Saturday, November 21, 2015

Why I Can't Get Good Photos Of Me Anymore

Me with my Heavy Metal Detox juice drink at the Nectar Cafe in Lewes, DE

Regular readers of this blog know that I like to take photos.  I like to take a LOT of photos. 

I have over 84,000 photos on my computer and more to scan. 

I started taking photos Christmas Day 1954 when I was twelve years old.  My Mother had given me a Kodak Brownie camera for Christmas.  
My younger brothers John and Isaac with their 1954 Christmas presents, matching bikes! They were the willing subjects of my first picture taking session, eight images on a black and white Kodak roll of film

Back in those black and white days, I rarely had photos taken of myself.  I remember a trip I won to New York City as a paperboy, I don't have one picture of me.  I just have pictures of the New York skyline. 

My photo of the New York City skyline 1955 - I wish now that I would have asked one of my fellow paper boy contest winners to take a picture of me with the skyline behind me - too late now


Back in those days there was no such thing as a selfie.  And if I did ask someone to "take a picture of me please?", that would be considered a social faux pas, one must be modest.

The General Motors building in New York City 1955 - is it still there?

However, in this day and age, selfies are the norm, and one isn't considered a narcissist if one asks someone else to take a picture of him or her.

Lady Liberty, New York City 1955 - she didn't mind me taking her picture


Oh how often I wish I had taken more pictures back in those pre-terrorism days when the only thing we had to worry about was the Soviet Union dropping an A-bomb on us.


"What? We have to hid under our desks when The Bomb drops?"
(me in the back of my father's pickup truck - not at all happy about this embarrassing mode of transportation during my sensitive teenage years - my Father loved humiliating and degrading me - and one of my brothers caught me on camera during my funk

 
Well, these days I have plenty of opportunity to have my picture taken as well as taking selfies.  However, there is one thing I've noticed.  It's getting harder and harder to get a good picture of me.  Then I remember something my Mother told me a long time ago.  She said "Ronnie, as you get older you'll find you'll have a harder time getting that 'good picture' of yourself."  Of course I didn't pay much attention to her wise advice (was was young and full of myself back then) but you know what?  She was right!

Yesterday I wanted to put a new profile picture on my Facebook account.  Usually there is no difficulty selecting a picture of myself from the many that I have had taken. That has changed.  Now most of my pictures are of an old, wrinkled, grizzled man.  Wow.  "Is that me?" I ask myself.  And no, I'm not going to post even one of those pictures now.  Use your imagination but trust me, I'm starting to deteriorate.  I'm going downhill . . . FAST. 

Gone are those days of the past when every picture showed a young, fresh faced and wimpy kid with a FULL head of hair.

Yep!  That's me.  Was I EVER that young and innocent?  Well, I was believe it or not. 
One consolation I have is that my friends and peers (the ones still alive anyway) are aging has well and keeping pace with me.  Some solace (I guess).

Bill and Pat during Pat's annual visit to Delaware this past spring

But all is not lost.  I have found that when I'm happy, my smile still shines through and you can still see a hint of my youth.  

Me and Pat on the Rehoboth Boardwalk this past spring (and me with my Spo Shirt)
So the trick is to keep smiling.  I'm working on it folks!

15 comments:

  1. I'll have to remember to keep smiling. It sure works for you and Pat.

    Lately I seem to look my best at a distance of fifty yards in a heavy fog. That's why I so often use old photos of myself on my blog. Even on my profile photo. I'm not ancient, but I have definitely seen better days.
    I like the sweet photo of you with the cat.

