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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 24 May 2014 (Saturday) 22:42
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Psychologists Say a Problem Develops in the Brain When You Take Too Many Photos

 
rick_reno
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May 24, 2014 22:42 |  #1

http://www.policymic.c​om …n-you-snap-tons-of-photos (external link)




  
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May 24, 2014 22:56 |  #2

Seems like a lot of over-generalizations to me.




  
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halitime
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May 24, 2014 23:07 |  #3

At least we aren't texting and are actually looking at the world..unless it's video or excessive Chimping..!! Sometimes it's good to put the camera down but don't leave it at home.


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May 24, 2014 23:19 as a reply to  @ halitime's post |  #4

Did she get paid grant money to do this study.

I take pictures to relive memories. Memories that have long been forgotten whether I took the snaps or someone else did.

As I get older it seems apparent to me a lot of studies from so called experts are full of diaper filler.


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May 25, 2014 00:54 |  #5

Heh, funny, and at the same time interesting to "play" with!

Here's the first couple paragraphs:

When you rely on photography to document experiences, psychologists theorize that you're subconsciously having the camera remember for you, and your memories may ultimately suffer because of it.

The research: Psychologist Maryanne Garry of the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand says that taking too many photos undermines the way people form memories. Her published research says that photography can manipulate both our memories and subjective interpretations of lived experiences. "I think that the problem is that people are giving away being in the moment," Garry told NPR.

I pondered, what "memory" of mine might have been "compromised" by my photography? Hmm, interesting, although I'm not the type to keep a camera glued to my face throughout life "moments", but it was fun pondering one scenario:

As a kid and into my adult years, I loved going to music concerts, mostly what we now call "Classic Rock" (because I began in my teen years in the 1960s when to us it was, well, Rock, just not yet "Classic"...anyway, those live concerts were definitely "memories", although some of the details might be a bit hazy, you know, "Smoke gets in your eyes":)...

Now, during all those experiences I never had a camera, even in later years going to a few "high powered" performances by "big name" bands, they were before my photography got hold! And yeah, they are real memories, and not as hazy as those from the '60s:)

Well, moving forward, I did jump into digital photography, gosh, almost 15 years ago, and then once I got "serious" with DSLRs, well, one of the things I would jump into was "events", such as music performances, some sports, and "street" photography that often was in places that were/are, well, "entertaining", and yeah, I was there to photograph, yeah, the camera was virtually "glued" to my eye, and then also in recent years my idea of "sightseeing" would be to load my photo gear into my car and take off to a place of interest, scenic beauty, wildlife/bird area, whatever, and shoot away, a few hundred photos "capturing" that "memory"...let's see...the memory of me setting up and taking all those photos!

And then, back to the concerts I loved going to when I was young, gosh, I've gone to a number of concerts in recent years, and have "memories", that is, memories of me running around with my camera looking for a good shot of the performers, the venues, and of the people having fun dancing, singing and swaying, you know, all those memories that I have as photographs:)!

Ah, well, like I said, it was fun playing with the thoughts! :) :)


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20droger
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May 25, 2014 01:10 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #6

Ah Tony! With you it's all been compromised! But it's far too late to do anything about it now!


As for the study, it was done by a Kiwi psychologist, and we all know what those Kiwis are like.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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May 25, 2014 02:03 |  #7

I can't confirm or refute that study with any kind of solid data, but in my anecdotal experience it makes a lot of sense. It's one thing if we're talking about serious photographers who are well organized. But when it comes to Plain Jane, they're often just taking pictures and dumping them into a box.

Hell, even when we're talking about serious or semi-serious photographers who shoot a LOT, I'm wondering how often they go back and look at their old work. If you're shooting a lot, it's easy to amass tens of thousands of photos in a year. If you're disorganized, you won't be looking through that stuff frequently when you could be using that time to go out and shoot. And if you are organized, you'll only frequently look at the stuff that you've tagged as important, while the rest of it collects virtual dust.

That's not to say that people shouldn't shoot a lot or be serious about getting the best images. I'm just saying that if my son takes his first steps and my primary concern is on making it look good as a photograph, then I'm probably losing something there.




