experiencing less as we record more

Photographing More, Experiencing Less Put Down The Camera And Watch The Show … Really? The idea that we are experiencing less as we record more got psychologist Linda Henkel thinking. Her father was a photographer, and she wanted to explore how photographs … Continue reading

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Photographing More, Experiencing Less

The idea that we are experiencing less as we record more got psychologist Linda Henkel thinking. Her father was a photographer, and she wanted to explore how photographs shape our memories.

Henkel, who researches human memory at Fairfield University in Connecticut, began an experiment by sending groups of students to the university’s art museum. The students observed some objects and photographed others. Then, back at the laboratory, they were given a memory test.

Henkel found what she called a “photo-taking impairment effect.”

“The objects that they had taken photos of — they actually remembered fewer of them, and remembered fewer details about those objects. Like, how was this statue’s hands positioned, or what was this statue wearing on its head. They remembered fewer of the details if they took photos of them, rather than if they had just looked at them,” she says.

Henkel says her students’ memories were impaired because relying on an external memory aid means you subconsciously count on the camera to remember the details for you.

Modern electronic flashes

The technique changes a bit depending on the bird species. Gerry states, “When I photograph hummingbirds, I don’t use the remote trigger. The multiple flashes however, are crucial in photographing them. One would think a trigger would especially be needed … Continue reading

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The technique changes a bit depending on the bird species. Gerry states, “When I photograph hummingbirds, I don’t use the remote trigger. The multiple flashes however, are crucial in photographing them. One would think a trigger would especially be needed for these little guys but not so! A hummer will come to the feeder or flower and stay there for a bit to get a drink so a person is able to get shots by snapping the shutter the old fashioned away, with their finger.”

Photo: Gerry Sibell

Birds are sensitive to light, the way they have their ‘ritual’ of singing as the sun goes down is quite a mystery, as they obviously see the changes within the sky. If  these photos are harming the bird it would be another example of ‘human intent’ like tagging animals to save them & making pandas watch porn.

Modern electronic flashes are incredibly fast, usually much faster than any shutter speed, meaning the photo was over and done with long before the bird had any opportunity to look startled or anything else. As for bright flashes causing harm, do local bird populations die off after lightning?

This type of “set up” photography is becoming very popular in the USA the primary proponent being Alan Murphy – the multiple flash setup are used more as filler light than primary exposure – modern electronic flashes under the control of a professional DSLR camera can control the flash output – nobody gets blinded any more than they would looking in the direction of the sun.