December 16, 2013
Do you snap pictures at museums? You might not be remembering as much about your visit as you could http://t.co/3uiVf2mB39
— Smithsonian Magazine (@SmithsonianMag) December 15, 2013
When I had a film camera (“back in the day”), I was selective about what I took photos of during my travels, and how many photos I took. The costs of purchasing film and photo processing held me back from snapping photos of anything and everything. Enter in to my life… the digital camera! I love my digital camera, and I take photos of as much as I can when I travel, especially to museums. All I need is an SD card and backup battery, and I’m ready to go!
For example, in a couple of days I am heading to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City. I’m going to see the exhibition Whales: Giants of the Deep, which is closing in a few weeks.
Why will I take over 100 photos of just this exhibit? As the exhibit is closing, I will not have a chance to see the displays again (and I take pictures of the displays and the signage, so I remember the supporting content with what I view). I also teach an introductory-level oceanography course, and I’m sure I will be able to use some of this content and the images in the course. Since I “may” see something in this exhibit that I “might” share with my students, it is worth it to me to grab as many photos as I can.
But this article posted on Smithsonian.com, which addresses a LiveScience article, says I might be hurting my own learning by taking so many pictures! Although I won’t be taking the same survey that the students did in the LiveScience article, I will be thinking twice about how I spend my time in the Whales exhibit – if I am zipping right through or using photos to supplement my museum experience. I encourage you to read the article yourself and think about your own photo practices.