We plan, we pack up, we take the ride, we arrive, it is stunning, we take out our cameras and start shooting. We want to show every one later how fun and exiting our last experience was, we don’t want to lose a detail so that we can see it later on our flat screens. While doing this, while trying not to lose our memories, we are not fully experiencing the moment, we are missing the real connection with the place and the people around us. We are so concerned about how it is going to look once we get back home, we miss the real 3D high definition, surround sound right here right now experience that is being offered to us.
A study held by author Linda Henkel, PhD, shines a light on this subject. Part of her study shows how impulsive photo shooting alters the way we remember. Our memories lose detail because we are counting on our digital devices to store it for us and by doing so we disengage from the experience. This is what she named the “photo taking impairment effect” . In her words : “It’s as if they click the button to take the photo and mentally think ‘done, next thing .’ They don’t engage in the processing that would lead to long term memory.”
I am not trying to discourage you on taking photos. Not at all. I wouldn’t be able to do that myself either because yes, photos can help us recall good moments. I am just inviting you to pause and take a moment for yourself before the click. Experience how it feels to be fully there with all your senses. That way you will keep not only a photograph but also a memory. It is not about what we do, it’s about how we do it.
On my last trip to Yosemite I made a conscious effort to practice what I preach. I can remember the fresh air just by looking at the images. The best part was getting back home with only one quarter of the amount of pictures I usually get. The editing process was easier and way less overwhelming.
Below you will see some of the pictures I took , most of them on my way up to Yosemite falls. Hope you get the feeling too 🙂 .
Mucho Amor! Lu.