California Parklands Newsletter Spring 2011Renowned photographer Chase Jarvis says that the best camera is the one you have with you, and after seeing the cover of the Spring 2011 California Parklands Newsletter, I agree. When I received an email from the California State Parks Foundation saying that they were considering one of my photos for the cover of their Spring newsletter, I was surprised because the photo they wanted was taken with my iPhone.

Flashback to July of last year, my friends Craig and Alison were visiting and my wife and I took them and their 2 children Eric and Abigail to Angel Island State Park. Anyone who has been to Angel Island knows that it’s one of the most beautiful destinations in the bay area. Situated off Tiburon in the San Francisco Bay with 360 degree views of the surrounding area, there are photo opportunities at every turn.

On this day I chose to leave the camera at home and just enjoy a beautiful day with my friends. No fussing with shutter speeds and apertures, no lugging twenty-five pounds of gear on my back, just a great day in the bay. When we stopped for lunch, I pulled out my iPhone to snap a few photos of the two children running around, playing and doing the kinds of things kids do. Not only did I not expect to ever print this photo, I never imagined it being on the cover of anything! I’m not about to ditch the camera gear that I’ve invested in over the years and shoot exclusively with my phone (although my back would thank me if I did), but I may be using my iPhone camera a bit more often.

And even when I am hauling a truckload of gear on my back, I won’t complain. After lunch, Eric and Abigail couldn’t keep their eyes open, so Craig picked them up and carried both of them to the top of Mount Livermore. If I had to haul that much weight, I’d need a sherpa.