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I take too many photos. It’s becoming quite an issue around here – I think it might even be a clinical condition. I went to the zoo the other day, and came home with 1379 photos on my camera. What was I thinking? To fully grasp just how desperate my affliction is, you need to understand that I have a Zoo Friends membership. This means I can visit the zoo as often as I like, other circumstances allowing of course. What with a new job taking up quite a bit of my time (!) and just all the ins and outs of family life, there haven’t been many occasions lately when I’ve had the time to trek into the city, hop on a ferry crossing gorgeous Sydney Harbour and wander around Taronga Zoo. But it is one of my favourite places, and I do get to go a number of times a year.

Why, oh why, then, do I feel compelled to take so many photos each time I go? Yes, compelled. Every time, I think to myself, “Just go, enjoy watching the animals, drink it all in and forget about getting that perfect shot. You have ENOUGH photos of giraffes already!” And every time, that good advice just goes flying out the window. The tigers are in the perfect spot… look! That one’s yawning! Quick, get the photo before he turns away again. Awww, the poor gorilla looks so bored. He’s waiting for the keepers to come and feed him and getting terribly impatient (don’t they have the most wonderfully expressive faces?). The younger female is having a snooze… don’t her hands look cute curled up like that? Who could resist snapping the stunning blue of the Forest Kingfisher? Or the amazing vivid green of the tiny tree frogs? Or the fascinating contortions of the lemurs? You get the picture. Or, more to the point, I get the picture! And the next one, and the next one…

You’ve clued in to the problem of course. I get home and stick my memory card into the slot and an avalanche of photos engulfs my computer. Now I have to get them into Historian, tag them, cull all the dud ones and figure out which ones to use in my photo books. What an insurmountable task that seems! Do you know how long it takes to go through 1379 photos? How do I choose which ones to keep? Why do I do this to myself, every time?

Thankfully, Historian makes the job as easy as it can be, by giving me options like adding tags as I import, and star ratings to help me quickly rate and sort my photos. What it can’t do is cure me of my mania for taking photos, or moderate my output to something more reasonable. I guess I’m stuck with an incurable disease, and will just have to learn to live with the consequences. Am I the only one? Is there anyone else out there who has similar symptoms? Perhaps we could start a self-help group!


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48 Responses to Blog: Too many photos!

  1. mindys7 says:

    Sign me up for the self-help group! I was just thinking about this myself while on vacation to beautiful Waterton National Park in Alberta, Canada. Simply put, I TAKE TOO MANY PIX!!! Wwwwaaaayyyy too many! But every view point, facial expression, etc. is just a little bit different. I had 40+ pix of a black bear sow and her 2 tiny, frolicking little cubs! But when I sorted through them in MM, there were only really about 5 that were the 5* quality. So would it be better to take 5 or take 40 and glean down to 5? My dilemma! But I already have made my decision by taking the 40 and the reason why??? At my daughter’s wedding I saw the professional photographer taking a shot and as he turned away to check his camera to see if the shot was good enough, he missed the most stunning shot ever! He had told me earlier that he limits the number of photos he takes so he has less editing to do. I had read something similar on another professional photographer’s blog too…take a few good pix not lots of them. Well, I’m definitely NOT a professional photographer but from my VAST experience (my bazillion pix in MM) I have learned that the blessing of digital is the delete button and I would way rather punch the delete button a hundred times than to have missed that one shot that the photographer missed because he was checking his camera to make sure he got the one shot! Made my heart cringe but…I did enjoy the moment with my own 2 eyes even though I was wishing I had my own camera at the ready. Heh, heh. I’ll just keep on clicking and clicking and….yup, clicking and deleting rather than miss The One just because I had taken what I thought was a good one! And thank goodness my friend and my family basically FORCED me to go digital (NOPE! That digital stuff is NOT for me) by buying me my first digi camera years ago! Your photos are gorgeous Alison, just keep on clicking!!!

  2. Karen Falk says:

    Don’t feel bad, I do the same thing !! I love taking pictures. My problem is that I don’t delete the bad ones.

  3. Beverly Goodrich says:

    Me too! I have two dance performances to attend coming up, so here is my compromise: I’ll take pictures at the dress rehearsal and enjoy the performance without a camera.

    Another option – hand that camera to someone else. My 12yr old daughter does a great job. So I still get pictures and enjoy the show at the same time.

    Although, I may be passing on this “bug”. I let her take a camera on her recent weekend trip to Washington DC with the Girl Scouts and she came home with 400+ pictures.

  4. Sandy says:

    My name is Sandy and I am a photoholic. It’s only been about 1 hour since the last time I clicked the button on one of my three cameras. I am preparing for a 15 day trip to Italy and need to remember to look at things with my eyes and well as through the camera so I can truly enjoy the whole experience. I also promise to pass off the camera to get pictures of me. Wish me luck.

  5. Kristeen says:

    I just canceled a two week vacation to Kenya (because of the terrorism there right now) and I told my friends that they needed to come up with enough activities for me to fill up a scrapbook in the two weeks while I am home. Saturday I went to an event with dog agility – I turned on the “Continuous Shooting Mode” in my camera – Oh Boy 588 pictures in one day! I thought I had a problem BEFORE using that feature – now I am doomed!

  6. jolleyontheroad jolleyontheroad says:

    Yep, got the same problem!! What I hate is other people I am with, be it husband, sisters or my own children and grands, getting annoyed with me because I’m stopping and taking pictures!! This is me, this is what i do, you should know that by now you are not going to slow me down!! Sometimes I would much rather just go somewhere by myself so i can spend my time taking MORE PICTURES!!!! And yes, I am planning on a day alone in the city of Savannah, Georgia with just me and my camera!! After a wonderful morning of taking pictures, I’m going to spend the afternoon on the beach at Tybee Island all by myself!! And I will love every minute of it!!

