If you have spent any time lately appreciating landmarks and landscapes, you have inevitably come across the newest gadget in the quest for the perfect selfie – the selfie stick. Opinions abound regarding this newest addition to the digital age, but for photographers from amateur to enthusiast, the selfie stick has quickly become a basic necessity for those looking for that perfect shot.
Rise of the Selfie Stick
The original concept for the selfie stick has been around since 2005, when the product was originally patented. Although well known mostly amongst extreme sport aficionados, the selfie stick was not widely recognized on the international market until 2014. The popularity of the product began in the Philippine and Chinese markets, spreading rapidly from there. It was clear that the selfie stick had gained global fame with a “Best Invention of 2014” award from Time Magazine.
Brilliant in its simplicity, the selfie stick does have some variations in design. The basic model, often referred to as the “monopod”, has been around in some form for a while. In its simplest iteration, the monopod allows for a camera or camera phone to help at a distance via a clamp attached to an extendable arm. The shutter is triggered utilizing the device’s own self timer. The added distance from shutter to subject allows for freedom from the awkward angles and lighting that plague the average selfie. Adapters are often included to adjust for iPhone and android devices within a limited size range. Basic models are inexpensive with starting prices of $13, and require no more technological knowledge that what is necessary to operate a camera phone.
With its rapid rise in popularity, the selfie stick has evolved into the remote shutter selfie stick. While remaining poetic in its simplicity, the remote shutter advancement now allows for fingertip control of the phone camera’s full functionality through the use of Bluetooth technology. The more advanced remote shutter selfie stick allows the photographer to make adaptations as needed without the ticking clock of the pre-set timer, empowering both the expert and amateur selfie buff to create a more thoughtful tableau.
To Selfie or Not to Selfie
Truth is, if you are reading this article, you have already chosen your camp. The selfie is, indeed, here to stay. And, why not? How often are folder after folder of digital pictures stored away never to be seen again? The remote shutter selfie stick helps capture not just an impersonal landscape or vista, but includes both environment and participant, creating something more than a picture. Instead, a picture becomes a moment, which was really the point all along.