Rough Guides World Lens

I’ve been around for several decades, and in all that time I had no clue what I wanted to be when I finally decided to grow up.

Oh, I’ve enjoyed my life so far, and I’ve done some interesting things, even things I can be proud of (that I had something to do with helping my son and daughter become the people they are today is tops on that list). Still, there was always that nagging question that has stayed with me since I was a kid; what will I be when I grow up?

One thing I’ve learned is that being “grown up” has little to do with age, it’s more like a state of mind, and that it’s an elusive state that I’m finding that few people ever reach. The reason it’s so hard to get to is because it’s is so hard to identify, it’s different for each person.

Of course, the question becomes, “If being grown-up is different for everyone, how will one know when he or she has grown up?”

The answer is surprisingly easy, and just as hard to quantify. You’ll know that you’ve grown up when you are completely happy; happy with who you are, happy with what you are, happy with who you are with (or without).

Getting to that state of personal contentment is surprisingly hard to do, largely because, as I said earlier, we don’t know what it takes to make us happy. So we fast step or flounder about until something kinda, sorta makes us happy in at least one aspect of our lives. All the while we keep watch for something else that may makes us happier.

OK, OK. Why am I waxing philosophical? And in a Free on iTunes article (no less)? Well, it’s because I think I’ve found what I want to be when I grow up.

I’m a photographer and I can take a decent photo pretty consistently. I know enough about my equipment and am confident enough in my abilities to feel comfortable hobnobbing with serious amateurs and even some less accomplished pros.

I’ve always believed that photography was what I would do when I finally decided to grow up because when I’m shooting or doing post-processing on the pix I took I am completely absorbed, completely happy. I’m constantly amazed at the photos I manage to take, and love seeing what other photographers see through their lenses. It is the thing I do that makes me happiest.

Rough Guides World Lens

Rough Guides World Lens

This week’s featured freebie is a showcase of photography of current interests in the world, and seeing these photos from so many different places and from so many different photographers come together to give us a view of the planet is…profound, amazing, and so very cool. And I want to be one of the people who contribute to this cacophony of images.

Rough Guides World Lens

Images galore!

Rough Guides started in 1981 when a couple of young Brits, unsatisfied with the state of guide books to Greece, decided to write one of their own. It was a success. Since that time Rough Guides expanded to offer guidance on a variety of subjects, from the Internet to explaining the unexplained. But no matter what else they do Rough Guides first and foremost works are travel guides that offer insights into the local environ few other guidebooks can.

To me, however, what sets Rough Guides apart from other travel guides is the photography, and this week’s free app proves my point; Rough Guides World Lens.

Rough Guides World Lens

Not something you see everyday, except in Rough Guides World Lens

Other guides offer up postcard perfect pix of touristy spots and cliche scenes. Check out these shots from Rough Guides. No cliches here. Just shot after shot of people, places and things you likely won’t find anywhere else. From tribal dances in Kenya to the urban jungle of Wall Street to ice hotels in Norway, you’ll find it Rough Guides, and you’ll likely see a photo of it in Rough Guides World Lens.

The photos are downloaded from Rough Guide servers when the application boots the first time, and once done you can run World Lens without an Internet connection. After all, what good is a guide book that’s dependent on the Internet to guide you?

Rough Guides World Lens

Pinpoint your next virtual expedition

Each photo has an extended caption, explaining the shot and why it should be of interest to you. You tap the pin to see where the shot was taken, forward the photo to friends and family via a variety of social tools including Twitter and Facebook. You can tag any shot for viewing later, and there’s a ‘Read More’ button that will take you to links on the Web with more info about the place or event.

If you love photography, if you love travel, if you love discovery, then you’ll love Rough Guides World Lens.

It’s available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Get it.

That’s a wrap for this week. I have to see if Rough Guides is hiring.

More free stuff below with direct links.