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Take a selfie. Or not.

Posted October 15th, 2014 at 09:08 AM by adouglas

TL; DR - IMHO it's better to live in the moment than to obsess over recording everything for posterity.

Something recently posted by a fellow track newbie, @nickjpass, got me thinking.

Originally Posted by nickjpass View Post
I didn't record any other session... I didn't want to crash because I was riding harder for the camera.
Now, this is perfectly natural and we all do it. But there are a couple of things about this post that say a lot about how we approach life these days.

Yes, I said a couple... in addition to wanting to look good for the track photographer, Nick was also using his own camera that day.

Face it. We're all obsessed with visual images. I'm seriously thinking about buying a GoPro myself, and yeah, I have photos of my first track day on my wall.

But the mania to record everything we do can get in the way of the experience itself. A couple of incidents spring to mind:

- Years ago, in the days of the first VHS camcorders (the giant ones that used full-size tapes), I got to borrow one. I took it to a USAF Thunderbirds airshow.

I got some cool footage, but I realized after I got home that I'd spent more time and energy paying attention to shooting the video than actually enjoying the show. I'd spent all day staring through a viewfinder at a tiny black&white TV screen. I don't think I saw one bit of that airshow without that damned camera perched on my shoulder.

- I'm in a band, and every year we get to play for a big crowd at the NY Marathon. A couple of years ago I saw a guy with a brand-new iPad, walking through the crowd and shooting video. He was staring intently at the screen, utterly oblivious to those around him. This person was experiencing reality entirely through a computer screen. I'll bet he doesn't really remember the actual day. The video is more real.

So what's more important: Being in the moment, riding your ride and enjoying the experience, or recording it for posterity?

Speaking only for myself, I try to pay full attention to what's going on - listening, watching, learning, experiencing. Anything that takes away from that -- like futzing with a camera or worrying about getting that perfect shot -- is something I don't need.

I don't even bother trying to take photos of the things I do, because of the distraction and the temptation to try to look good for the camera. At a track day I want to learn how to be a better rider. At a gig I want to perform well and be a musician.

Does that mean I'm anti-GoPro? Absolutely not. I want one. But if I wind up with one on my bike, I'm going to do my darnedest to forget that it's there.
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  1. Old Comment
    nickjpass's Avatar
    Posted October 15th, 2014 at 02:29 PM by nickjpass nickjpass is offline

  2. Old Comment
    nickjpass's Avatar
    a reason I like to take photos, is because its provides a nice journal. their definetely is a right time and place. I usually take mental photos.
    Posted October 15th, 2014 at 02:32 PM by nickjpass nickjpass is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Alex's Avatar
    First time I mounted a GoPro on the bike, I had my first big street crash that day. True story.
    Posted October 25th, 2014 at 04:51 PM by Alex Alex is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Klondike1020's Avatar
    Its great to consider.... I use my go pro.... but I have the LED turned off and I just don't pay attention to it.

    I hope it records good footage but it is the lowest priority on my rides :P

    evidence when stuff goes down is cool. But people should try to be "IN" the moment.... sorta soak it in and really live it. We don't want to blast through life trying to steal little snippets of every experience and preserve them to spread via media. How special can a moment be when you interrupt the experience or distract yourself from the wonder/joy of it chasing that notoriety evidence for show. You should live that moment and describe that moment and maybe catch a few really exceptional filmography when you can

    Great topic @adouglas & @nickjpass

    I really like how different perspectives of the members can precipitate introspective discoveries for myself ....
    Posted October 8th, 2015 at 07:58 PM by Klondike1020 Klondike1020 is offline

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