Column: Saying a lot without talkingThey say a picture speaks a thousand words. I don’t know who they are, but they’ve pretty much labeled me as a bigmouth.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
They say a picture speaks a thousand words. I don’t know who they are, but they’ve pretty much labeled me as a bigmouth.
It’s been almost two years since I purchased my own camera - a fancy one, complete with all kinds of attachments, filters and such. We have cameras here at the office, but for some reason, I’ve decided to use my own when it comes to shooting pictures for the paper. I think it’s a comfort level, although I was pretty doggone comfortable with the cameras here, too.
Well, this is the problem I now face: I have too many pictures.
My college friends would argue I had too many pictures 23 years ago, when we were all back at Mankato State University. Most of the two storage bins and dozen albums of pictures from back then were taken from a little pink camera that had a built-in flash, no zoom lens and took 110 film. The most pictures I could take at a time was usually 24 to 36 shots. Any more than that and I’d need another roll of film. Which I usually didn’t have because I’d used it up a couple of days before.
These days, I have my digital camera. And back in March, I bought an 8 GB camera card. Which means I can take literally thousands and thousands of pictures before I run out of space on my card.
The only problem is, my pictures now seem to be taking up other space, particularly on my calendar. It’s one thing to be able to download 1,000 pictures after shooting a friend’s wedding - it’s something entirely different to find the time to go through all of them, throw away all of the blurry ones or the ones where people have their eyes closed, pick out the ones I want to share, resize them all, burn a DVD and eventually pass the pictures on to anyone else.
Such is the problem I’m having this week. Last Wednesday through Saturday, I attended the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota convention in Mahnomen. The convention included a lot of reports and we voted on a few bylaws for the organization. That sort of stuff, I didn’t worry about too much.
But there were so many other things going on - a touching memorial service Thursday, a patriotic parade Friday, and installation of new officers Saturday - that I found myself just clicking away. And clicking away. And clicking away.
I don’t even know the names of most of the women I photographed. I have somewhere around 1,400 pictures - give or take 50 - and I don’t know names of most of these women. I’ve seen them at other Department events, and I’m gradually meeting people each time I attend one of these, but for now, I have a bunch of pictures I don’t know what to do with.
Then again, I did the same a few weeks back. As the Museum Orchestrator of Madness for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at the Minnesota State Fair, I’ve had to go to a couple of meetings at the fairgrounds as we get ready for the 2011 state fair. I’m scheduling volunteers, and I do a little bit of the publicity for the museum on our Facebook page.
A few weeks back, we got a second Linotype at the museum. Linotypes weigh a ton, so it was a big process to get the machine off a flatbed truck and into the front corner of the building. I pretty much stayed out of the way as four men tried to lower it, inch by inch, to the floor. What did I do? Well, I snapped something like 265 pictures of the event that wasn’t really an event.
I have probably as many pictures from Easter at my sister’s home - they’re still waiting for attention, too. I’m thinking about 60 of those are from my nieces and nephew trying to bust into a piñata (yes, my family busts piñatas for Easter; we fly kites, too).
So, I guess it’s true. Pictures do say a thousand words. Whenever I eventually do get them to family, friends or whomever, the recipients are always very glad to have them. I suppose, in a way, I’m just glad I can chronicle history for the people and organizations I care about. Even if that makes me a bigmouth.