Snap, Snap, Snap: A Photography Story

Philadelphia (2017)

Starting in the late 1970s, and continuing for 10 or 12 years, I passed a good amount of time wandering around Philadelphia (where I lived), other parts of the States, Europe and elsewhere with a Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera in hand or in pocket. A non-techie all my life, the Instamatic was the perfect camera for me. Small and easy to load — you dropped a film cartridge into place and then closed the back cover over it, a process even I could handle — the camera provided photographic images that struck me as just fine. Bulky cameras, special lenses and filters, carrying cases? Man, I wanted no part of any of that. And still don’t. I like my life plain and simple, because I’m a plain sort of guy who some might describe as being simple too. Doesn’t offend me. I’m simple that way.

Philadelphia (2017)

And so, wander I would, snapping photos of things that caught my eye. Street scenes, decorated house doors, gnarly trees, cool-looking cars, mountains and forests . . . fairly avidly I documented all of those and more. Outdoor photography was fun, a hobby that made me think creatively and provided exercise in the process. What was not to like?

Manhattan (2017)

Alas, for reasons I haven’t tried to decipher, my photography excursions came to a halt. The photos I took, and they likely number in at least the high hundreds, lie within boxes shoved into attic and basement and closet niches. I haven’t looked at any of them in 10 years or more. And I probably didn’t label half of them. I swear, I’m going to hire a personal assistant one of these days to haul out those photos and put them into working order. And then I’ll donate the pictures to the Smithsonian Institution, which I hear has a program called We’ll Accept Anything, As These Photographs Taken By Extremely Ordinary Americans Clearly Prove.

Manhattan (2017)

Fortuitously, my wife Sandy, whom I met in 1990, picked up the slack. On our vacations and at family gatherings she’s the one who for years took nearly all the photos. Sandy, kind of a photography buff, always has had cameras far more advanced than the Instamatic, and happily danced into digital camera ownership earlier this century. I had no problem with her handling the photographic duties. I didn’t miss them, whatever the reasons might have been. Needless to say, when I started this blog in April 2015 Sandy was the chief photographer.

Cleveland’s baseball stadium (2017)

And then came January 2016. During that fabled month, Sandy bought a new iPhone and donated to me the iPhone she’d been using till then. iPhonically-speaking, for me it almost was love at first sight and first usage. I mean, the phone is so cute, so compact, and not too hard for a technological imbecile like me to figure out.

Cape Cod (2017)

Before then I’d been a flip-phone person, basically ignorant of the wonders of smart phones. But within days I became an addict, surfing the web, watching videos, etc., etc. And my iPhone’s camera? Why, it called to me with a song that I was powerless to resist. Before I knew it I was snapping photos left and right, far more than I did in my Instamatic days. Twenty-six months later I’m still snapping. And, by the way, not long after the iPhone came into my possession Sandy lost her photography job with this blog.

Cape Cod (2017)

And why do I bring up all of this? Hold tight, Bunky, as I’m about to tell you. Not that you haven’t already guessed, seeing that photos are on display right from the start of this essay.

Cape Cod (2017)

A day or two before I sat down to begin the composition of that which you presently are reading, it dawned on me that not the worst idea in the world would be to write a story into which I might place a number of photos that I took in 2017. Dozens of them I’d already used in blog articles during that year. But many others were sitting all sad and lonesome, feeling unwanted, on the hard drive or whatever it is within my iPhone. “I’ll liberate some of you! And I accept your thanks in advance,” I said to the pictures.

Cape Cod (2017)

Yes, it’s as simple as that. As I’ve prominently noted above, I’m a simple guy, so what would you expect? In any case, the year 2017 found me in my suburban Philadelphia region, in the City Of Brotherly Love itself, in The Big Apple, in Cleveland and on Cape Cod. There were a few other locales too, but that’s enough. I selected about 30 photos from the previously-unused pile and studied them almost assiduously. I whittled down the pile to the eleven pix herein contained. Some are artsy shots, some are candid, some display the wonders of nature, some have sentimental value to me. My favorites are the two that follow: a selfie of me and Sandy taken on Cape Cod, and a spontaneous etching that I made in the sands of a Cape Cod beach.

Thanks for reading and gazing. Your humble reporter is now going to sign off, hopefully to return in the near future with an as-yet-undetermined commentary upon something or other.

(If you enjoyed this article, then please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing it on Facebook, Twitter and the like)

(If you click on any photo, a larger image will open in a separate window)


70 thoughts on “Snap, Snap, Snap: A Photography Story

  1. Cindy February 9, 2018 / 12:26 am

    Beautiful photos of Cape Cod, Neil!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Artist's Child February 9, 2018 / 12:36 am

    Lovely story. You don’t need lot’s of fancy equipment to take good photos. What you need is the eye and you have it in spades. Really enjoyed seeing some of the photos from your unused pile. Such a variety of subjects and moods and your selfie with Sandy is a delight.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. cindy knoke February 9, 2018 / 1:54 am

    Yeah, I totally entirely get this, because a photographer is not a person with a super expensive camera, blowing the world away with hyper-real images.
    A photographer is a person who takes good photos with a really cheap camera that kinda sorta catch life