  
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drmaxx
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May 25, 2014 02:37 as a reply to  @ Clean Gene's post |  #8

This article was a waste of time and the title highly inaccurate. There was nothing about the brain itself.

It is quite trivial that if you are taking pictures you are doing something else. Taking picture of your kid is not the same thing as interacting. This yields in a different experience and therefore different memories. So what's surprising about that?


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tonylong
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May 25, 2014 02:40 |  #9

20droger wrote in post #16928258 (external link)
Ah Tony! With you it's all been compromised! But it's far too late to do anything about it now!

Hey, now, things aren't so "hazy" now, like they were in the '60s!

And right now, I'm listening to some "Classic Rock", hey, stuff that goes back to "the day", even bands I heard live, so...the "memories" "stick"!!!

And at least now, I can look at my photos and "remember":)!

As for the study, it was done by a Kiwi psychologist, and we all know what those Kiwis are like.

Yeah, let's grab some of our POTN Kiwis and get them busy putting that shrink in place!

Clean Gene wrote in post #16928287 (external link)
I can't confirm or refute that study with any kind of solid data, but in my anecdotal experience it makes a lot of sense. It's one thing if we're talking about serious photographers who are well organized. But when it comes to Plain Jane, they're often just taking pictures and dumping them into a box.

Hell, even when we're talking about serious or semi-serious photographers who shoot a LOT, I'm wondering how often they go back and look at their old work. If you're shooting a lot, it's easy to amass tens of thousands of photos in a year. If you're disorganized, you won't be looking through that stuff frequently when you could be using that time to go out and shoot. And if you are organized, you'll only frequently look at the stuff that you've tagged as important, while the rest of it collects virtual dust.

That's not to say that people shouldn't shoot a lot or be serious about getting the best images. I'm just saying that if my son takes his first steps and my primary concern is on making it look good as a photograph, then I'm probably losing something there.

At least in the digital age we can in fact view and appreciate images from the past. Heck, my parents liked to take pictures, and then would subject us all to slide shows of vacations and such, but then all the slides (and prints) would get put away, never again to be seen, in fact, after they passed away a "ton" of photos got tossed out...

I was fortunate, because my mom saved a big album of stuff of me as I was growing up, and I managed to "rescue" it...it's stored somewhere...

Anyway, the point being that I have memories now in my computer, both stuff since I started with digital and also photos I've scanned...


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Clean ­ Gene
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May 25, 2014 06:22 |  #10

tonylong wrote in post #16928318 (external link)
Hey, now, things aren't so "hazy" now, like they were in the '60s!

And right now, I'm listening to some "Classic Rock", hey, stuff that goes back to "the day", even bands I heard live, so...the "memories" "stick"!!!

And at least now, I can look at my photos and "remember":)!

Yeah, let's grab some of our POTN Kiwis and get them busy putting that shrink in place!

At least in the digital age we can in fact view and appreciate images from the past. Heck, my parents liked to take pictures, and then would subject us all to slide shows of vacations and such, but then all the slides (and prints) would get put away, never again to be seen, in fact, after they passed away a "ton" of photos got tossed out...

I was fortunate, because my mom saved a big album of stuff of me as I was growing up, and I managed to "rescue" it...it's stored somewhere...

Anyway, the point being that I have memories now in my computer, both stuff since I started with digital and also photos I've scanned...

If I had to guess, I'd put money on most modern photographers rarely (if ever) going through their old stuff (including the stinkers). "Can" has nothing to do with it. Prior to the digital age, people "could" look at their old prints and slides frequently, but that didn't stop millions of the images from getting hidden away in the attic never to be seen again.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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May 25, 2014 08:37 |  #11

Clean Gene wrote in post #16928499 (external link)
If I had to guess, I'd put money on most modern photographers rarely (if ever) going through their old stuff (including the stinkers).

I spend at least 10 hours a week going thru my work - all of the digital images I have taken since getting into digital photography 8 years ago. And some weeks, it's more like 20 hours. In fact, just about anything interesting that has happened in my life over that time span, I can tell you from memory what date it happened on, simply because I have photos of it, and each photo has time & date info included as part of the file.

