Categories
Events and Life Photography

Accumulating memories in large photo libraries

Jamie Rubin wrote a thought-provoking post on his blog about his accumulated library of photographs, and his thoughts about what to do with it.

The problem is that I am not organized about my photos the way I am in other parts of my life. I’ve made reluctant attempts at organization now and then, but my heart was never in it. I’ve had all kinds of great ideas for photo taxonomies that would allow me to put my finger on a photo within seconds. These ideas never pan out. I just don’t have the interest. And yet the photos accrue.

Jamie Rubin

I commented on the post, and then thought I’d share my thoughts here too.


I have around 100k images in my Flickr library (this is probably my most complete, and organised library outside my various backups). I sometimes wonder if accumulating such a huge library will be problematic for my family when I eventually shuffle off into the Great Darkroom in the Sky.

On balance, though, I’d much rather preserve these memories, than start stripping them away because they seem too voluminous. I’m pretty determined to document our lives, and our memories for future generations. I wrote a bit about this in this post, so I won’t elaborate much here.

When I look at what I have from my childhood, and from previous generations, I see moments now and then, certainly not complete pictures of what those times were like. I rely on photos to remember my past because my memory can be pretty spotty.

When it comes to my growing library of photos, I’m working on the assumption that image recognition technology will only improve over time, and our kids will be able to use it to find the stuff that matters to them. If I look at how good Google Photos is now when it comes to recognising subject matter in photos, and even filtering photos, I’m less and less concerned about the size of my library.

I think Jamie make a great point about being mindful of the moment we’re in, and not immediately distracting ourselves from it by taking a photograph of the scene. We can’t spend all our lives looking through a viewfinder.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Julie Johnson
Categories
Mindsets Photography

Capturing moments: dedicated cameras vs smartphones

When we think about photography now, we think about capturing moments on our phones and sharing them on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp or Snapchat.

We’re capturing more moments daily than we ever could before digital devices became so readily accessible. I love that about digital photography. It can be a little overwhelming at times but I’d rather have more photos of a moment than none.

At the same time, there is a downside.

What I’ve noticed is that this new habit also has a tendency to take us out of the moment we are capturing and that bothers me.

Ever notice how we lose the moment when we start sharing it with everyone? We take the photo and then, almost immediately, we find start sharing the photo with our communities. We pick the filters, make the photo just the way we like it to be, type the caption and share.

In the process, I think we often lose ourselves in that process instead of returning to the moment with the people or things in our immediate space. It’s ironic, really. There we are capturing a moment with our family and we fall out of it in our process of sharing it because we are more focused (excuse the pun) on the act of sharing and the other people we are sharing it with.

In contrast, a dedicated camera gives us an opportunity to be completely present when we are capturing moments and then return to it because we simply don’t have the immediate means to do much else. At the same time, it can also be a matter of focusing on one moment to the exclusion of others so there are still choices to make.

I’ll often be walking with somewhere with my family and I’ll stop to make a photo. Doing that interrupts a conversation with my son or just a moment walking with my family. It’s almost a blessing that my camera isn’t connected to anything because it is easier to go back to where I was before the photo.

When I make photos with my phone, the sharing habit can be strong and that just pulls me even further away. It has its uses, I suppose. Still, if my photography is about being more present, then my smartphone camera habit doesn’t support that.

The more I think about it, the more I appreciate my distinctly unconnected camera. It is a superior mindfulness and presence device because it doesn’t give me the opportunity to do much more.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Categories
Art Design Photography Travel and places

The girl on a wall

Every workday morning, for about a year, I saw this girl on a wall as I exited the Tel Aviv Central train station in Ramat Gan.

I found her captivating and kept promising myself that I would take photos of her for my collection. I never did it and then my previous employer relocated to Tel Aviv and an earlier train station.

As you may know, I have since left imonomy and I have joined InboundJunction which is based in Ramat Gan, one road away from imonomy’s old offices. I’ve been carrying my camera to work and when I have gone out to lunch so I decided to take those photos I’d been planning to take when I was last in Ramat Gan.

