Archive for Buenos Aires
“I see you finally got your first adult cell phone,” Vero told me when I visited her yesterday. I was busy snap, snap, snapping away with my new Nokia X2, a super sophisticated camera that, very James Bond-like, has been ingeniously disguised as a tiny, lower-end cell phone.
Carla gifted me the X2 on Sunday, and hasn’t been able to get much of my attention since.
“You don’t really need a phone with a camera,” she commented on Monday night. “You need a camera with a phone.”
Oh right. This phone in this camera is real! And so is the great radio! And, hell, I could put my music collection on it if, um, I had a music collection. Hell, it will even play the videos I will load onto it as soon as I expand the memory, which is, um, expandable.
I know I’m a Luddite, but am I really the only one who is surprised that a piece of technology this sophisticated and elegant doesn’t earn the “smart” designation? If this is a dumb phone, I can’t even imagine what kind of cameras you First World People are making calls on.
And, no, I do not have any regrets being 5 or 10 years late to the everyone’s-got-a-camera-in-his-phone party. You see, whenever I have a camera in hand, 1) I can’t seem to stop snap, snap, snapping away with it, 2) I like to take pictures of people at close range, and 3) as a result (and I’m sorry about this, Carla), I sometimes make people a little antsy. Well. . .
It turns out that in 2011, even in the Third World, you can take as many pictures of people as you want, and you can do so as close as you want. Not only do people not mind, thy don’t even notice. They just think you’re on the phone.
New Year’s is the most celebrated holiday in Buenos Aires — tons of family, food and fireworks, which explode citywide at midnight, but keep popping off well into the morning. Back home from family festivities at Hernan’s — we were 25 with Yalu’s family — I was enjoying the fresh, cool air that came as a wonderful relief after our week-long hot spell. (Three days sin luz — without electricity.) I found myself clicking away a bit, to capture the Southern Cross, which you can make out to the left of the firework burst in this photo, if you know what to look for. It’s on its left side, pointing to to the right, south. The outermost light steam from the firework burst cuts through the center of the Cross, covering over Acrux, the bottommost star in the constellation.
The firework burst came as a total surprise. It was pure luck that I had the camera on the tripod with the 20-second exposure dialed in. This was the third of three small, local fireworks that eruputed within my view from our patio, just outside our kitchen door. When I heard the report for this one, I squeezed the trigger and captured this view of Buenos Aires New Years at 03:45, 1/1/11.
The previous capture better shows off the Southern Cross:
For all you astronomy geeks (you, Peter), a NASA-enhanced close up:
Going legal with royalty-free music ($30), playing around with random clips from Buenos Aires, seeing what I could do in 30 seconds.
I took this image on my first full day in Paraguay, five hours south of the Capital, Asunción, where I had landed the day before, after 36 hours of flights from San Francisco. I was just warming up — in the 100+ Fº temperatures typical of Paraguay January — and photographed hundred of more times throughout this day. But seeing this image on my still-mesmerizing camera monitor gave me a “Ah few” moment, and I become much more focused on shooting. Very excited about digitial. This woman is a domestic worker in the one of the richest homes in Santiago, Paraguay, where my new friend, Penny Newberry, had lived for two years during a recent Peace Corps stint.