Document vs. Experience

I grew up hard-wired to vacation. Principals tend to work crazy hours September-June and this administrator looks forward to 40 hour work weeks for July and August plus 2-3 weeks of vacation. Whether we travel to Texas, D.C., Niagara Falls, Vermont, or Disney, the Carozza family still vacations together, despite my two oldest now in college.

In my years of walking through Epcot, biking through the hills of Stowe, Vermont, or sightseeing in D.C., how much do I experience and how much do I document? When I do document with photo or video, am I part of the experience or simply a bystander? How can I find the balance? Sarah Perez recently wrote about this subject, stating that there are some events that we need to experience with our full focus. There were many times I vacationed with a 35 mm still camera and a video camera, wondering when I would use one or the other and eventually becoming disheartened, feeling that I was more photojournalist than Dad/Husband vacationer.

After reading a number of reviews, especially David Pogue’s article in the New York Times, I decided to use money I made playing at a recent wedding toward the new Flip Ultra and so far I am not disappointed. After picking up my daughter at Keene State College, I flew back and hit Best Buy to buy the Flip and then on to see my son play the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. Abby tore open the packaging and together we figured out where to put the two AA batteries. Without reading the “quick start guide” I was able to tape 45 minutes of the play easily. The camera is compact and the buttons are easy to maneuver. There is a small zoom included and the Flip does very well in low light. The best part? Hit a button and a USB connector pops out. You don’t even need a separate cord.

The included editing software works well with the update, which you’ll want to download immediately. I can use iMovie to edit and then iDVD to burn to a DVD. As we speak, I’m uploading a segment to YouTube to share with the family.

Think of the opportunities in a school setting. I am seriously thinking of suggesting its use all over the school and finding the money to buy a few.

Bottom line:images The Flip Ultra and probably many clones to come allow one to both document and experience.

6 comments Add yours
  1. just saw your tweet and wanted to tell you that I just got a tripod for the Flip at the Dollar store – for a dollar!

  2. You might want to know that Littleton School District bought flips for all of their teachers last year, just because of all the features you mentioned. I hear they love the possibilities!

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