iPhone 4 camera helps with home projects

I’ve been interested to observe how my use of the iPhone 4 differs from my use of the iPhone 3GS with the previous operating system.

One of the biggest changes thus far involves the camera. With LED flash, the ability to improve the lighting on a selected focus area, and 5x digital zoom, the iPhone 4 has completely replaced my Canon Digital Elph. And, because I carry my phone everywhere with me, a camera is always right at my fingertips.

This means that a lot of photography-based projects that seemed like just too much hassle a few years ago are now easily do-able now. Here are a few, including two I’ve adapted from a Martha Stewart Living magazine supplement, “At Home with Technology.”

• Travel directions. Planning a wedding or an off-site company meeting? Take pictures of key turnoffs and landmarks and include them in your printed or email directions. (Not everyone has GPS yet.)

• Insurance inventory. Take  30 minutes some weekend to take a shot of each room in your house, plus a picture of your most valuable possessions. Put the pictures on a disk and send it to a friend for safekeeping — or upload the pictures to your MobileMe iDisk or other “cloud” storage.

• Maintenance guide. Is there some annoying home maintenance task (like cleaning the furnace filter, or caulking the bathtub surround) that you avoid because you can never remember what materials you need or what steps it requires? The next time you do it (or have a professional do it), take photos. (You might even consider shooting a quick video and capturing the professional’s advice.)

• Shopping list. Heading out to buy something you want to match or coordinate with an item already in your house? Take a picture of what you have at home (a chair, door hinges, molding) to make sure you’re getting the right thing. (I once emailed a door manufacturer a photo of my sliding door’s track system to make sure they were shipping me the correct screens.)

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About Karen Anderson

To paraphrase Mark Morris, "I'm a writer; I write!"
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