    • Alison says:

      You do that Donna, and don’t forget to share your pages with us!

    • Sandy says:

      What a lovely city to wander all by yourself. IF you have a chance for a dolphin cruise while on Tybee I would do that too. They are so amazing to watch. And don’t miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the lighthouse. The view is GORGEOUS!

  7. Janne says:

    I think all of us who scrapbook do the same! I haven’t quite met your afternoon high of 1379, but I have come back with over 5000 shots from more than one vacation! I checked my EHD the other day and there were over 112,000 photo files on it. And that’s missing almost a year because I had an EHD die with pictures I hadn’t placed anywhere else 🙁
    I think because we do scrapbook we realize how important one shot can be, and we’re compelled to keep shooting hoping that we can get it, even if we don’t know what that one shot is…yet! How many times have you been in the midst of a page and thought…I was sure I had gotten everything I needed, but the very angle I needed to complete my story just isn’t there?

    It’s not photography that creates the monster, as much as we love it…it’s scrapping!

  8. Penny says:

    Alison, great blog post! I have the same condition. I can’t remember the last time I watched a “milestone event” through my own two eyes instead of a camera viewfinder or smartphone screen. At least all those digital photos take up way less space than my large collection of PowerSort boxes filled with unscrapped or duplicate traditional photos.

    • Alison says:

      Indeed Penny. And just as well for us that digital storage just keeps getting cheaper! I hope you find a way to get your “traditional” photos into books. It would be a shame if all those photos in PowerSort boxes never saw the light of day.

  9. Anne says:

    Love this Alison and you’ve struck a cord with this confession! You just wait till you have grandchildren and then talk about taking pictures – LOTS of pictures! Maybe each time they breathe, each cute expression; sleeping, eating, bathing, playing, crawling, first steps, coloring, sports, and then all over again for each grandchild. And it’s nigh impossible to delete any of them. Yes, a fun addiction! Thank goodness we no longer have to pay for prints BEFORE we see the picture.

  10. gayneal says:

    I have intentionally left my camera behind to make sure I participate only to have someone say, “Gay, where’s your camera I need a picture of…” glad I have a phone 🙂

  11. Rosena Becker-Ross says:

    I think I also need to join that self-help group. I went to Graceland and took over 3500 pictures and then today when I read your blog I’m saying yippee, yippee, I’m not the only one. So now how do we catch up on all the albums we are behind. When I think I am going to get caught up a new arrival (a great niece) then I have to make a album for Baby Emma. I am just working in the moment and will continue to work backwards with the great help from P2P. Thanks so much for saying what we all are thinking. Love this group so much. I pray that this will be a group that does not go away.

    • Alison says:

      So glad we can help each other Rosena. As for catching up, just keep making pages! Here at p2P, we’re planning on sticking around as long as we’re needed 🙂

  12. Barbara says:

    Like you Alison, I take LOTS of photos. I am learning to be more ruthless with my deleting. But a scrapper never knows when that photo of a reflection in a puddle or a crumbling wall will be needed as background paper or blended into a paper!

    • Alison says:

      I hear you Barbara!

    • Penny says:

      Barbara, you are so right! Once I started scrapping digitally, I suddenly saw the artistic potential in all sorts of photos that I used to toss! We even have techniques for using out-of-focus photos! So really, what is left for me to give a lowly one-star rating to? Those fleeting pictures of my shoe or my car seat when I accidentally pushed the camera button?

  13. Karen says:

    So funny Alison. I believe that all digital scrapbookers suffer from the same problem. An hour plus walk with my sister and I will have well over a hundred pictures. No wonder the one dog prefers walking with me. I walk his pace!

  14. Shirley Bennett says:

    When we went to Western Australia we came home with 10,000 (between two of us) – in two weeks – the whales were the culprit! There were about 40 in the bay at Exmouth and 6 to 8 of them “jumped” for two hours!

  15. Carolyn says:

    It’s great to know that when Shelley moves, the animal photos will live on. I’m GLAD you take so many! Keep up the great work. 🙂

  16. Psychomom3168 says:

    Ummmm….. Hi! My name is Donna, and I’m a photography addict! 🙂 I probably have more photos of Disney World than the Disney Corporation has!

  17. Tara Wells says:

    I was just talking to my girlfriend about this very same thing yesterday! I told her it takes all my willpower to remind myself to put down my camera so I can see things with my own two eyes and not through a 2×2 camera screen. But, oh, it’s ever so difficult to stop that compulsion. I might miss THE shot. Miss capturing that moment on “film” so I can relive it in the future again and again. I end up with thousands of photos to scrap and fall evermore behind on my family album because I struggle to pick the best ones. So what if I have 20 pics taken at one time of my 4 year old licking an ice cream cone. Isn’t her expression just slightly different in each? I hear you and empathize, Alison, I suffer from the same “photo-a-holic” symptoms.

  18. Robyn McInnis says:

    I have the same affliction. I think it was brought on by the advent of the digital camera. The self-help group is called P2P and is amazing! Thanks!

  19. Angie Lopez says:

    Maybe there’s a twelve step program for us………..LOL! You are not alone! Thank God for P2P!!!

  20. Patty Rauth says:

    You are NOT alone!! I was chuckling the whole time I was reading your blog because it’s as if I had written it myself. My husband always accuses me of not having any fun because I’m behind the camera but that IS my FUN – my PASSION! Your photos are beautiful! I wish we could see all 1379 of them!

    • Alison says:

      What a sweet thing to say Patty 🙂 I have already culled about 400 of them, but even 900+ photos would take a while to upload to Facebook!!

  21. Linda DeLaughter says:

    I hate to tell you, but there are others . . . what shall we do with ourselves??? P2P, P2P, P2P!

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