Today when Tisen and I made our morning round of the park and I spotted a Great Blue Heron hanging out on the railing of the bridge, I promptly reached into my pocket and pulled out the only camera I had with me, my iPhone.
Now, I use my iPhone for work even though it’s my personal phone. This is an example of what corporations now call “work-life integration.” I remember when it used to be called, “work-life balance.” I have the advantage that I need only have one phone number and one device. The company has the advantage that they don’t have to pay for my service. I suppose it’s win-win.
I mention this because one of the really horrific disadvantages to using my personal iPhone for work is my company requires special security before they’ll allow corporate email on a mobile device. That security prevents the camera from starting without unlocking the phone. It also forces me to use a long password with special characters that, on average, take me 3 attempts to type in correctly.
So, back to our Blue Heron, here I am, walking in the park. I spot a Great Blue Heron on the railing up ahead. I tell Tisen “Wait” as I pull my phone out of my back pocket. While holding the leash and trying to see the screen in bright sunlight and with sunglasses on, I use my thumbs to key in my password.
Cultural note: the phrase “All Thumbs,” as in, “She tried to enter her password, but she was all thumbs,” should have been a really strong indicator to the inventors of smart phones that a keyboard requiring you to type using only your thumbs might not be the best answer.
I get an error message. I look up. Heron hasn’t moved. I enter my password again. I get another error. I curse under my breath and check the bird again. Still there. I try a third time and just as I am about to hit the return key, Tisen moves, pulling the leash, which moves my left hand, which jerks the phone and causes me to hit an extra key as I hit the return key. 3rd strike. My phone is now counting down until the self-destruct sequence begins. I frantically enter my password one more time. The planets align! I get my phone unlocked, my camera app open, and the heron is still sitting there!
However, as you can see from the photos, perhaps there are times when it truly is better not to have a camera at all. The Camera! app was not set in rapid fire mode. It took far too long to shoot to capture the heron taking off from the railing. Of course, with no optical zoom (my mini-telephoto lenses back at home), I’m not sure it’s possible to actually tell where the heron is in most of the images in any case.