Street Shots of the Temple Lights: The Prominence of Camera Phones

Last night my wife and I went out to check out the temple lights and snap some photos. While I had originally gone out with the intention of capturing some wide sweeping panoramas of Downtown Salt Lake City, I ended up getting a lot more street photography style shots. It’s becoming an unhealthy obsession. Something about the way in which the Christmas lights are seemingly vomited randomly into the trees and shrubs kind of threw me off this time around. I had dozens of shots where all the trees would have lights on them and then there were one or two next to those that were just blank and dead. It’s as if someone either forgot to do them, or at some point simply shrugged and caled it good enough. This is a good example of it:


As you can see, the center trees are filled with lights, while half of the trees on the outside of the frame aren’t. This shot makes it look a little more uniform than it really was. Once you got up to them, it was fairly haphazardly done.

Nonetheless, I did get some pretty cool shots of people, most of which are using their phones in some way or another. I’m not entirely sure why, but I have grown a fascination when I’m shooting of catching people who are locked into their phones and ignoring the world around them. Part of it I think, has to do with the fact that I am often times one of those people. If I don’t have my camera on me, or I’m not on a specific errand, I’ll simply wander about with my face in my phone. I’ll either be playing a game, or scrolling through a social network, but I am largely oblivious to what’s going on around me.

I mean, I get why people do it. This isn’t entirely a judging thing. In a lot of cases your errands are boring. Who wants to wait in line at the DMV or some store in the mall and just creepily stare at the back of the person in front of you’s head? Nobody. So instead you can bury into your phone and entertain yourself for a few minutes while you wait.

However, while I was wandering around shooting everything I could, I noticed just how much I would be missing in the world. For example, on our way out of the temple grounds, I had contemplated checking my phone to look up the score of the Saturday night football game, but as I was about to do so, I noticed a guy get down on one knee. While I didn’t quite get the “money shot” of this proposal, I did get the “post-yes hug”, and had I been on my phone, I’d likely not have noticed it happen at all until his friend yelled out to the crowd her acceptance. Here’s the happy couple:


As an aside, I tend to get mildly annoyed when people see me setting up a shot and just wander in front of my camera. If I was on a phone or something sure, you can’t really tell if I’m texting, or snapping a pick; but when I have my bag open next to me, with tripod out and I’m measuring angles – it’s pretty clear I’m in the middle of something. Move.

Of course, in this singular case, it worked out alright as I got not only the shot of the temple I was going for, but the guy who rudely wandered into the shot actually made it better. Who’d-a thunk it?

Aside from those I snapped a few other I am happy with. I attempted two fairly large Panoramas, but due to my position regarding where I shot them from, they just didn’t work out. However, I did learn something valuable in that endeavor so hopefully I can get them fixed for the next time when I go and shoot. As for those shots I mentioned, here they are:

That should do it for this installment. As always, till next time, Thanks for reading!


2 thoughts on “Street Shots of the Temple Lights: The Prominence of Camera Phones

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