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Mind Meld

Back in the late 90's I was always the guy to take a stills camera on a shoot, or to various travel destinations. The result was usually a few snapshots, such as of our exhibit booth setup or a group shot after we wrapped.

As the 21st century took hold I continued the tradition with a range of semi-pocket sized digital still cameras. Our first one was a Kodak 1 megapixel unit - for video resolution it was actually pretty good. I got the camera suggested by a colleague who did a doc about the Shroud of Turin.

While the resolution and size of digital cameras has increased, the ease of taking snapshots in everyday situations has not.

Enter the camera phone. Now it is commonplace to grab your phone and take a pic of anything and everything. Since the phone is always with me, I find myself taking pictures of the mundane to the interesting to the merely useful. A phone that takes stills is certainly more useful than a DV camcorder that takes stills. Although a still camera that takes video is another story for another blog. Although the videos from the phone, while low res, are high on convenience and add to the magic of easy access image collection.

Thus, over the past few years, my phone cam has become an extension of my own short term memory. Indeed, I find myself snapping pictures of things that seem interesting at the time, but which I will A not remember and B not have time or inclination to take with a better more obvious camera. And sometimes C you get something just by happenstance that becomes an unexpected treasure.

So take my hand, walk with me, down the road of days gone by.
The places I know, the dates I don't, the phone it does not lie.
I barely knew 2006 the time it really flies.
2007 was the year we had to say goodbyes.
But through it all my trusty phone,
Recorded calls and friends I've known.
And always will I cherish what my brain has not remembered.

Chicago - 2006. Our big medical convention of the year. Love the architecture.

One last visit to Boca Raton - where we spent 20 years of school vacations.

Happy times spent with those we now miss.

Childhood memories embraced by adults!

I always send my wife an action pose before my next trip.

Who could possibly remember a parking garage location a week later?

Making good use of time away.


Unknown, but worthy of admiration...

Good meals (this is fondue before the fondue)

Not so good meals.

No explanation needed - but seriously folks, who wouldn't want a hot Kosher snack at any time of the day?

One of my old 2 megapixel images wound up on this book cover!


Circa 1997

Circa 2008


More Action Shots

Office Renovations

So long VPR-80 - I hardly knew ya!

The Unexpected

This would have been nice at higher quality, but I just don't carry a camera everywhere I go, such as to the Costco parking lot where this was taken!

And of course, everyone takes lots of pictures of their pets. Right? Anyone? Oh well.

Now with the memory clear (on the phone and in my cerebral cortex) I can head off into the sunset knowing that my future memories will be captured for safekeeping.

Thanks for sharing.

Mike Cohen

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Sep 1, 2009 at 4:33:08 pmComments (2) photography, travel


re: textures
by Mike Cohen
This topic would make a great future blog. I often shoot brief snippets of what I am not supposed to be shooting, as I have often used such abstractions as backgrounds in videos.

An extreme closeup of the small intestine, gross as it sounds, is quite beautiful. There is a symmetry to the human body that nature seems quite adept at.

Thanks, Ron, for reading.

Tigger says "Meow."
You were mentioning taking phone stills of the mundane...
by Ron Lindeboom
...and one of the thoughts that was quite apparent to me, Mike, was that oftentimes people need an interesting texture or background image that they can use in their videos. Taking stills and playing with them in Photoshop or After Effects, etc., is a great way to come up with an interesting texture effect -- anything from water to grass or rusted metal, blurred or otherwise manipulated -- and laid into the background under a talking head or other element.

Your Costco parking lot shot of the sunset sky would be perfect for this, cropping out the unwanted elements, focusing on the sky, perhaps a mosaic effect from After Effects (so that it moves softly but not enough to be too garish to the eye), or some other technique.

Makes for a good additional use of these quick stills. Saves on stock footage fees, too.

By the way, great cat! ;o)

I have a passion for my job, which entails training for medical professionals such as surgeons, nurses and administrators, not to mention various industries.

Technology is great, but how you apply your skills is what pays the bills.

Years ago I canceled my Media 100 support contract upon discovering what a treasure trove of helpful advice can be found on the Creative COW website. I am proud to be a part of this fantastic community.

In my blog I talk a little about media production, a lot about travel and workflow, and occasionally about cooking, nature and my four-legged friends.

Follow me on Twitter: med_ed_mike

I'm also on LinkedIn if you can't get enough of me!


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