I just got back from a quick road trip and took almost all my camera gear in one backpack. It was fun but exhausting.

The simplicity of the iPhone camera brings back the same happiness and exploration that made me love photography. I rediscovered the joy of every day life and documented it. Even the mundane. The camera’s limitations force me to focus fully on the subject I am shooting. That child-like wonder wakes up and the mind opens to the possibilities.
I get to discover new surroundings and re-discover the familiar. How did I miss that before? Snap.

The phone can fit into tighter spaces better than a DSLR because of its size. No worries here about apertures, ISO or shutter speeds. Shooting from the hip is possible as opposed to holding up a camera to your face all the time. Brilliant.

Adding some unique character to the photos through a wide variety of apps helps as well. It is fun to play with settings and adjust color, light, shadows and more all without losing the original image. These adjustments can alter the mood or expression as needed. It can be crisp and digitally perfect or go old-school analog photography. Mobile photography has massive creative potential compared to traditional photography.

While we are experiencing a world-wide contagion and the weather is pleasant, it is good for me to get out, remind myself to look for new perspectives and remember the creativity and joy of mobile photography.

In Or Out?

Men seek for seclusion in the wilderness, by the seashore, or in the mountains – a dream you have cherished only too fondly yourself. But such fancies are wholly unworthy of a philosopher, since at any moment you can choose to retire within yourself. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul; above all, he who possesses resources in himself, which he need only contemplate to secure immediate ease of mind – the ease that is but another word for a well-ordered spirit. Avail yourself often, then, of this retirement, and so continually renew yourself.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.3)

Peace In Our Time

During this time of isolation and retreat while in a pandemic, there is also loneliness and distraction.

OR, it is a time for mindfulness and reflection, like modern monks. I am choosing not to retreat into despair but it hasn’t been easy.

There were too many distractions before the pandemic and there may be even more currently- Netflix, social media, depressing newscasts, etc. Nothing wrong with a little of each but as they say, everything in moderation. I choose to read, meditate, write, journal, walk. The choice is mine: choose despair or choose to practice peace.

I take these stressful times and then reflect on my feelings during meditation. Sit down, shut up, slow down. This way I can organize my thoughts and feelings and process them better.

I can watch Youtube or read virus memes (I don’t do these, honest) OR, I can practice compassion and peace.

I am in no way a modern monk and don’t plan to hide away in a monastery but for now, I think this practice is productive and a good use of my time.


Tsundoku? It is a Japanese word for all the unread book piles waiting to be read. Since distractions are limited, now is the time to reduce that pile. After a quick glance at the digital pile, it seems like I am on focused on a specific genre.

Reminders (Wuhan Virus Edition)

  • Human brains are fantastic. We can process the stress of a pandemic and we can find creativity and beauty during a pandemic.
  • Remembering what I said I would do if I had the time to do it in. Well, now is the time.
  • Turn that fantastic brain off and use my hands or feet instead.
  • Make some comfort food. Soups are always a good idea.
  • Take it outside and walk.
  • What would a Stoic do? Those disrupted vacation plans? Let it go. Now is all we are offered, enjoy it.
  • Find a work-around and hit the road anyway.
  • Finish that photo project. Write in the journal.