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The Great Mirror

world pictures

China: Dujiangyan

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Take three or four trips a year. After 20 or 30 years, what do you have? A couple of passports stuffed with full-page visas. Memories of this place and that. The beginnings of memory failure. Probably more than the beginnings.

What then? Of course you took a camera, but you never had the time to wait for the right light. You didn't even have the time to master your point-and-shoot beyond the most elementary commands. Now you are using a museum piece that, tens of thousands of pictures later, just keeps clicking, testimony to Japanese manufacturing. Worse, you hardly ever took pictures of people, even though people (to paraphrase the song) are more interested in people than in anything else. What was your excuse? You weren't comfortable sticking a camera in people's faces? You didn't have enough time to win a subject's trust? Bah!

Whatever. Whatever. And so now you have a zillion images of things you saw--and nowhere to put them except on memory sticks and social media happy to welcome your property as theirs.

And so you arrive at your fate: your very own website, loaded with just your pictures, grouped and described as you like, sometimes sketchily and sometimes in detail that is almost scholarly. It's your secret library, almost unknown to the search engines purring in darkness.

Welcome to the Great Mirror. Corrections, comments, and permissions requests should be sent to the photographer and captioner, bwallach@ou.edu

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