Why do we take photographs? For most of us it's simply to record memories. Special occasions, travel, the amazing lunch we had yesterday with our friends, milestones in our lives. As a photographer for more than 30 years, I've spent my share of time behind the camera. My only regrets are the photos that I've missed. Memories of photos that could have been are like the fish that got away. The advent of the iPhone and in turn mobile photography have enabled me to capture much more, and yet still not enough. Enter Narrative Clip, a small, automatic, wearable camera worn on your clothing or bag that automatically takes a photo every 30 seconds. Since receiving my Narrative Clip about two months ago, I’ve been searching for ways, both personally and professionally to get the most from this small, yet capable device. A device that has even started to change my perspective on photography in some ways.
If you've read any of my other product reviews then you know that I don't talk about technical specs much, if at all. I'm a big believer in the experience and results. Aside from price, which is only relevant to affordability, in my opinion experience and results are all that matter for most products. Photo quality of the Narrative Clip is similar to an iPhone 4 - not the best of quality, but the quality of the moment matters more than the quality of the image. Right? Besides, Narrative Clip has already announced the new Narrative Clip 2, available for preorder now with a higher resolution camera that presumably will take better quality images.
The Narrative Clip is one of the simplest cameras ever. Clip it to your clothing, and forget it. That's it. Narrative Clip will take one photo every 30 seconds. In my experience, Narrative Clip's battery easily lasts all day and even into the next day in some cases. However, I do recommend charging it daily. When you're ready to get the images off, just plug your clip into a USB port on your computer, and the Narrative Clip software kicks in to get all the images off the clip automatically. That's it. Easy. Of course you do have to download and install the free software from Narrative online first. There's also a free Narrative Clip app available for your iPhone. You can even login with your web browser and see your photos that way if you like. Fortunately, the recently announced Narrative Clip 2 will bring built-in Wi-Fi, among other new features, enabling access to your photos without having to plug in.
I love wearing the Narrative Clip when I’m out and about, either when I’m shooting or just running errands. It's always interesting to go back at the end of the day and see what the clip's perspective was.
We took my daughter for her first consultation for braces at the Orthodontist recently. The office manager was explaining to us the different types of braces available. Images of scenes like this are exactly why I love this little wearable camera. I would have never taken this shot, especially since I was too busy listening to what she had to say, and how much it was going to cost. My Narrative Clip captured this without me even realizing it, and in turn created a funny image to go along with the memory of my daughter getting braces.
Clipping the Narrative Clip to the sun visor in the car is a cool way to capture photos while you're driving. Kind of like your own personal Google Street photos.
Narrative Clip has provided me with a sort of automatic behind-the-scenes view while on assignments. On a recent assignment to take photos of a popular scuba diving spot, Cape Maeda, I wore my Narrative Clip while I was walking around shooting. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the shots the clip captured.
On another day I was shooting on assignment at Kouri Island. Again, it was really interesting to see later the perspective captured by the Narrative Clip.
It's worth mentioning that the clip can be easy to lose, depending on where and how you clip it. I've lost mine on several occasions from my camera strap or bag causing it to come off. Fortunately, I found it each time, but It is something to be aware of. I've gotten in a habit of constantly checking to not only make sure I still have it, but to also make sure it's pointing in the right general direction. Sometimes your clothing can cause the clip to point down, up or in every direction but the one you want. 😊 I've also experimented with attaching the clip to my bag strap, but I still kept catching it on my camera strap. For some I'm sure this isn't much of a problem, if at all.
Here's one last shot from another assignment at a local Karate event where American and Japanese came together to share techniques and ideas. I sat the clip on a ledge in the dojo and just left it there for a while. Not only did I get a couple of nice shots like this one, but I also had a cool time-lapse of the event.
The Narrative Clip is not only a very capable life logging, wearable camera, but great for your next vacation too. Wear it, forget it, and enjoy the surprise images captured when you get back to your hotel each day. Using the Narrative Clip has reminded me of how fleeting life's moments are. Little moments in our lives that we all too quickly forget. Sometimes however, it's the little moments in life that we cherish the most, making products like the Narrative Clip priceless.