I am, daily, referring back to the dates on my old images so that I can amass a greater knowledge about what time of year particular things happen, such as when the absolute peak of the Whitetail Deer rut is, or when the Mountain Bluebirds stop building their nests and start laying eggs and incubating them, or precisely what dates in May both the Lupine and Balsam Root are in bloom at the same time (at given elevations). Without the information in the digital files, I would not remember exactly what time of year these things take place . . . hence, photography, and particularly digital photography, has vastly helped my memory, because of the sundry details about events that I have recorded. Because I have a record of these things, I can go back and study them, and then commit them to memory.


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May 25, 2014 15:19 |  #12

Everyone's shoulder-mounted hard drive has a capacity. Files/memories are prioritized and over time those further back in time become less vivid. Photos allow us to sort through the files when we want to and remember more vividly the experiences. I don't think our brain is compromised by taking photos in any way. In fact as I age(late 50s) I find the act of photographing is a valuable mind stimulant. There's a lot of problem solving, artistic choices and strategy underway in the process. After being at this for a while those things become effortless and at times almost subconscious but they're occurring and do classify as beneficial brain stimulation.


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May 25, 2014 15:35 |  #13

Nighthound wrote in post #16929468 (external link)
Everyone's shoulder-mounted hard drive has a capacity. Files/memories are prioritized and over time those further back in time become less vivid. Photos allow us to sort through the files when we want to and remember more vividly the experiences. I don't think our brain is compromised by taking photos in any way. In fact as I age(late 50s) I find the act of photographing is a valuable mind stimulant. There's a lot of problem solving, artistic choices and strategy underway in the process. After being at this for a while those things become effortless and at times almost subconscious but they're occurring and do classify as beneficial brain stimulation.

I don't think the debate is that photography destroys our memory, but that we forget to concentrate on the live action and memorize it at event time because we instead focus on getting good shots. So we leave the event without the great live memories because our mind were somewhere else.


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May 25, 2014 19:13 |  #14

pwm2 wrote in post #16929496 (external link)
I don't think the debate is that photography destroys our memory, but that we forget to concentrate on the live action and memorize it at event time because we instead focus on getting good shots. So we leave the event without the great live memories because our mind were somewhere else.

To better clarify, my memory is not compromised while being focused on taking photos, for me the process of getting the shot enhances the experience resulting in a more detailed account. It also serves as an exercise in memory that at my age is a good thing. I strayed a bit too much on that in my reply and I should have expanded more clearly on my point. How I absorb a memory is greatly influenced by how passionate or connected I feel to an event or subject. I'm a wildlife hobbyist and I can vividly remember details of many photographic encounters from a decade ago. Would I remember in more detail if I had not been operating a camera at the time? I highly doubt it because as I'm shooting I'm completely focused on the animal's body language, light direction, textures, backgrounds, other animals nearby, etc. By doing so I can better anticipate the animals next move or any action developing so that I'm prepared to get the shot. I feel at those times my perception is enhanced and the scene becomes better etched in my memory.


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May 25, 2014 19:52 |  #15

Nighthound wrote in post #16929903 (external link)
To better clarify, my memory is not compromised while being focused on taking photos, for me the process of getting the shot enhances the experience resulting in a more detailed account. It also serves as an exercise in memory that at my age is a good thing. I strayed a bit too much on that in my reply and I should have expanded more clearly on my point. How I absorb a memory is greatly influenced by how passionate or connected I feel to an event or subject. I'm a wildlife hobbyist and I can vividly remember details of many photographic encounters from a decade ago. Would I remember in more detail if I had not been operating a camera at the time? I highly doubt it because as I'm shooting I'm completely focused on the animal's body language, light direction, textures, backgrounds, other animals nearby, etc. By doing so I can better anticipate the animals next move or any action developing so that I'm prepared to get the shot. I feel at those times my perception is enhanced and the scene becomes better etched in my memory.

But her test subjects were not concentrating on any body language - they were told to take snapshots.


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Psychologists Say a Problem Develops in the Brain When You Take Too Many Photos
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