Back in 1979 I bought a great slide projector and a screen of my own. I had a few boxes of Kodachromes lying around, so I thought I'd invite all my friends and family over for a nice slide viewing.
Things went well up to about the fortieth slide. Then, boredom started setting in. Not MY boredom mind you, but that of my friends and family. I could tell it was over when my best friend accidentally knocked over the screen on the way to the bathroom and everyone cheered.
The dinner afterward was nice, but I doubted I'd ever do a slide show again. I learned something that day. My images mean a lot to me, but to others, not quite so much.
Later on, after filling up a lot of albums with prints, I would invite friends over for dinner and "let" them see more of my images. I was quite amazed to find that the average friend's tolerance for images was about 36 or so. After that, the eyes begin to glaze and strange groaning utterances would proceed from slack, drooling lips.
For years afterward, I would only show images to friends with big DSLR cameras. Of course, in exchange, I had to sit through thousands of boring pictures produced by them. I don't even fully remember some of those sessions since I clearly entered a state of photo induced stupor.
It was hard for me to imagine that MY images could be boring to others. "No way!" I would say. "Way," said they!
Well, time passed and with it wisdom grew on my part. When I felt the need to display my exceedingly wonderful images, I would show them to my wife. When I noticed her eye start twitching, I would stop there and count the images. From that, I learned that a wife could handle up to twice as many images as the standard friend could. Finally, I could get away with image presentation for a limited time. My record is now up to about 40 images for friends and around 86 with the wife. My sweet mom has been known to sit for as many as 100 images without drooling.
In July 2002 things changed. I bought a digital camera and stopped making prints or slides. I discovered that I could load up an e-mail with maybe six digital images and send it to dozens of people at once. With great satisfaction I calculated that if 30 people viewed six of my images, it would equal a single friend viewing 180 of them. On top of that, I found that many people with brains dulled by endless e-mail SPAM would actually take as many as three e-mails per day without complaint. Can you imagine my happiness when I realized that the equivalent would be a single friend looking at 540 of my incredible images?
Happiness is upon me! Who needs slide shows or albums full of prints, when with a single click I can send my images off into the ethernet for viewing by many. When I imagine that some of those friends might be forwarding the images on to their friends and family, I get downright giddy. Thousands upon thousands of people out there appreciatively viewing my astounding images.
I must stop writing now since I just bought one of those e-mail lists with about 30-million e-mail addresses. I am putting together 10 completely unbelievable images for a mass mailing. When I think of the great joy I have brought to all my friends and family—and their friends and family—with my hourly e-mails, I know this is the right thing to do.
So, if you get one of my photos in your e-mail, be happy. I am!
Keep on capturing time...