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 9, 2018 / 8:49 am

      Hello there, Cindy. I suppose that smart phones have released the inner photographer in a few billion people. That’s a pretty amazing thing.
      Thanks for adding your thoughts. See ya’ —


  4. The Lockwood Echo February 9, 2018 / 3:50 am

    I studied photography back in the day and one of the first things I learnt was the most important part of any camera is the human eye. I’m in the middle of putting together a post of black & whites that are over 30 years old, and this has inspired me to crack on with that! Love your photos. Keep snapping 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Steve Higgins February 9, 2018 / 5:12 am

    Who was that guy who first thought of putting a camera in a mobile phone? (cellphone to you) Surely an unsung genius?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cristina February 9, 2018 / 7:07 am

    I’ve got some nice Philly pics too….and gazillions on my MAC/iPhone, some rather good that never get appreciated, locked in the dungeon of the computer, as it were. Sigh. And….I’ve been to so many places in the world but never to Cape Cod. Now I want to go! As always, thanks for the lovely read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 9, 2018 / 8:56 am

      Hi. That’s the thing — we end up with so many photos, we don’t know what to do with them!


  7. Alyson February 9, 2018 / 7:44 am

    So much easier to take quality pics nowadays isn’t it – It could be a great disappointment sometimes getting the old cartridge shots back from the developers! You have included some great ones here so thanks for that. Like the selfie of the two of you too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 9, 2018 / 8:59 am

      You’re right about the quality of photos now, compared to then. And now, if you don’t like a photo, a tap on the delete button sends it to the dumpster.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. joyce hamilton February 9, 2018 / 7:47 am

    Loved the article and photos . Keep on snapping!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. greenpete58 February 9, 2018 / 8:18 am

    Great photos, Neil. I’m not a smartphone person, but they do make convenient cameras. I use my cellphone. More convenient and less weight for backpack trips than my old digital camera. Also, I’m headed to Manhattan next week, so where do I find that fruit market?? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Still the Lucky Few February 9, 2018 / 8:41 am

    I quickly learned that I could become overwhelmed with the number of pictures I had taken once I had my new phone. Downloading them, putting them into portfolios on the computer…well, you get the picture. So now, I’m more discerning, only taking a snap if I’m really impressed with something. So I admire your willingness to take so many! And now that you have found a place to put them (here), problem solved!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 9, 2018 / 9:07 am

      Hello there, Diane. Yeah, I’ve illustrated quite a few stories with iPhone photos. It’s fun.
      Enjoy the weekend.


  11. Apple Hill Cottage February 9, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    I put away my Canon when I got my iPhone and never looked back. It’s even got a name — iPhoneography. The only trouble is — with 2000 photos on my phone, it’s starting to grumble….

    Great shots!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 9, 2018 / 8:35 pm

      Right, I’ve seen photography exhibits of pix taken only with iPhones. Some of the photos seemed to have been manipulated, and were very artistic.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. andrewcferguson February 9, 2018 / 5:48 pm

    Hey, is that selfie the first we’ve seen of you and Mrs S? My relationship with the Redoubtable Mrs F is similar: she’s the proper photographer, but my mobile’s camera is just so much more convenient for capturing the moment! Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 9, 2018 / 8:38 pm

      My mug has appeared at least twice before. Not sure if Sandy has made a prior appearance.
      Thanks for dropping by, Andrew. Here’s to the weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Anabel Marsh February 10, 2018 / 9:05 am

    Ah, the old Instamatic! I had a series of them then graduated to APS, the revolutionary new system that poor Kodak developed just before the explosion of digital photography! Before I had an iPhone, I had a little pocket digital camera which hasn’t seen the light of day in years. Why bother carrying it as well as the phone? I do have a ten year black hole in documentation though. Prints are carefully annotated with date and place. Post-blogging photos (2011) are logged on WordPress. The digital stuff in between is sadly neglected and often hard to identify. I suppose I assumed I would always remember.

    Great photos, including the engaging selfie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 10, 2018 / 9:56 am

      We humans accumulate too much stuff, including photos!

      Thanks for adding some excellent anecdotes to my article. Enjoy the weekend.


  14. Imelda February 10, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    Your photos are lovely. Cheers to the day you got a hold of an iphone. 😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 10, 2018 / 1:49 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, Imelda. Always good to hear from you.

      The iPhone can do so many things, they ought to change its name to iEverything.

      See you —


  15. Cindy Frank February 10, 2018 / 2:56 pm

    Oh you have such a good eye! Sometimes I think the best art is done for one’s self.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 10, 2018 / 3:04 pm

      How goes it, Cindy? Thanks for dropping by.

      I agree with your second sentence. I hadn’t really thought about that before, but there’s a lot of truth in it.


  16. Sheryl February 10, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    Instamatic cameras were wonderful. They were easy to use, and took nice pictures. Thanks for reminding me of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. viewfromoverthehill February 11, 2018 / 12:21 am

    Compared to me Neil, you’re a technological genius! I still use a flip phone, and no, you can’t have the number because I carry it ‘just in case’ and absolutely nobody ever calls me on it. Enjoy each day! Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2018 / 7:45 am

      Muriel, you’re hilarious! (I mean it).
      Thanks a lot for stopping by. I always enjoy hearing from you.



