Has photography helped you to remember?


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Jan 31, 2015
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I've had a interesting thought this morning when uploading a photo to Flickr and tagging its location. Ever since I've been into photography I remember exact locations without the need of writing it down or entering it in my phone. Its just there. Even if the photo is year or two old, I still recall the exact spot where I took that picture.

Maybe I'm just being silly..but when I'm at a location shooting something, I look at everything while most people just walk on by. I notice all the small details that most people miss. So is it possible that being a photographer could actually improve your cognitive function?

In what ways has photography helped you?
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Um, um, Jam. I was going to say something but I forgot what it was.

I think it might increase your observation skills, especially for details, but not so much memory (at least for me).
You've become part of the camera.. you now have a photographic memory. :wink:
When selecting a subject, I tend to look at the location as a photograph, not a place. It's kind of a completely different experience for me than when I am studying the "place" of things.In fact, looking back, less successful shoots I remember more of, I think because I was wrapped up on how the place looked and felt, and not what kind of forms and relationships were present in specific subjects.

So, no, actually. Not really. I remember taking the photograph, but I really have no visceral memory of the location.
I went through my portfolio just last night and added a very brief description of each image. It blew my mind how I remembered thee name and year of the event where each photo was taken.

Now if only I could remember things that easily for med school!
What is this 'photography' thing you speak of? :1247:

I've got photos that not only do I not remember where they were taken, but I have no recollection of taking them.
In terms of observing, it's kind of the opposite. I don't notice more because of photography; I got into photography because I notice things.

As for memory, yes, I do think it helps. Looking at the images does make it easier to recall (for me, anyway) not only the place and details, but also the act of capturing those things.
My background includes a lot of time where "situational awareness" was a prime concern. Because of that I tend to notice details and most of the time see pictures in the current view. Even riding down the road the top of an old dead tree off in a field is a "picture".
My old brain remembers what and where but seldom when and who.....not sure what that says.
I can remember taking/making many photos. This is something that was discussed in The Online photographer blog a couple yeas ago; Mike J, the blog owner, mentioned that he often recalls having made individual pictures, often ones made 30, 40 years prior. I myself recall the same thing; I can look at an older image, made in the 1980's or 1990's, and remember making the picture. It's really,really weird how that works! I think possibly this is because we used to shoot far,far fewer images than we do today with d-slr cameras and basically free image-clicking capability, and also instant, seamless, on-the-back-of-the-camera image "development". I don't feel like digital photography helps me remember nearly to the extent that slow, deliberate shooting on film used to.
Those who compete in competitive memorization (yes, it is a real thing) often visualize and object or place to memorize a list. Apparently our brains tend to think in images better than letters or numbers. I could still walk you through the house we moved out of 30 years ago (when I was in first grade), but couldn't tell you the combination for the bike lock I currently have.

No, it doesn't really surprise me at all that the process of creating an image in the camera has created an image in your brain that helps with recall.
Images are the key in many Memory techniques. Learn 10, 20 or even 30 objects for your base. Then associate the items you want to remember to your Base list. Objects remembered by association to known objects. Images are the key.
I'm trying to forget. There was the war and the radioactive cloud over my future-wife's farm, and later, two strangers trying to make a life, not knowing the other existed. Then a chance meeting, a flurry and a desperate gamble to find happiness. Great times and bad, strum und drang, then the radioactive cloud got her like it did her father before her, and I am alone again. I take photos with all my cameras to remember some but to keep myself busy and forget as much as I can. And our world is diminished by every innocent victim.
Photography helps me remember. I helped a friend drop an engine into his S-10, we took photo's of the wiring and such. So yes, it helps your memory.

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