Earworms and Lensworms

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Lightmancer, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Real Name:
    Bill Palmer
    Confession time.

    I suffer from earworms. Really quite badly. I have done for years, but it is getting worse. I have no control over it and the worst thing of all is that my personal earworms have no musical taste at all. I can get stuck with the most excerable tunes in my head, just because I have heard a snatch of something.

    I don't even have to hear the tune itself. If someone says something that inadvertently brings a song to mind - a lyric, for instance, or something seemingly innocent like "look at that lady over there in the red dress" (Chris De Burgh has just started up in my head - AARGH) I'm stuck on an endless loop of acoustic misery until something else - often another tune - breaks the cycle. Even going for a walk does it. The steady rhythm causes tunes to wriggle in. Even stopping and starting doesn't help. When waiting to cross the road, I'll indulge in a drum solo in my head.

    "First world problem" I hear you say. My wife is sympathetic, but really doesn't understand why I have to sit with my fingers in my ears when the adverts come on the telly - ah yes, the adverts - EVERY SINGLE ONE has to have a tune now; words and pictures are no longer enough. Yes I know why, I know the psychology of using music in advertising, I understand all about how the brain encodes emotional memories - knowing doesn't help and has led me to boycott specific products and companies because of their blatant tune-pretzeling.

    The worst - by far the worst - adverts are the ones where they have got a reedy-voiced popstrel to re-record an old song muuuuch mooooore slooooowly to make it sound wistful and melancholy. I also reserve a particular circle of hell for the truncation of lyrics - this is the auditory equivalent of running nails down a blackboard as the third or fourth line of a verse is left out deliberately to make it fit the advert's run time. My brain suddenly derails as the version of the tune in my head stays true to the original but the advert has gone off into territory of it's own.

    Enough ranting.

    All this leads me to the thought that if you can have earworms, why can't I also coin the term "lensworms" - these are motifs or subjects that you just can't help snapping, even if you and others have taken them a million times before, and even if you are a better photographer than that. We all have them - pure tourist tat of the "I was really there!" variety. Photographic fromage. I do it myself; I am going through editing shots from a recent trip to Tuscany; there's the elegiac landscape in the morning mist, and there the quirky shot of two kids drooling over the gelati in the shop. I can't help myself, my lens is drawn and my finger presses the shutter of it's own accord.

    Anyone else want to confess? Misery loves company...
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  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Real Name:
    Hmmmm. I had never heard the term earworm before. And while I sometimes get some inane piece of garbage stuck in that infinite loop (That "Lady in Red" would have pulling out what little is left of my hair), I can also get some real gems "stuck" as well.

    I find that playing some music usually "clears the deck"...... sometimes even just playing the offending song (if it's not too offensive).

    As far as the lensworms are concerned, I'm afraid I haven't taken an original shot in a couple years. I thought I was just in a slump. But I think it's more likely that I'm just a hack.
  3. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    My zinnias, dog, and cat are definitely lensworms.
  4. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Sunrises, sunsets, epic clouds, wildlife at long range . . . I am a total sucker for each and every one of them . . . I can't NOT shoot them.

    And here's the thing: I am totally (can't drag me to the 12-step program) unrepentant. Me and my lensworms are really good friends, buddies, even.

    Cheers, Jock
  5. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    Jun 10, 2013
    I plead guilty: I am a photographic fromagist: I shoot what millions people have shot before. But I like cheese. So why not?
    Problem is probably that I bore other people with it.
    I feel lucky in one respect: I do not use a selfie stick.
  6. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy SC Top Veteran

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Real Name:
    Martin Connolly
    I too suffer terribly from earworms. If I listen to music it can stay with me for days. I don't know about photographing the same scenes as other people - I expect I do - but I am a sucker for photographing the same scene many times, especially as it changes over the seasons. Does that count as a lensworm?