Salt Creek

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s easier to edit. I took a photography class once and it turned out to be a math class. There were dials and equations and meters to read. This was not a relaxing hobby that whisked me away to a land of sublime ecstasy. It was my personal definition of hell. If you couldn’t do the math, you couldn’t get results.

Enter my retirement years and advanced Dick Tracey/Jules Verne level technology and I get better photographs with this gizmo in my pocket than most folks with a Hasselblad. And no bags of lens, film or meters. And I can also use it to call people, get directions, and learn how to spell Jules Verne.

When I go out nature-hiking, boating, visiting extensive gardens, butterfly habitat or just watching the hummingbirds at my feeder; well, look out Ansel Adams. Not only can I control the light speed and hues of photos as I take them, in post-production (mind you in my phone) I can colorize, turn a photo into sepia or black and white and I can crop it down to the best parts and send it around the world.

When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, folks I knew thought I had taken photography classes. Nope, I just moved to a super scenic part of the US and upgraded my phone. Taking photos has been my passion since I got here.


When I grab a snack and my camera AKA phone, I am in another world. It is the ultimate Staycation. Luckily for me, my husband loves photography too. We take waterfall hikes through the ancient rainforest with ferns as tall as I am. And what takes an average hiker 30 minutes to conquer takes us an hour and a half to get through. Minute flowers, frogs, and fungus keep us fanny up and nose down. I often lie on my stomach to take a perfect shot and have to call for help to get up. I am undeterred. I am oblivious of passersby. I am on a vacation of the mind. I can hear Gene Wilder singing, “Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.” (Note to self: Bring lots of chocolate for photo shoot snacks).

Why does taking photos for several hours bring me such joy and relaxation? Why is it the perfect “Staycation”? Because it is like a Treasure Hunt. Every single journey guarantees a new find, even on familiar trails because nature changes constantly. So does a city. Some of my favorite shots were taken one day in Central Park. There was the Metropolitan Art Museum, Cleopatra’s Needle, and the Boat House for starters.

When you go on your photo safari, bring a back up power source (we have solar chargers), snacks, and water (plan to be gone until 15 minutes after sunset). And bring a notebook so you can record where you were when you found the Dutchman’s Breeches (a flower, not discarded pants). Did I mention snacks? You don’t want to be grumpy while catching dew on a spider’s web or teeny frogs on a lily pad.

What can you do with all those photos? Edit them down to the best 100. Then pick the best 12. Boom you have a calendar to produce for gifts. Select the best six and enter them into photo contests and/or produce them into cards for gifts. Or make memes out of them with original inspirational sayings (or in my case snide sarcastic sayings…because I can).


Remember, these photos are your way of chronicling a day you took yourself on a journey. It is a diary. It is a way to be a part of your environment. It is a sentimental journey, and the best part? You don’t have to take them to the pharmacy, wait a week, and hope that out of the 24 rolls you dropped off you got one clear shot of Big Foot.

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Menopause

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