Posts Tagged ‘sharing’

Over Share

12 April 2011

Dear J-

One of the things that you have to choose is whether or not to share photos onlline and if so then where. If you are a private person then you’ve got to know that everything that goes online stays online for far longer than you might think so it’s not a decison to enter into lightly. Me, between bursting with pride and laziness, instead of sending photos via email to my folks, I direct them to flickr — not because it’s the greatest site ever but because it’s (1) not blocked at work, (2) reasonably cheap, and (3) has fairly strong, simple privacy options which I use to keep personally-identifiable information off the public site. There’s lots of similar avenues — facebook, Picasa, smugmug, pbase — which all have their own set of pros and cons.

I mention this because as the photographer I get the unique luxury of not having the camera trained my way. No one needs to see the head behind the camera anyway — if high school is any indication then all we need to know is summarized by a Google Images search for (aviator glasses bowl cut). We have the tools available to reconnect with friends from miles and years away, in home towns and strange towns. I run into people I know online and the first thing I do is ask if they’ve got pictures to share. It’s a friendly braggy thing and I now understand why my parents insisted on bringing a camera everywhere: you’re going to want to see this, and you’re going to want to remember and your parents are so amazed at everything you do it overwhelms them with joy.

After all you don’t share photos you don’t care about. My keeper rate hovers around the batting average of most pitchers (in the AL) so if I overpublish you should see some of the ones that didn’t make the cut. Because storage is cheap, though, I’ve saved a copy of just about everything I’ve ever processed, be it the high school photography class I took or the shots from last week. One thing to remember is that when you shoot for your own sake, are you being true to the spirt of the subject? Many of the shots I take are technically fine thanks to modern technologies like autofocus and autoexposure but reflect a flat view of that person: I could no more post a non-crazy picture of figgy than I could turn off the laughter pealing in my head when I see her again tonight.



Start Trek

31 December 2009

Dear J-

I will say this; unlike Enterprise, the new Star Trek movie does a convincing job of making old technology seem old enough instead of forty years on from the original series: nothing’s quite as clunky as those old tricorders and control panels from the sixties, and you’d think that the prehistory would be something more like the difference between, say, a Model T and a T-Bird. I’m still predisposed to dislike the whole movie based solely on the director’s professed lack of Trek fandom (that and the whole overhyped Lost thing) but at least he clearly sweats the details, it’s all I can ask this point.

I don’t want to ride out the rest of the year this way, these few hours left. There’s been enough rancor and bitterness this year already, but I can’t let go that easily, it seems; it feels a little like I’m Comic Book Guy, one eye on the movie, and hands poised over the keyboard to drop vitriol at the slightest mis-step (I always thought that Enterprise was built in the Mars yards, huh), but having to explain yourself (oh c’mon, the Klingons didn’t have a cloaking device until Search for Spock) for years regarding a freakish interest in Star Trek makes me a touch sensitive to opening up this particular piggy bank for all to rummage through.

I suppose that’s the heart of it; for some reason I keep thinking that if something’s worth it, it’s worth keeping obscure; on the other hand movies and TV shows aren’t exactly rare wine. They’re easy enough to get access to, and we all need to learn how to share our toys or knowledge.


P.S.  I fell asleep for the last half hour of the movie — yes, it was late, and yes, I hadn’t gotten much rest all week, but still, you’d think that I’d be able to stay up if the movie was that good.  Was it?

Pie Rule

19 May 2009

Dear J-

Ah, the fairness rules of our youth — I’m sure that you’re familiar with the pie rule (“You can cut the pie, but I get to pick first”) and other socially-soothing regulations from your childhood.  For us, we tried to maintain a strict symmetry: what my brother got, I would usually get the same or at least something similar.  This has extended itself into my gift-giving; there was the one year that I got everyone a camera or photographic gadget according to their inclination.

That year I think my mom got the most use out of what I sent, a Minolta Freedom Zoom Explorer P&S, selected at Phil Greenspun’s recommendation because it had a 28mm lens.  Likewise, when I was passing down an old Gameboy to my nephew, I tracked down one in the same color and style to make sure his sister wasn’t jealous of the gift designed to entertain on a long flight.  But it does lead to some odd symmetries.

The guilt we feel at spending money on ourselves (it’s another story entirely if the money’s spent on other people) usually translates into justifying something extravagant.  And for folks with more than two kids, I suspect it’s flat-out impractical to follow up one purchase with another and another.  This is likely how we (the whole country we, here) felt when home prices were up; we weren’t really rich, we just felt that way because of the paper.  It’s sometimes too easy to spend, isn’t it?  The excuses we make need a second set of eyes.


Sibling Revelry

28 December 2008

Dear J-

Four days of getting up, well, not as I pleased, but without the cold weight of having to walk the dogs and hop on the bike for the freezing trip through San Clemente Canyon; it’s almost enough, then, to make me want to kick aside the coming week and revel in another few days, but we’re girding up for another struggle with increased demands for the next month or so.  I keep forgetting just how nice San Diego is in the sunshine, without the dark and cold howling about trying to lull you into inattention.

We had visitors over tonight; theVet’s vet school classmate and her similarly-aged family, including a daughter just six months older than figgy.  It’s reassuring to note that you give figgy enough time and she warms up to folks, even playing together well, although I thought I saw a flicker of jealousy in that figgy ended up playing with precisely the thing the other toddler had just lost interest in.  Right now all things are figgy’s, and just as the paranoid voices in my head advised me at early (and lamentably late) ages, you’ve got to watch everyone like a hawk so that they don’t break your stuff.


At this point I’d be happy and scared of additional sibling(s) for figgy — she’s growing up so fast, she’s doing very well in cooperative situations, and yet she’s also the cat-tackler, hair-puller, angry kicking-shrimp no-diaper changer.  She grows ever more wily:  for the second consecutive day she refused a nap, but this time screaming “mommydaddy” from the bedroom as a final stanza.  She grows ever more aware, leading us to the diapers and flopping down when they need to be changed.  How would she react to another, smaller one?