380 dpi Memory — A Year in Pictures

I feel sorry for the thug that steals my iPhone. Really, I do! I’m sure that one of the singular joys of lifting someone’s phone is sneaking back to the crib and enjoying a late night voyeuristic scroll through a stranger’s iPhoto album. I can only imagine the thrill of trolling thru selfies, critiquing wardrobe choices like a red carpet correspondent, or getting elitist munchies from the perfectly filtered snapshots of well-heeled foodies. So in advance of any potential thievery – I feel I must apologize for what is sure to be a less than eventful evening.

It’s not that I don’t have some great pics on my phone, I definitely do!  Yoga on the beach at sunrise, a highly competitive game of duck duck goose with the kids in Africa, a few glam party pics, and an occasional celebrity sighting. All digitally documented and all things I’ll never forget, even without the high-resolution reminders.

But tonight, as I look through my photos for today’s “Year in Pictures” #ThinkKit prompt*, one theme stands out above the rest. In fact, I’d say it’s more than just a theme…it’s a picture perfect example of a cognitive crutch.

It appears that I haven’t just been using my camera to capture memories, I’ve been using it AS my memory!

My husband is a professional photographer. He’s given me a few tips on photography that have been more valuable than all my cool photo apps. He’s taught me about composition, lighting, and the thrill of using random people in the picture to create motion and context. When I remember those tips, I can take some pretty amazing pictures for an amateur. But unlike him, it doesn’t come naturally.  I think in words – he thinks in pictures.  All the time!

“Honey, don’t forget to pick up treats for the dog.” SNAP

“Oh wow, this is really good wine!” SNAP

“What time is the movie?” SNAP



Which is why I blame him for how boring (and how full!) my iphoto album was this year. (Thanks, honey – consider yourself co-dependent!)  From grocery lists to basketball schedules, flight times to meeting notes, my camera has become my short-term memory. Now, I too think in pictures  — or I don’t think at all. It’s an unintentional and unhealthy side-effect of living in a world where we no longer have to remember our mom’s phone number or our friend’s address. All I really have to remember is where I put my phone!

What happened this year? What’s happening tomorrow? What do I need to pick up at the store? It’s all here in my photo album for your voyeuristic entertainment. If you think it’s worth stealing, you might want to think again.

#ThinkKit is a Community Blogging Institution initiated and curated by SmallBox.  Each Month, bloggers are given a new prompt and encouraged to write and share – share and write.  In December, they ratchet it up by issuing a new prompt everyday.  This post is a response to The Dec 1 Prompt  — “Nothing like a strict word count to kick off our month of blogging…just kidding! Share your year in photos. Was there a moment of unrestrained happiness? An unexpected encounter? What role do photos play in your life – were you more selective with your phone (er…camera) this year? Or are you the King of Selfies? Dig into the deeper meaning of a moment frozen in time.”

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