Today I had to pop out and get the weeks food shopping. The hours in front of the PC last night setting up the Facebook “Like” page and other web and image things had taken their toll and I had to call into the chemists too. While walking towards Boots I spotted a folded up £10 note on the ground! If I’d blinked I might have missed it. If it had been in a purse or wallet with some ID I would have done my best to get it all back to its owner. But who would have not stepped forward and said “It’s mine!” if asked “Anyone dropped a £10 note?”.

This time I would keep it and let it pay for eye drops. In Boots the eye specialist asked questions about my eyes, what they’re like in the morning and during the day. “It’s not conjunctivitis” was her verdict. She asked if I spent much time in front of a PC working through my images. Sure!

“You’re forgetting to blink, you should be doing it every 5 seconds or so”.


Sitting at the PC and thinking more about what I’m doing with my eyes I now admit there was a problem. When concentrating on my work I stop blinking or slow it down drastically. This causes the eyes to go dry. Our eyes move very small amounts even when we’re still and looking at stationary objects. As I child I somehow got to know that if you *gently* apply pressure to the side of the eye to stop these movements temporary tunnel vision sets in. Checking Wikipedia, these “fixational” eye movements are important for the maintenance of the image we see. Stop them and everything goes black as the neurons in our visual system stop firing. As the eyes dry they have to work that much harder to maintain this eye movement. Eye drops will now be a standard part of my kit bag for long shoots and long edit sessions.

Of course when you don’t want someone blinking is when you’re photographing them. Some wedding photographers will call “3-2-1” when taking a shot, actually shooting on 2 as a lot of people will blink on 3 without even realising it. I’m going to try calling “Blink!” and shoot shortly after and see how it impacts the blink-reject count as shooting with a strobe gives away that you’re shooting on 2 rather quickly! 🙂

A good number of us will have seen images of celebrities in the magazines with the caption “Person X caught stoned|drunk”. Give them a break! Most are probably not looking happy because they’re being chased by a paperatzee that doesn’t understand “No! Go away!”. Many celebs want publicity but would also like a break from time to time. Who’s not had an off day? To make matters worse they’ve then been caught doing nothing more than blinking, but half way through giving the “under the influence” look. Rather than delete the image and think “better luck next time” these bottom feeders sell the shot to the trash mags. Do us all a favour and start deleting the images as you’re selling a lie.