The Smartphone, My Camera of Choice


When I grew up, if you wanted to take pictures you either ran to the store to grab a disposable camera or you pulled out a camera with a bunch of settings that you don’t know what they mean.  Today, you can still break out in a DSLR camera or you can just reach into your pocket and quickly take a picture with your smartphone.

I’m lucky enough to have both a DSLR and a smartphone. I’ve had both since the Kid was born. When the Kid was mostly immobile and I more time on my hands to edit pictures, I almost always reached for my DSLR.  The pictures always turned out so crisp and clean compared to my early iPhone.

The Smartphone, My Camera of Choice - The Rookie Dad

A picture taken of the Kid at 6 months old with my DSLR.

Now, the Kid is going on 4-years-old and can sprint around the house faster than it would take me to get my settings right on my Canon Rebel.  Now the moment I see a moment that I want to remember, I reach for my phone, usually in movie mode and I’m able to take pictures while I am getting video of the Kid.

The Smartphone, My Camera of Choice - The Rookie Dad

A picture of the Kid at 3 years old taken with my Google Nexus 5 smartphone.

It is easy to see why the average user is starting to take more and more pictures with their smartphones.  According to Treat.com (the new greeting card website by Shutterfly) global shipments of DSLR cameras have plummeted nearly 48%.  With less digital cameras being shipped more people are taking pictures.  Each person on earth take roughly 53 pictures a year.  That might not sound like a whole lot, but when you consider the world population in comparison to the amount of people who are unable to take pictures that number seems massive.

Not only that, but pictures have now become social.  Meaning the moment we take a picture, we immediately upload it to Instagram or Facebook.   Those sites are reaping the benefits of our increasingly social picture need as well.  70% of all Facebook’s activity are from photos and Instagram saw their user base from 2012 to 2013 climb from 27 million users to 140 users.

As a parent, I feel like I will whip the dust off my DSLR the moment the Kid starts playing sports and I will need my telephoto lens for that up close picture of him scoring the game winning goal in a soccer match.  Until then, it is so much easier to pull my smartphone out snap that cute picture and share with all of you.

This trend has been an interesting one to watch.  Like I said, I remember growing up taking pictures on film and now only 1% of pictures are taken on film.  I remember if you wanted to take pictures, grab a disposable camera and wait a week for your pictures to get developed.  Now, you see the results on a 5 inch screen and can share with your friends in a matter of seconds.

This information comes from Treat.com and a new infographic they have published on their blog titled DSLR vs Smartphone: Which Camera is Best for Photos.

The Smartphone, My Camera of Choice - The Rookie Dad

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How Do You Explain Death To A Child?


How do you explain death to a child?  It is a question that I have been asking myself lately after hearing the news of Robin Williams.

How Do You Explain Death To A Child? - The Rookie Dad

Image Courtesy of Flavor Wire

The other night when we were sitting down to dinner my phone started to explode, not literally but the ringing from it was constant.  Naturally, I have to check it and find out that Robin Williams died knowing that Hot Momma would be interested.  We both were shocked by the news but little did we know that the Kid would be too.

The Kid, for those of you who don’t know, is named William.   I just chose to use the Kid as his name on this blog.  After making the announcement at dinner, William’s face immediately turns from a jubilant 3-year-old to heartbroken child.

“You mean I died?”  He said.

Hot Momma and I look at each other shocked that the Kid made an immediate connection to the death of Robin Williams, all because of a name.

We tried to explain that it was someone else, someone that Hot Momma and I used to watch on TV all the time.  This just made the situation even worse in the eyes of the Kid.

“Bad guys killed him didn’t they?”

“We don’t know that yet but I don’t think they did.” (We now know the most of the story)

“But only bad guys make people die.”

“Yes you are right, but sometimes people die from other reasons.  That happens.”

I will be the first to admit that the death of Robin Williams hit me hard.  It hit me harder than any other celebrity death.  This exchange with the Kid didn’t help things.   I could tell just how much he was identifying with the loss.  How do you explain to a child that death happens and is a natural part of life?