  18. Browsing the Atlas February 11, 2018 / 2:12 am

    I’m with you. Dropping a little cartridge of 110-film into a camera was about the extent of my technical prowess… until digital cameras and iPhones entered the picture. Now I take hundreds of photos. Why not? I can always delete them. Unlike the days when I had to get my rolls of film developed and never knew what might be on them. Usually nothing spectacular, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2018 / 7:50 am

      Hi there.

      I know — smart phones make photography a lot of fun for the technologically-challenged. It’s an amazing thing.

      Thanks for the visit. Appreciated.


  19. John February 11, 2018 / 3:59 am

    Great photos, great writing, great blog – thanks Neil

    Liked by 1 person

  20. byebyebeer February 11, 2018 / 5:40 am

    Love the photos and story behind snapping them. Sounds so freeing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2018 / 7:55 am

      Hello, and thanks for stopping by. Yeah, taking photos can be a very invigorating activity. Lots of fun at times.


  21. Becky February 11, 2018 / 8:08 pm

    The sunset at Cape Cod – stunning. Love the smiles in the selfie photo too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2018 / 8:41 pm

      Thanks for the visit, Becky. Good to hear from you.

      You know, a lot of selfies don’t come out too good. But this one did, I think. I couldn’t resist putting it into this article.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. pjlazos February 12, 2018 / 7:57 am

    Great to hear it! I used to carry the camera with the extra lens and all the accoutrements but then I started “forgetting” my camera cause really it’s a lot of work and THEN I got an iPhone and never looked back. I always have a camera with me so I can capture any moment and it’s easy to put in your pocket. Pure joy! Sad for Sandy, though, losing her job and all. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  23. alhenry February 12, 2018 / 5:52 pm

    Glad to hear you’re back behind the camera, Neil. One should never entirely relinquish power, no matter how gifted one’s “rival” is. My first camera was a Polaroid “Swinger” (yes, only $19.95! as the ad loved to remind us). I then got into a Ricoh with F-stops and the whole shebang, but now I have a Nikon Cool-Pix digital, which produces decent shots and would probably even produce great shots if I could find the time to read the 238-page camera guide (next lifetime, I think). But on our recent trip to Barbados, I relied almost solely on my smartphone to do the honors. You just don’t really want take a good camera to the beach. My only sorrow was that the lovely burning sun made it impossible to tell if I had the sand crab in my viewfinder or was simply photographing six to the dozen a stretch of empty sand.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. annika February 13, 2018 / 9:21 am

    Haha… I thought I was the last person to own an flip phone but it seems you beat me to it! I would gladly volunteer to haul your boxes of old photos, I’m sure there’ll filled to the brim with treasures. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 13, 2018 / 10:58 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Annika. I appreciate it.
      One of these days maybe I’ll tackle those old photos.
      Have a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 14, 2018 / 6:56 am

      I’m glad you liked this piece. Thanks for the visit.
      Have a good day, AOC. Be seeing you —


  25. eden baylee February 14, 2018 / 10:10 am

    Great shots Neil. I never thought I’d become an iPhone camera taker, but alas, carrying around my 35mm with zoom is just not practical anymore.

    Your pics make me want to go to Cape Cod this summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 14, 2018 / 11:05 am

      Morning, Eden.
      The cameras in smart phones probably have resulted in huge sales dips for Nikon and Canon and the others.
      Take care.
      See ya —


  26. Christy B February 14, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    Those last 2 photos are my faves 🙂 I like how you write with such a friendly yet witty tone – it draws me in every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Aunt Beulah February 14, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    A passion for photography, once lost, now found through the wonder of an iPhone. I like that. I also enjoyed seeing your photographs, especially the last two. You and Sandy look genuinely and naturally happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 14, 2018 / 9:08 pm

      Hi Janet. I hope that your Valentine’s Day has been a good one.
      I still can’t over the iPhone, even tho I’ve had one for two years. It’s a wonder!


  28. agoodlittlegirl February 15, 2018 / 9:53 am

    My Cloud Lady blog, prompted someone to ask if I would consider blogging more of my atmospheric delights, perhaps a hundred? Well, I don’t think I’ll post that many, but people like photographs.
    Thanks for sharing yours and liking my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 15, 2018 / 11:12 am

      Photography is kind of addictive to many people, I think. I’m one of the semi-addicts.

      Take care, Kenzie.

      Neil S.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. dweezer19 February 15, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    Great images Neil! I shoot as many photos with my iPhone as with my Nikon, especially macro shots. I usually have my zoom attached to the camera for wildlife. You both look great! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  30. tanjabrittonwriter February 16, 2018 / 1:29 am

    One of the appeals of digital photography is the fact that it does not engender thousands of prints that end up in a drawer or in a dark and dusty corner. They mostly end up in a dark and dusty corner of the hard drive. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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