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    1. Jon,
      I had a shock today. I was talking to Pat while I was in the bathroom, right out of the shower in my tightie whities. He took some pictures of me and sent them to me. Not only is my face going to the dogs but the body as well. What happened?!!! Wow. Looks like gravity is taking it's toll on me as well.
      Thanks for the compliment on my picture with "Gindy" the cat. I love cats. It's so ironic that in my adult life I've never had a cat for a pet. And that's because Bill doesn't like cats. Pat doesn't like pets either. The prognosis for me getting a cat for a pet thus doesn't look too good but I haven't given up hope.
      Ron

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  2. Ron. on those rare times when I update my profile pic or post a birthday blog it takes me AT LEAST 20 attempts before I get one that I'm not ashamed to reveal to the world, so it's by no means just you. I think it's a general symptom of our ageing. In addition, although I see my own face at home in the mirror several times a day, when I catch myself in someone else's mirror, like in a department store where sometimes their pillars have mirrored sides, I am totally horrified to see how old I look that it brings me crashing down as to how I must look in other people's eyes. Also, on my annual visit to my sister, seeing myself in her mirrors it's the same depressing effect. Don't quite know why one does look so different. I wonder if it's everyone's experience.

    And I still look forward to seeing you holding a furry pet in a contemporary pic - I mean your own pet, not somebody else's.

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    1. Ray,
      I've had the same experience. In my eyes I think I look like I looked when I was 36 years old. My bathroom mirror is so kind to me but when I catch a glimpse of myself in someone else's mirror I think "Who is THAT? Surely that can't be ME!" But alas it is. Ah well, I am living the good life now so that is what counts.
      Ron

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  3. We need to rethink the world and not let ageism and the worship of youth impact out self worth and self image. The wrinkles and sags reflect a life of experience - experience no youth can ever have. I am old and I am proud of it.

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  4. Ron, you still look amazing! There is nothing you can do against gravity, so you might enjoy life anyway, your health and the sweet memories.
    You still have many years ahead of you. I bet a lot of people would love to look like you at your age, have your sense of humor and outlook on life. It's all good!

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    1. Nadege,
      You comments are music to my ears! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      Ron

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  5. You should always smile for they make marvelous photos of you.
    I am intrigued though by this "heavy metal detox" shake you are consuming. I was not aware you were so into Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden tunes.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      So I've been told (smile). By the way, next time you're in Delaware, you have to try the Heavy Metal Detox juice drink. So refreshing and your body will say "Thank you! Thank you!"
      Ron

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    2. well dang it send me the recipe.

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  6. Ron,

    I am always a bit startled when I see myself in photos, always think who is the old guy, but so what? I earned these wrinkles. Those black and white photos from your early beginnings with a camera are great. Now, I don't get the pickup truck humiliation. I use to love, as did my other friends around Bucktown, riding in the back of a pickup. I'd rather ride back there than up in the cab in those days. Today you probably can't. People would probably say your parents were putting a child at risk if they let you ride in the open wind. No seat belts. Of course, we didn't have seat belts inside the vehicles then either. I used to crawl up and lay on the deck between the backseats and the red window in the family car when I was little, maybe even fall asleep to the rumple of the wheels on the road surface. I can imagine what would happen to a parent that let their kid do that now.

    Lar

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    1. Hey Lar,
      When I heard that my father was getting a new vehicle, I was all excited. I got dressed up for the first ride and lo and beyond, it's a GMAC pickup truck. He got great delight in humiliating me. I've often wondered how I would have turned out if I had grown up in a different environment where I had a father who empowered and encouraged me instead of belittling me. But who knows, maybe his belittling made me stronger?
      Ah yes, the "Good Old Days" when we rode without seat belts or bicycle helmets. We survived didn't we? In fact I don't remember once instance of anyone being injured falling off of his or her bike. And I did a few time. I crushed my testicles once when I jumped on my bicycle once. That I remember. Hurt like Hell.
      Ron

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  7. Hey Ron - no way - you've got one of the photogenic faces. I think sometimes we are too self critical. Personally I like the idea of aging. Taking on more character. And no matter how we look we can always try to look our best.

    Pat

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    1. Thank you Pat. No wonder I like you and Nadege so much. (smile)
      Ron

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