Today I visited something that I have seen pictures of and copies of, in fact I have seen it play a part in a couple of weddings. I visited the ‘Love’ sculpture by Robert Indiana in JFK Plaza in downtown Philadelphia and got to see it IRL (in real life). It was not what I was expecting. It is actually quite small, it is only about 2 metres tall and sits on a metal frame over 2 metres off the ground so you can’t touch it. I’m glad I went, but I was disappointed. I thought it would be bigger plus I didn’t realise that it is red and green. The front and back are red but the rest is green. This often isn’t clear in photos.
It is funny how seeing things in real life can be a disappointment. Seeing hundreds of images of some thing or some where online does make it seem a little real. The real thing can feel not real enough when you actually see it. But I think it always worth seeing the real thing if you can.
So here’s a picture of me and the real ‘Love’ sculpture.
Tonight on the way home from the opening of a photographic exhibition, which contained thoughtfully composed beautiful images, I had to slow down to allow a koala to cross the road.
Whilst seeing a koala crossing the road is not an everyday occurrence in my neck of the woods it does happen every couple of months. As I slowed the car I briefly thought I should pull over and take a photo.
Then I realised that not every moment is a kodak moment. Rather than sharing a blurry photo of a koala which would probably be running away by the time I stopped the car and got out, I thought I should just enjoy the moment.
I’m surprised at the rubbish photos people share online. It’s obvious that for those posting the photos that they mean something. The photos capture a moment but for us the viewer they are likely to be virtually meaningless. I’m perplexed by the need to photograph everything and share it online.
Back in the days of film cameras we were much more thoughtful about the photos we took. Film was expensive and the processing was not cheap. To get photos processed it could take a couple of days so you had to keep your fingers crossed that all your photos didn’t come back with the little ‘helpful’ stickers telling you your photo was over exposed.
Now with almost no effort and in under 10 seconds anyone with a smart phone and a social media account can post a photo online. But just because they can doesn’t mean they should. My personal pet peeve is when people and organisations share every photo from an event. They don’t care about the quality of the photos, if they are in focus, they post copies of virtually the same photo and they obviously don’t care if the photos are any good. Both individuals and organisations that does this just makes look like they don’t know what they are doing.
Sometimes Dear Reader is it just better to enjoy the moment, be in that moment and not worry about sharing it with your Facebook friends, Twitter or Instagram followers. Because let’s face it, just because you can take a photo of everything all the time doesn’t mean you should.
NB: there are no photos in this post especially not one of a koala running away.
I’m surprised Dear Reader that my previous post did not create greater discussion, as I have previously been involved in face to face discussions about the pictures parents post online. A long with the different parenting styles the rules about posting photos online a different for each family.
There are all kinds of terrible stories about what can happen to photos you post online, some are more true than others. You may think you have the strongest password, but you just never know what can happen to photos you post online. I know I have copied and pasted photos from the internet, even though I know I’m not supposed to.
The reality is that the internet is forever, and anything you post online will be there forever so it’s a good idea to make sure you think about anything you post online.
For what it’s worth here’s what I think about posting pictures of children online, two simple rules.
- Don’t post any photos (of anyone) online you would not be happy to see up in shop window for the world to see – ever!
- Limit potentially embarrassing photos of your children as they are likely to not like it when they are older. You also don’t know what impact they might have in the future. We all have embarrassing photos of ourselves but thankfully mine are in albums not online for the world to see.
In honour of this post I won’t be posting a picture of me as a baby as they are safely stored in an album in my parent’s library, but here’s a picture of Blossom the cat, ‘helping’ me watch TV. Pets aren’t too fussy about their digital footprint 🙂