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Quaking behind the camera lens

Submitted by on Tuesday, 15 December 2009 No Comment

I stood on tip toes and reached high above me, to the top shelf of the coat closet where the bag had been stashed since we moved. I used to leave it open in my bedroom, but I opted for a safer storage place in our new home. A place where the guys couldn’t get to it.

I’d almost resorted to it last week but went with a smaller model instead. Tonight’s shooting, though, requires more power and precision, so it was time to bring out the big gun.

Big Guy’s holiday program is in a dimly lit cafeteria. I need my Canon video recorder, because the Flip I used in Boots’ classroom just isn’t flexible enough.

And in some parts of the country, carrying a camcorder to a school program is practically the moral equivalent of a drive-by. Witness the Chicago father whose YouTube video of his son’s presentation last year caused such a stir that he’s now afraid to take a camera to school.

Joking aside, I think long and hard these days before I even pull out a camera in public, let alone use it. And then I’m very careful to crop out as much of anyone else’s kid as I can without reducing the image to visual nonsense.

Maybe that makes me as paranoid as the paranoids who think a predator is going to breach their friends-only Facebook account, stalk them and abduct their children. But that’s the climate we live in today – hyper with a slight chance of common sense.

It wasn’t like that a couple of years ago, when parents of Big Guy’s soccer teammates had no issue with pictures and video online. One mom, whose parents lived overseas, thanked me for posting because it gave her family a chance to keep up with their grandchild’s life.

In an era when technological and social media advances age in dog years, that’s all out the window now.

Our old school district had a policy – still cameras were fine, but no video. Except the policy was never enforced – someone had a video camera at every event we went to last year. And even if officials had gone around in a bout of talkie phobia and confiscated the camcorders, most digital still cameras have video capabilities.

I’m not sure what the policy is here. I saw still cameras at Big Guy’s Halloween party, but I didn’t notice if there was video. I’m not going to make the mistake I made last year of asking and being banned, while other parents recorded to their hearts’ content.

I could go with the safe option tonight and take my still camera only, but it’s a concert. To me, video is the logical medium.

So there I’ll sit, cowering in the corner and hoping I can capture Big Guy’s three songs without someone slapping the cuffs on me. It seems that some parents no longer are happy with controlling distribution; they want to make sure the image isn’t captured to begin with.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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