the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

Photos (and videos) are part of the Journey

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I smiled and chuckled reading today’s xkcd.

Alternate text: “I hate when people take photos of their meal instead of eating it, because there’s nothing I love more than the sound of other people chewing.”

Randall Munroe was a robotics scientist at NASA before his webcomic really took off, and sometimes it shows: some entries are pretty nerdy and obscure, and sometimes I feel I’m stretching a bit to get the joke.  Other times, like today, I think he touches on the pulse of Internet culture, dead on.  A capture of zeitgeist, if you will.

This was a posed shot we took a while back to show Flickr members who our photographers were. Many kept asking where our son was although he was too young to take any photos at that time.

Some of you dear readers may have noticed that my family and I are on Flickr, and that it’s a part of my blogging here.  My father-in-law, Bill (Cimmorene’s father) has been an amateur photographer for 40 years, and so it’s more than just a place to host blog photos, although I found out about the site through the VOX platform.  It’s not just me, either; Cimmorene and Princess are both principal photographers for the account.

While Bill and some of our Flickr friends deeply explore the artistic side of photography, Cimmorene, Princess and I employ a more documentary-style approach.  This is why I found today’s xkcd relevant.  Photography is capturing the journey, yes, even that Inner side to the Hero’s Journey I’ve been writing about here.

Princess and I are especially pushing towards video, because of our desire to document what’s happening in our lives, and the observation of what we see.


If it’s not immediately obvious, Princess is a big fan of Toby Turner, and she’s imitating some of his voice characterizations.

Admittedly, I think we three raise an eyebrow or two when Internet media trends seem shallow.  Princess doesn’t do a lot of selfies unless she wants to show a new cosplay idea, and as none of us have smartphones, but only a sophisicated point-and-shoot camera, she doesn’t take them in the manner most “selfies” are taken.  She’s also more inclined to do a short video now and then, and for a while… I found DOZENS of videos in the memory cards.  Since production software in Linux is pretty abysmal (as I said before), I told her she needed to keep her videos closer to 2-5 minutes, since I couldn’t easily edit things down.

I never knew homemade corndogs could be so delicious until Cimmy made some

We don’t take a lot of pictures of our food– well, not at restaurants, anyways.  We do take some photos of our meals, to brag a little bit about our home cooking and baking, and now and then, we show some of the process of making it.  Again, we lean towards a more documentary style of media making than a more artistic angle.  We appreciate the craft, but we are usually more interested in showing people snippets of our lives, than strong artistic statements.

What do you think, dear readers?  Is there meaning to be found amongst all the selfies and restaurant entreé captures?  Are cameraphone snapshots art?  Is the Instagram Polaroid filter cheesy nostalgia?  Is photography, casual or well-crafted, part of your online journey?

Do I look awkward asking so many invitation questions?  I think I do; it’s not a regular part of my style.  But please, walk with me, talk with me… leave me a comment.  Thanks!

Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me. The username is still unique as of 2016, so it's just me, and only me. It's the real me, because I'm bad at faking otherwise.

15 thoughts on “Photos (and videos) are part of the Journey

  1. I’m still trying to find a camera that can fit all of me in (and a wife with the same attributes, as it goes…)

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  2. I love this, but I might be biased. Anyone else?

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  3. Jak, I did enjoy reading this and while I know you asked different questions for your readers to answer – please don’t be mad that I go against the grain and ask about those DELICIOUS looking Corndogs! Seriously, my husband would DIE for those. I don’t think I’ve ever taken photos of food from restaurants, but I DO take a lot of pictures of the food I make at home. I never post them on my blog, though – just facebook. Seriously, corn dog recipe, please Cimmorene?? My mouth is watering now and that’s not fair at all.

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    • Why would I be mad? I will tell you that this newer blogging trend of asking questions is a bit awkward for me– I’d rather my readers just feel comfortable commenting or asking however they wish. (But I started including such “invitation” questions, to see if it illicited more comments.) So no, you are perfectly free to ask away about the corndogs. I showed Cimmy your comment and she said she’d do what she could.

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  4. Well I am a softie for a selfie…as long as it is of someone else. I love a photo that is impromptu, instagram or posed. They are the most nostalgic. People always seem to remember when a crazy or funny picture was taken.

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    • Well, that certainly adds a different perspective than what I initially gathered on your teens and selfies post! So then you enjoy the selfies your daughter takes of herself, then?

      Yes, candid photos can be some of the best and most full of memories.

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  5. The Princess is cute! I think there is as much merit in selfies as there is in any other medium of sharing our lives. For me I like the connectedness. If I’m missing my girlfriend and she sends me a selfie it makes me smile.

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    • I’m going to gather the selfies are a bit more interesting than the usual celebrity shot in the mirror with the fish face expressions? (It’s okay by me if some are, but I think you know what I mean… after a while, that gets a bit boring.)

      p.s. I’ll let Princess know about your feedback… thanks!

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  6. I am a big fan of Instagram. I take a lot of pictures of my kids, the dog, my husband and myself as well as views and food haha. I don’t see anything wrong in partaking in a trend, it’s all in good fun after all!

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    • Oh, absolutely. I’m sure this sort of photography has always been around; it’s just gotten easier with new technology. I remember when cameraphones (or is it cameras in cell phones?) first started getting really good.

      If anything, I think this trend has rightfully relegated lower-quality professional photography to the dustbin. Remember Olan Mills, Picture Me! studios (in Wal-Mart?) and others? Yeah, they aren’t in business anymore, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

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  7. putting aside whether I like selfies or dislike them……the question I wonder about is what affect will this new trend have upon the culture? I’m not sure yet…..I do know that facebook for instance as forever changed society…..will the selfie? I dunno….but its something I’ve been thinking about. I wrote two articles about the selfie craze but I haven’t published them yet simply because I think there is more to be thought about on the topic……and i’m still thinking

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