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Part 3

This episode’s vocabulary


Enticing (adj.) - attractive or tempting; alluring.
To enhance (verb) - intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of.
At the heart of the action (idiom) - to be the most important part of something. 

Snap/Snapshot (noun) a casual photograph made typically by an amateur with a small handheld camera.
Narcissistic (adj.) - of, relating to, or characterized by narcissism: such as. a : extremely self-centered with an exaggerated sense of self-importance : marked by or characteristic of excessive admiration of or infatuation with oneself a narcissistic personality
Keepsake (noun) - a small item kept in memory of the person who gave it or originally owned it.
To rob smn/smth blind (idiom) - to steal everything someone owns, especially through deceitful or fraudulent means. Sometimes used to insinuate that someone is charging too much money for something.
Raging (adj.) - very strong or violent.
Eidetic memory (adj.) - an eidetic memory is the ability to remember things in exact detail, as if you can see them in your mind.
Bells and whistles (idioms) - special features that are added to a product or system to attract more buyers.
Advent (noun) - the beginning of an event, the invention of something, or the arrival of a person.
Au fait (adj.) - to be familiar with or know about something.
Like night and day (idiom) - completely different; totally or nearly opposite.
Fangled (adj.) - If someone describes a new idea or a new piece of equipment as new-fangled, they mean that it is too complicated or is unnecessary.
To haul (verb) - pull or drag with effort or force.
To mitigate (verb) - make (something bad) less severe, serious, or painful.

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Questions and Answers


Maria: What do you think of those who like to change faces and post them on social media.

Rory: Do you mean like plastic surgery or having makeovers or something like that? I understand that people are proud of what they've done especially if it took a lot of effort, but it seems rather superficial unless the pretty faces are backed up by an equally enticing personality. It's the same for these face-changing apps, to be honest. I'm not really sure what the purpose is of being able to digitally enhance your appearance in a photo. Maybe it's to make things more interesting, but I don't think it does... I think it just looks pretty ridiculous.

Maria: Did you take more photos in the past?

Rory: Actually, I used to take far fewer! Most of my photos were taken by my friends since I was usually the one at the heart of the action. And that's a euphemism for saying I was the one getting into trouble in the photos usually. So I was usually the person to do, like, the stupid thing, like, going bungee jumping, and people would photograph that.

Maria: Is it easier to take pictures now than in the past?

Rory: Oh much more so I'd say. There are cameras everywhere. I think Dylan Moran said... It was him who said "You could pick up a piece of fruit and it would take a snap of you". I'm not sure if that's a good development or not since it seems to have made everybody a bit more narcissistic... Myself included.

Maria: Why do some people like to keep photos?

Rory: It's nice to have something to look back on and photos are usually the most accessible and least damaging thing to do or way of achieving this in terms of having a keepsake. Actually, thinking about it, it's probably a good idea and if we think about people who rob beaches blind of their shells whenever they go to some tropical destination and that winds up damaging the local environment, then by contrast taking a picture of it seems like quite a good idea.

Maria: Do people in your country like to take photos?

Rory: Oh God, yes! Selfies are 90 but I think that's the thing everywhere. It's not unique to Scotland. Everyone's a raging narcissist now. Although, admittedly, maybe it's not so bad if you have a picture that's taken with other people or maybe you're standing next to something famous... Although, I never quite understood the point in taking a picture of yourself next to a famous building because it just seems like a strange thing to do. There are so many pictures of famous places. I wonder what the purpose is...

Maria: Why do people take photos during trips?

Rory: For the same reason they take photos in general. It's like a visual memory aids. You want to relive the experience of being there and photos help with that. Some people have, I think, eidetic memories, and they can recall everything with great accuracy, but I don't think that's true for most people. When I go away now, I often try to take everything in, like, how the air smells what the people I'm with look like, and how I feel... But I don't dispense with photos entirely because, like I say, I think it enhances the experience.

Maria: What kinds of devices do people like to use for taking photos these days?

Rory: Yeah, smartphones is the simple answer... And very occasionally someone will have a proper camera with all the bells and whistles that come with it. I actually used to look down on people like that since it seems so pointless. But I met a few photographers recently with such cameras and I've actually come to appreciate how great the differences are between smartphone cameras and , so-called, "real ones".

Maria: Has the way people take photos changed? 

Rory: Well it's become more accessible and frequent, I suppose, with the advent of the smartphone and the technology that's related to it. And people are more self-centered in therefore taking as I've already discussed at great length. In some ways it stayed the same though - you always need a camera.

Maria: What's good and bad about taking photos with a smartphone?

Rory: Not exactly au fait with all the technicalities but I'm pretty sure the difference in the eyes of the professional photographers is like night and day. For example, the clarity of the picture, the effect of the lighting on the shot, how much the image can be scaled up or down... And usually that's all of a lower quality with a smartphone. Even the new fangled ones if we take them in comparison to a real camera. So if you need a photo for professional purposes, then it's an advantage to have a proper camera or to hire a photographer with one. On the other hand, smartphones are more portable. They can be concealed more easily and generally they're more fit for general purpose kind of photographs, I suppose.

Maria: Why do some people like to delete photos?

Rory: I imagine they connect it to the act of forgetting that certain incidents took place. People like to delete photos they took with their ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. It's almost like, if there is no evidence then it never happened. Although, perhaps, more commonly people have a few shots that didn't turn out like how they wanted. So nothing is lost in getting rid of them.

Maria: What are the advantages and disadvantages of travelling with a camera?

Rory: Well the most obvious advantage is that you're almost guaranteed to get higher quality pictures than with a smartphone, for example. By contrast the worst aspects are that it's a pain to haul around with you and you will be a magnet for people who steal cameras. Although, I suppose if you're prepared to mitigate these kinds of risks then why not have one.