It wasn’t but five minutes after we had finished eating that he forgot the conversation and was asking me to play cars with him.  As I am racing cars with him I couldn’t help but wonder how this will affect the Kid.  Will he ask about it later? Will he ask if the bad guys that killed that one guy were caught?

On one hand I am glad to know that he understands the difference between good and bad guys.  On the other hand, I want him to know that death is a natural part of life.  Maybe I am expecting him to grow up to quickly.

I don’t know if I am ready to answer the tough questions that parenting has to bring me.  While explaining that bad guys aren’t the only reason people die isn’t that tough of a question, it was a sign of what is to come.  A sign that I am not ready for.

Do You Ever Have One Of Those Days?


Do you ever have one of those days?  One of those days where you are sore, tired, and so is your spouse?  We weren’t tired for any of the reasons you are probably thinking of.

We were tired because we spent all day on Saturday building paver patio off the steps of our deck.  This involved digging up a 11 by 12 section of grass with very established roots.   The soil in our area is also very clay like.   I won’t bore you with details though.

We were able to build most of the patio on Saturday and by Saturday night both Hot Momma and myself were extremely tired and our muscles ached.  We settled down for an early evening and basically had to crawl into bed.

We were both hoping for a good night sleep when around 4am there was a very strong thunderstorm that made its way through our area.  Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal because I am able to sleep through storms.  However, it is different now that I have a toddler.

Thunder waking up the Kid, he came running into our room looking for our protection from the storm.  You would think that by now I would be used to sleeping with a toddler, however, I am not.  Being kicked in the back and backhanded on the cheek makes for a very restless night sleep.

When morning decided to shine its ugly face we were even more sore and tired.  I was walking around the house like I was a 90 year old man.  I almost needed a walker to make it around the house.

As we were going throughout the day, the Kid was in rare form.  He was being loud and just had more energy than normal.  This would not have been a big deal if Hot Momma and I weren’t so tired and sore.  He was just being a toddler I realize that.  We were not in the mood to be able to handle him being this way.

Do You Ever Have One Of Those Days? - The Rookie Dad

This is how much of the day felt.

We were unable to be the parents that we strive to be.  We couldn’t play with him.  We couldn’t laugh and have a good time.  He could tell that we were not feeling that great.  But he still insisted on pushing our buttons.

We laugh about it now looking back.  As the soreness subsided we became more active with the Kid and our day ended on a more positive note than it began.  It was just one of those days that you just wish that you could have a mulligan and do it all over again.

Do You Ever Have One Of Those Days?  - The Rookie Dad

This is how the day ended.

The Hell I Put My Mom Through


I was never one to show affection towards my mother.  In fact, I am still not.  When my mom tries to give me a hug, one of my arms goes limp and only the other one will wrap around her.  For some reason the words, “I Love You” get stuck somewhere in my mouth.  She knows that I love her, but for some reason the words just cannot come out of my mouth.

They say if you are a woman (clearly I am not so I am only hearing this third hand) that if you want to see how a man will treat you, watch how he treats his mother.  Well I am glad that I have such an incredible wife could see beyond that and realize that I do love my mother, I just don’t always show it.  Otherwise, I would not be where I am in my wonderful life, which is incredible because of my wife.  Anyway, enough trying to earn points.

 

I really don’t know what my deal is.  Maybe it is because I haven’t really reached the adult age of 30.  Maybe this is really my way of showing my mother that I love her but giving her these one-armed hugs.  Could that be our thing?  So mom if you are reading this, the one-armed thing is our special thing and that is why I do it and it is my way of showing you that I love you.

The way that I treat my mother though, has a trickle-down effect to my son as well.

The Hell I Put My Mom Through - The Rookie Dad

The Kid denies a kiss.

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Being A Dad Is The Hardest Job I’ve Ever Had


I am not shy in saying that I have had 3 jobs by the time that I turn 30.  Each of those jobs have increased in difficulty in different ways.  All 3 jobs have had their sets of challenges and rewards.  One job though, is the hardest job that I will ever have AND the most rewarding.

Being A Dad - The Rookie Dad

Teaching the son how to fish.

Being A Dad.

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