Tons and Tons and TONS of Visual Stimulants

Smart phones and digital cameras are great; they allow you to capture a scene in an instant. You don’t need to finish the roll of film or wait a couple of days, or hours, to see if you captured the image that you wanted and you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get the film developed and the photos printed. You’ve got the result within a matter of seconds.

However, therein lies the problem; with no extra costs involved in capturing our memory prompts; we tend to overshoot, over-store, and some even take ‘selfies’ over-galore. I, currently, have three digital cameras and two smart phones so I might have a problem and a couple of photographs too many.

While I was getting photographs gathered and prepared for the website I realized just how much a hoarder of visual stimulants I am. From my IPhone 4, alone, in just over two years I had well over 7,000 photos on one hard drive. ( I have about 8 hard drives that I know have tons and tons of photos on them some from Scotland, some from Grand Rapids, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Florida, Places in between and, of course, my kids, dogs, cats, my art creations and miscellaneous flim flam.

How about you? Do you have any idea how many digital photos you have stored on your computer, the Cloud, separate hard drives, memory cards and flash drives? And how many have you lost because of a hard drive failure or worse? Even more scary, how many of your photos are of the same scene, subject, blurry due to camera shake or somebody moving when they weren’t supposed to?

In the old days,(when I was young) film was expensive and you were limited to 12, 24 or 36 exposures on one roll. You would capture your memories and then you had to pay for developing and printing at a store or do it yourself at home or school. 35mm film cameras, or better, were tricky; you had to learn about focusing, f stops, shutter speed, depth of field and a whole bunch more. A lot of these things are now built in to the computer chips/programs of the new technological cameras and camera apps. However, I still use a lot of the photography skills I learnt back then; especially, the photographer’s eye for interesting subjects and angles etc. I also still have, and use, two 35mm film camera and 1 twin-lens reflex camera.

Do we really need to be taking as many memory stimulants(photographs) as we do? Can we not just visualize what we had for dinner last night or mentally recall the crazy antics of Hamish and Penny at the bar last weekend. Do we really need to take that shot or 20 with our smart phone or digital camera. We all have a marvelous camera sitting on top of our shoulders. Close your eyes for a moment and visualize a previous event in your life, or listen to a favourite song and close your eyes and remember where you first heard it or the person it reminds you of. I know you can do it; we all have that power of recall.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to stop taking photos; just asking you to think twice or thrice before you take so many of the same subject/person. Try looking at that scene, inhale and close your eyes for a second; there, the photo is now embedded in your internal hard drive.

There are times though in your life when you have to break your own, newly-invented, rules and become a hypocrite; I am already planning my hypocritical moments. At the end of January, I head to Clearwater Beach in Florida. 
I’ve already, mentally, packed my suitcase/camera bag with two camera lenses, a 35mm and a twin reflex camera, two tripods, a bunch of film and my smart phones have 64 gig memory cards in them…and yes, there are some clothes in my suitcase to protect the cameras. My excuse for this hypocracy: I have to share my adventures with you.

Happy Shooting and happy memory hoarding.



‘Riding The Wave’

You can see more of my art on my website


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