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Mindful : February 2014
HA YOU IND ov d i to t p i l ? T p t b d ov i to t lo l fo il . P . Fi d o o T itt i di t upt One-fi h of all the photos taken in the 175 years since photography was invented were shot and uploaded in the past two years. Are they any good? Is this a worthwhile use of our time? A young friend of ours, fed up with her photomania- cal ways, threw up her hands (and dropped her phone) and decided to self-assess---a first step on the road to reform. Here's what she found. At a restaurant with my friends, I wanted to: • Take in the aroma of the food I was about to eat before tak- ing the first bite. • Acknowledge a moment of gratitude before digging in. • Chew the food thoroughly and soak in the atmosphere and the friendship. Instead I: • Took a picture of every course, applied an Instagram filter, and posted it on Twitter. At the end of a play, I wanted to: • Drink in the last moments of the lights and colors onstage. • Ride the surge of energy with the applause. • Notice how happy the actors looked as they received praise. Instead I: • Filmed it on my smartphone until the usher told me to put it away. Twice. op! Don' hoo ! On my long-awaited vacation in Rome, I wanted to: • Contemplate the gor- geous statuary and ancient architecture. • Eat real gelato and mar vel at how amazingly good it tastes. • Drink in the sweeping views from the seven hills. Instead I: • Took a selfie at every famous locale, just in case I forgot I was there. Watching a beautiful sunset, I wanted to: • Observe the slowly moving clouds and shi ing vibrant colors. • Notice the subtle breeze as the chill of night rolled in. • Take out my camera, set it up, and take one really good shot. Instead I: • Took 37 pictures and imme- diately flipped through them to find the most beautiful sunsetty one. Are you, or is anyone you know, like our friend? Letting go of the urge to capture and share every little thing reduces the amount of living we do through a viewfinder. A little bit of photography goes a long way. An overabundance of photography crowds out life. ● o 14 mindf l F b 2014 Want to take truly memorable photos with your smartphone? Try these tips at mindful.org/photos PHOTO APH BY B AND NEW I A E