View Full Version : do you remember every photograph you have taken ?

10-May-2015, 05:35
it is kind of like when i listen to a record on a turntable
and it brings me back to the first time i heard the song / album ...

when i make portraits, i interview the person, when i photograph a place
i am there for a specific reason and when i have the negative or positive photographic print ( or scan )
i hear the interview, remember the "place" ... et C.

obviously with a large format camera it takes a little while longer to set up, compose, wait around do the dance
so there is more time to have "stuff" sink - in, ... but this is the same with other smaller formats too ...

do you remember each exposure ?

10-May-2015, 06:22
Yes, and that's a part of the whole experience for me.

gene LaFord
10-May-2015, 09:12
Almost all, but every now and then I look at a neg and wonder how the heck that image got on film!


10-May-2015, 09:43
As the psychologists say, the greater the muscular and emotional involvement, the stronger and longer-lasting the memory.

And for me, when I say "muscular involvement," I mostly mean camera movements – not the burden I had to carry, nor the hike I had to make!

A related issue – how to return to the place of a landscape shot (esp. if it was off trail) is, I think, more difficult to remember than most LFers realize.

10-May-2015, 09:57
Every last one of the last 400,000 or so. The first million, sorry, I just don't remember..........L

Randy Moe
10-May-2015, 10:05
Going through my 50's to 90's negs while scanning, I recalled exactly the circumstance of each 35 mm exposure, but not the settings. I rarely take notes...I lose them.

All my scanned and digital in the database are remembered, but have poor metadata tagging. See above.

When I was recently given 35 year old Polaroids from my deceased wife's estate. I remembered them immediately and was overjoyed to see my old image friends.

David Karp
10-May-2015, 10:05
Yes. For many, many of them anyway. I remember clearly 100% of those I print. Without going back and looking at all of them, I believe this is true even for photos I printed back in high school and Jr. high.

10-May-2015, 10:20
Back when I was an active newspaper photog, I remembered everything--lens, exposure, the people and situation, surroundings, etc. But going through those negs 35 years later, I have forgotten most of that, and some of the photos I find I can't remember shooting at all, not even with the pictures to jog my memory. Things I am shooting currently, I don't remember just about everything. I associate all of this with being 35 years older, and with having a job at the time where this was important. Back then I never took notes at all as I shot--I remembered names, phone numbers, everything. These days, not so much.

Mark Sawyer
10-May-2015, 10:20
Most I'm trying to forget...

10-May-2015, 10:25
BTW, the "no" poll option is pulling way, way ahead of the others.

This must reflect the average age around here (about 49 years).

Any younger, "yes" would do better; any older, "I don't know" would do better.

Randy Moe
10-May-2015, 11:02
I find my memory of all things has improved greatly since my heart attack and the insertion of an OM stent.

Seems the brain needs blood flow and it's now 14 months. Rebuilding synapses takes time. I haven't felt this good or thought as well in a decade. Vertigo is gone.

Still don't take good notes.

So little time...

Brian Sims
10-May-2015, 20:31
... I remember clearly 100% of those I print...
I'm the same as David. I can remember all that I printed.

Andrew O'Neill
10-May-2015, 20:37
I voted yes, but ask me again in 20 years!

Kirk Gittings
10-May-2015, 20:55
Pretty much, not like sitting down and listing them but when I run across a reproduction or unearth a neg I haven't see in a couple of decades? Yes.

Daniel Stone
10-May-2015, 21:16
I answered "no", but I'm 27, not 49 ;).

Personally, I don't keep anything I don't like when I first look at it when back from the lab. If I don't like it upon first looking at it, I mark it with an "X", then file it away, and look at it 6 months later. 2 marks gets it placed quickly into the trash bin.

I've realized that I'd rather have 1-2 "winners" per year that I'm 100% confident in than 20 "99%ers" that when I look at, I'm still not fully confident in what I see.

Just my method, and it works for me. Helps keep the clutter down too :)

11-May-2015, 05:15
I can tell you the time of year and usually location, but not always. The feeling/mood in the photo goes with a location (even if it's ten different beaches or woods that look the same to most people) and memory. Rarely can I tell you the year a photo was taken. Sorta of like my birthdays are starting to run together, the date of capture is doing the same thing. I do label my negative pages, and using flickr or my scans are a good (but incomplete) catalog to help find something when I'm forgetting the year.

With some digital photos, I've seen them in use and thought, "damn that looks good, I like that style", and the other person was like, "it's your photo". when I've taken photos for less creative purposes. I've also got photos of my daughters growing up and wouldn't know which daughter is in the photo unless I looked at the date; they looked quite similar at age 1-3 in some circumstances.

I've also had the ubiquitous roll of film that's been lost and found and it's a pleasurable surprise to see what was on it. If I'd remembered well enough taking it, I'd know what was on it before developing.

John Kasaian
11-May-2015, 09:32
I remember the days when I'm out photographing, but usually not every single exposure. Looking through a stack of negatives or prints I can recollect each one pretty good.
I do remember my mistakes however---I can't seem to forget 'em!:o

11-May-2015, 10:27
I polled "Maybe". I have been photographing the same stretch of creek for 30+ years. Sometimes I can remember taking a photo at a particular place, but it is getting harder to remember which camera I might have used...4x5? 5x7? 8x10? And what process I might have used to print it (if I did). What is also fun is seeing a place and have that bring memories of printing an image of that place.

Drew Wiley
11-May-2015, 10:32
I don't remember pictures I took last week. I don't take notes either. But if I actually look at a neg or print even forty years old, I pretty much remember the
whole nine yards about where and exactly how.

John Jarosz
11-May-2015, 15:49
But if I actually look at a neg or print even forty years old, I pretty much remember the
whole nine yards about where and exactly how.

Pretty much true for me as well. I am amazed how an image can trigger one's memory over the years gone by.

Mark Sampson
11-May-2015, 18:54
In my personal work, probably yes. But then I just finished printing a neg from 3 years ago and I can't remember which lens, filter, or exposure I used. guess it doesn't matter.
However, one of the tens of thousands of portrait exposures I made 35 years ago? Maybe *one* sitting, and only because I knew the sitter.

11-May-2015, 19:29
When most of my work was with a Leica habitually slung on my shoulder during my youthful years I did find an image I could not remember. The memorable lost moment was one where I was on my back, and a lovely naked young woman was on top of me. 19mm Canon RF lens at minimal focus. I can post it if y'all like. NSFW. :) Really, I wonder if someone else took it - maybe my evil twin. (Truth, my twin was a sister died shortly after birth. I am haunted! Seriously.)

Take my word for it, but I can post the image. Let us not go there.

Ron McElroy
11-May-2015, 20:03
I remember most of them when looking at either contact prints or negatives. With out my notes I may not remember details.