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Wanna a better selfie? Get a selfie stick
Selfies at tourist attractions are nothing new. But until recently, if you wanted a perfectly composed picture of yourself with a landmark in the background, you might have asked a passer-by to take the photo.
Now, though, relatively new gadgets called selfie sticks make it easy to take your own wide-angled self-portraits or group shots. Fans say the expandable rods, which allow users to hold their cellphones a few feet away, are the ultimate convenience. No more bothering passers-by to take pictures. No more fretting about strangers taking lousy shots or running off with a pricey iPhone.
But some travelers bemoan the loss of that small interaction that came with politely asking a local to help preserve a memory. And critics express outright hatred of selfie sticks. They see them as obnoxious symbols of self-absorption. They even have a derisive name for them: narcissi (nar-sissy) stick.
Sarah Kinling of Baltimore said she was approached “17 times” by vendors selling intergrated selfie stick at the Colosseum in Rome.
“They’re the new fanny pack. The quickest way to spot a tourist,” she said. “The more I saw them in use, the more I saw how much focus people were putting on selfies. And not turning around to see what they were there to see.”
When Kinling wanted a photo of herself with her sister and sister-in-law, she asked strangers to take the shot.
“Even when the other person didn’t speak English, you hold your camera up and make the motion and they understand,” she said.
But some travelers say it’s better to stage your own vacation photos. Andrea Garcia asked a passer-by to take her photo in Egypt and later realized he’d zoomed in on her face, cutting out the pyramids behind her.
“I couldn’t really be mad at him. He wasn’t my photographer, I didn’t pay him,” she said.
The experience made her appreciate the selfie sticks. She sees tourists using them at 1 World Trade near her office in New York’s Lower Manhattan. “Take control of your image!” she says.
Selfie sticks are just starting to show up at attractions in the U.S. But they’re found in many destinations overseas, from Dubai’s skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A soccer stadium in London, White Hart Lane, has even banned them because they obstruct other fans’ views.
The Four Seasons Hotel in Houston just started making them available to guests, “similar to the way many hotels provide umbrellas,” said hotel spokeswoman Laura Pettitt.
The sticks range in price from $5 to $50. Simpler models merely grip the phone. So users must trigger the shot with a self-timer on the camera. More sophisticated versions use Bluetooth technology. Or they connect the phone to the stick with a cord. A button on the grip triggers the shot.
The mobile phone with camera can be mounted on a selfie stick with light by securing it tightly to the phone holder. After ensuring adequate lighting, the telescopic pole of selfie stick holding the mobile phone can be positioned at a desired length and angle placing the camera close to the lesion [Figure 1]. The camera has autofocus which focuses the lesion and the lesion can be seen clearly on the screen of the smartphone, without getting closer to the patient, or the lesion can be magnified by the user while examining or the image of the lesion can also be clicked from a distance of one meter [Figure 2]. Then the mobile phone mounted selfie stick can be brought closer to examine the lesion further. Also, the clicked images can be saved for subsequent examination. Besides, when the undersurface of scrotum or any other inaccessible part needs to be examined, the mobile phone camera mounted on a selfie stick can be used in selfie mode. It is also possible to examine oral mucosa using a selfie stick. To examine oral mucosa and for dental examination, the patient is instructed to retract the buccal mucosa with a mouth mirror and guided to turn his head slightly to the opposite side of retraction to enhance the view of the oral cavity. Then with the help of mobile phone camera mounted on the selfie stick complete examination can be performed [Figure 3].
Love it or hate it, 2015 has been, without a doubt, the year of the selfie. Whether you were standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, meeting the cast of “Mad Men” or showing off your new haircut, everyone across your social media platforms knew exactly what you were up to in 2015. And with the invention of the now somewhat notorious selfie stick in 2014, it seemed that the selfie is, for better or worse, here to stay.
Notorious might be a bit of a stretch, but a device that started as a harmless tool to help over-share vacations has snowballed into a near-controversial issue, with selfie sticks increasingly banned around the world for reasons that range from safety to privacy to just plain obnoxious behavior. Walt Disney World’s ban on selfie sticks
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