the length of the drive and the typical things adults need to deal with in regards to today's kids: namely, screens.
My kids do not suffer from obesity, but I find it difficult to pry them away from screens. I feel like this is a common Western parent battle, though; practically every screen-laden household needs to deal with this sort of thing. And we all have double-standards about how much screen time is too much, and when it's appropriate to use screens.
I need to regularly remind myself of how much television I watched at their age, even when "nothing was on" and I barely enjoyed it. I did this too.
But I can see how these screens mess with sleeping patterns, with relationships, with perception of the world. Because I deal with it too. Even now.
So who am I to say, "Get off the screen and pay attention to me..." when my own hand is also reaching in my pocket for my own personal screen? I may cast the first stone, but I do so as a hypocrite.
In my continuing battle against screens and digitization, I've been re-engaging more with film photography. Here are a few recent film photos from the trip to Smithers... and I digitized them in order to post them to the Internet.
These are all photos taken on a Pentax K1000 that I borrowed from the school. Black and White Kodak C-41 film was already loaded in the camera.
I've been trying to find cheap activities I can do with my daughters this summer. ON Saturday, we watched a few events at the BC Summer Games in Abbotsford. My daughters really wanted to see some of the equestrian events, so I watched some horses perform their para dressage. I took this photo using the 12x telephoto attachment on my phone, which creates these oddly saturated photos that are clear in the centre and highly skewed at the edges. Despite its limitations, it takes some unique, lomography-ish photos, like the one embedded below. I think it's interesting because the horse's face is crisp while the rider's face looks deliberately blurred, but that's just how the lens works. No "tilt shift" filter here.
When I was in middle school, I had a crush on a French Immersion girl. She had this long, curly hair and clearly intelligent eyes and seemed to buck the norm a little. Somewhere along the way, I don't know how, I decided she liked horses. So I read horse books in the library in case I ever needed to know about horses in a conversation with her. I learned about Appaloosas and canters and bridles and whatnot, but the information never really came into use. The imagined horse conversation with her never came, but we became friends in high school based on other interests. And there I learned that we would be terrible for each other. But I held on to some of that horse knowledge anyhow, which has been useful for my daughters who seem to really like horses.
So the blog post begins from the top again.
I've been enjoying my clip on lenses a little too much.
Here's a selection of my comparative macro fun.
15 weeks ago, according to Instagram, I received this 235° clip-on lens in the mail. It has been a dear, convenient companion since then. Although I've posted a few photos to this blog where I've used the lens before, I'm really pleased with how some of these photos turned out. So here they are.
I've had to repair it a few times; once it slowly unscrewed itself, and recently I dropped it and the lenses inside got all misaligned. However, it's a sort-of soothing thing to repair, so I don't mind.
It really is an excellent little accessory and has created some memorable photos, especially in family situations (which I do not post online). It's fun to be able to capture a photo that gathers light fromt he entire room.
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