Girl on the wall

I took a walk down to the street corner facing the mural and shot a few photos. I was hoping to capture a pedestrian passing it. I only noticed when I arrived there that the pavement doesn’t run past the mural to connect with the pavement higher up the road so pedestrians cross the road before they reach the mural.

Either way, I’m glad I finally took a few photos of the girl on a wall.

View this post on Instagram

Krakow i love u #judah #krk #25fkz photo by @mslumberjack 2013.

A post shared by PILPELED (@pilpeled) on

The mural seems to be the work of an Israeli artist who goes by the name Pilpeled. The work is characterised by fairly dark illustrations.

View this post on Instagram

#pilpeled

A post shared by PILPELED (@pilpeled) on

I don’t know much about HP Lovecraft but when I imagine what Lovecraft’s worlds may be like, I imagine something pretty close to Pilpeled’s designs. Just comparing the mural of the girl to Pilpeled’s other work, she seems pretty tame although just as captivating.

Categories
Business and work Events and Life Mindsets

Stress, Diabetes and a fresh perspective on Death

We’re now into March (wow, right?!) and I published some new stuff over the weekend that you might have missed; about work stress, Diabetes and a fresh perspective on Death. I understand, you have weekend stuff to do. Here are a couple things you might be interested in.

My Diabetes recently taught me that work stress can be deadly. I always knew stress was harmful but it was only when I saw that reflected in my blood glucose tests that I realised just how much. Here is a little post about the lessons I learned:

What Diabetes taught me about work stress

imonomy, my employer, moved to new offices recently and I spent a little time capturing little details early one morning. Here is a peek inside our new offices:

A peek inside imonomy’s new Tel Aviv offices

I watched a short video that included a audio track by Alan Watts talking about life and death and part of his narrative really caught my attention and I had to share it:

Everybody is “I” – life, death and being

Have a good week!

Categories
Events and Life People

Changing the Holocaust narrative

Shira Abel shared a terrific article titled “20 Photos That Change The Holocaust Narrative” featuring photos which change the Holocaust narrative. Very much worth reading and viewing:

Victims. Helpless. Downtrodden.

That’s the narrative that’s been spread about Jews for the last 70 years since the Holocaust. We’ve embraced it to our detriment. We can’t seem to address antisemitism without running to the world and screaming that we’re being persecuted, rather than standing up strongly in defiance, aware of our own inner strength.

The Holocaust has scarred us, a yetzer hara (sneaky bastard of a voice in our heads), that keeps trying to tell us how we are defined by our past, controlled by events that happened to us, instead of using those moments as points of growth.

And, in a weird way, that’s why all those images of us looking so helpless, so gaunt, in heaps of nameless bodies, have become a morbid fascination for us. We, and by extension the rest of the world, have chosen to define the Holocaust with these images.

But there are other images. Images that show a more subtle, more true, story. A story that shows our inner power, our inner turmoil in dealing with a situation we cannot comprehend, our attempts to gain justice, and our final steps into moving above and beyond our past and into a new future.

To say the Holocaust was a tragedy is a monumental understatement but that doesn’t mean we should always remain victims and perceived as helpless. What I love about many of these photos is that they reveal the spirit of so many of the Holocaust’s survivors and their will to survive.

Categories
Photography

Spring in my click

I started Spring with my camera in my hands. We have two plum trees growing in our garden so I started Monday and this morning with an impromptu photo shoot of the blossoms on the trees. Here is a taste of the two albums I published to Flickr:

The albums are:

Categories
Photography

Photographing love

I love a post I noticed in Flipboard about National Geographic photographers’ depictions of “love”. Well worth checking out.

Categories
Travel and places

3 great photos for a long weekend

Water Under a Bridge

I love this photo by Thomas Hawk titled “Water Under a Bridge”.

I’m not sure if I have shared this next one before but it is just a terrific image. It is one of Simon Clarke’s photos and it’s title is “blossoming”:

blossoming

Lastly, Chris Frank’sALIVE” is a terrific sunset-style photo. Good timing as I post this, the sun has just set here:

ALIVE