Artificial Intelligencer

•  A special technology supplement to The Mattopia Times  •

Vacation 2017: What's It For?

9 April 2017

#Travel  •  #Technology

iPhone in a case made by Pad and Quill

My December trip to Southeast Asia got me rethinking what it means to go on vacation. It was an adventure. It was a marvel of technology. It was one of the most exciting trips I've ever taken. And I brought back some mighty exciting photos and 4K video.

Some things have become standard operating procedure for my trips, such as making it up on the fly while booking hotels and one-way airfare the day before departure on my iPad Pro (9.7"), as well as picking up a local-vendor SIM card for the iPad and taking loads of photos and videos.

But during this most recent trip, the 4K video and the potential for actually telling a story struck me like never before. My trips have tended to be on the ambitious side all along, but now there's an extra layer that wants to go further — explore areas less familiar than my favorite European destinations and, in turn, explore opportunities to document cultural events, people and places rarely seen. Kind of like a no-budget version of National Geographic.

Looking at where photo and video technology is now — and how quickly it's advanced — I'm finally able to fulfill childhood dreams of not only easily making vacation home videos, but more technically ambitious cinema-quality movies. All with very compact, lightweight technology like the Sony A6300. I can't help but think George Lucas and his own digital revolution played a role in making consumer-level technology what it is today. The digital revolution truly democratized filmmaking by lowering the barriers to entry. There's no longer a need for expensive cameras, film and film developing.

What's up with the photo? It was taken on a boat ride in Bagan, Myanmar; that's my iPhone 7 Plus in a Molskine-like case made by Pad & Quill. Those are notes about key temples to visit in Bagan, supplied by a guide in Bago, slipped under the elastic band. Old-school meets new-school; it's exactly the way I like it.

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