The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity
by Stephanie C. Roberts
“There is a very fine line between ‘hobby’ and ‘mental illness.’ “
– Dave Berry, “25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years”
I have a new obsession….I mean hobby. It’s iPhoneography…haven’t heard of it? It is the art of photography, taken and edited exclusively on your iPhone. The iPhone is amazing for photography; not only is it a fairly decent camera, it is also omnipresent. They even make lenses for the iphone…but I digress.
The Art of iPhoneography is a wonderful guide to learning this new art. Ms. Roberts familiarizes her readers with the features of the built-in camera and photo storage system then goes on to explain many of the more popular photo apps available (including Hipstamatic, PhotoFX, Photoshop Express, and others). She also includes very specific photographic “exercises” or challenges to spark ones creativity while improving technique and skills. Ms. Roberts includes a good number of illustrations and also profiles several prominent iPhoneographers while sharing some of their specific techniques. All this AND the book is even shaped like an iPhone.
So don’t mind me…I’ll just be over here in the bushes trying to get a close-up shot of a butterfly or bee on some flower that I’ve walked by many times before but this time saw something new. If you’re interested in seeing some of my own iPhoneography, please check out my stream on Instagram…I’m @ElizabethNDP. Happy Shooting!
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo
What happens when we die? Christians believe that if you have “Jesus in your heart” you will go to heaven. That is exactly what one 3 1/2 year old boy said happened to him when he had a near-death experience during an emergency appendectomy. He recovered and eventually shared his experience with his family. Colton, the young boy, shared specific details with his family that were both consistent with descriptions found in the book of Revelations as well as encounters with people that he had never met or even known of, such as his unborn sister whom his mother had miscarried. The story is told by his father, Todd Burpo, a Wesleyan pastor from Nebraska.
This sweet story is encouraging for Christian believers. I was relieved to read the revelation that we get to be “younger” versions of ourselves in heaven. Although I must admit I tend towards skepticism and question secondary motives, Colton’s story has such veracity and details that I found myself really wanting to believe. Religion is primarily about faith, and we are called to have the faith of children. I would love to have the faith of this sweet little boy.
Ernest Shadid, MD, my psychiatric residency director, believed that being a “reader” was an “unchangeable”–that one either loved to read or else would never really care for reading. I was an avid reader since early childhood and I hope that my boys will both turn out to be “readers” as well. To this end, my husband and I have read to the boys most nights since they were infants. Now that my oldest has begun reading himself, I have enjoyed sharing some of my favorites with him. (Not that I didn’t enjoy the melodic Good Night Moon for the billionth time.) I was especially excited to see that Garth Stein had released a “young readers” version of his best-selling The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel entitled, Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog. I was surprised at how faithful the young reader version has remained to the original. Much of the story is preserved intact and presented in language more accessible by the 9-12 year old intended audience. The story, told by Enzo the dog “with the heart of a race car driver,” is both engaging and captivating. My son and I have been reading it to each other; and while some of the content is a little above his seven-year-old mastery, this story is one that we have both been able to enjoy together. Although Racing takes some difficult turns as it covers several sensitive areas, it is not an entirely sad story; rather an uplifting tale of heroism and perseverance. Getting lost in this book with my son has brought back found memories of getting in trouble as a child for staying up too late reading. I hope that he will continue to “share my craziness” for books throughout his lifetime and perhaps pass it on to the next generation as well.
I have a confession: I have not read a single book since last month. I have accumulated quite a collection of “books to be read” on my nightstand. While I look forward to indulging myself with said books at some point, I fear it won’t happen this month. End of school, soccer season, moving & renovating my office…life keeps preventing me from escaping into someone else’s story. Quite an eclectic mix, my pile includes:
Gazelles, Baby Steps and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt by Jon Acuff. This one was given to me to read by my husband, who teaches Dave Ramsey’s FPU course at our church. I actually got to see Jon Acuff when he was in town with Dave Ramsey in February. He has a great sense of humor and I look forward to his take on the FPU experience. He also has a twitter account: @jonacuff and a pretty nifty blog: http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/
The Good Psychologist by Noam Shpancer. This book has been on my nightstand for quite a while now. It was promoted to be similar to the HBO show “In Treatment”, of which I am a fan; however, this feels too much like work and therefore has yet to merit any of my precious free time.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Of the books mentioned, this one has the greatest chance of being read. I downloaded a sample and immediately feel in love with this enchanting tale of Enzo and his person, Denny. This is a book that I could become lost in. I was thrilled to hear that a children’s version is being release; I had started reading it to my 7-year-old son and had to do some quick editing as Enzo described Denny’s mating behavior.
I look forward to summer and the promise of time to finally get lost in a good book.
So…. what is on your nightstand?
It’s every woman’s worst nightmare: a phone call in the middle of the night that your husband has had an accident…and is dying. Worse, the woman is 5 months pregnant and this story is real, not fiction. Natalie Taylor’s life was forever changed in an instant. In Signs of Life, Ms. Taylor shares her journey, complied from her actual journal entries, in this riveting memoir of loss and learning to “live without someone, while embracing life.” Her writing is both engaging and authentic. Despite the dark and depressing nature of the subject, Signs of Life is not a depressing story or a “self-help” book on grief, rather a beautiful story of hope, strength, and courage as she learns to accept “different.” Recommended. (available on April 12, 2011)