Nick Exposed

A Creative Community Hosted By Photog/Designer Nick Mayo


ISO100 34mm f/22 1/8/sec

This is an idea thats been sitting in my head for some time now. I gained my inspiration from a talk I used to give my Reps back in my District Management days. In talking about how some things only hold value to people if presented in a certain package, and how most products can only depreciate in value over extended amounts of time. To prove my point I would hold up a bottle of top name water and ask “who would pay 3 dollars for this bottle of water”, and at least half the hands would go up. I would then hold up a styrofoam cup full of water and ask again “who would pay 3 dollars for this cup of water”, and not only did no hands go up, but the room would start to fill with subtle chuckles as the reps started to think their manager was going crazy. I would then take another styrofoam cup and ask “How many of you realized all I did was this…” as I poured the water from the bottle into the cup. It was at this point that they realized they were paying for the bottle rather than the water.Β 

Now realize Im not bashing Fiji water or any other product of its type (in fact I find lots of value in water and kind of need it to survive lol). However it makes a point that the tangible items that we often think hold such a great value, are rather easily depreciated, and the true value is held in the intangible pleasures of life.

I remember reading a story on Yahoo a little over a year ago about a couple who sold everything they had except for 50 things, pretty much the bare necessities. They literally had an apartment with little to nothing in it. They rode their bikes everywhere because they didn’t have cars. They didn’t have a tv, but did have a couple books as part their 50 items. Each time they wanted to get something they would choose to get rid of something else, typically by donating it to a good cause. But they never had any more than 50 items at a time.

They subjected themselves to studies because they realized that their happiness level went through the roof when they made this change. The studies showed that they were something like, 4 times as happy as those who had an average amount of items (Studies based off of american figures Im sure), and they were over 10 times happier than those with significant amounts of stuff. It showed that with the lack of items they found themselves APPRECIATING more life had to offer. Think about that, theres people out there with Ferraris, Mansions and Yachts, and they proved these two were OVER 10 times happier across the board. On top of that, because they only had a few items and didn’t waste all the extra money on… stuff, they were able to comfortably cut back on their work schedules and APPRECIATE more time together… creating lasting memories. They ate healthier with money to spare on health foods, they impacted the environment by not driving cars and producing very little waste. While everyone else’s precious… stuff.. was depreciating, they were able to appreciate the finer things in life.

Just as the water immediately loses its face value as it reaches the styrofoam cup,Β we would be wiser (let alone happier) to know where the true values of our life reside πŸ™‚

Putting this photo together was nothing short of a challenge. I destroyed my lightbox tonight with a significant amount of water, so if anyone knows where I can find a good tutorial on how to build anothe…. wait a second… I have a tutorial on how to build a lightbox (Which is HERE if you haven’t seen it ;). But anyway to say I put a good amount of time into the suspended water bottle and getting everything looking how I envisioned it would be an understatement. But I did appreciate the process (Ha, see what I did there. Laugh, you know you want to!)

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42 thoughts on “Depreciation

  1. Nick, I think your work is unique and interesting. However, excuse me for appearing ignorant, but I don’t understand why this post is called ‘depreciation’?

    Just wanna learn to appreciate different perspectives hence the query. Hope you don’t mind.

  2. Martin Lack on said:

    Nice one. You could also have called it “Dissipation”, “Potential Energy”, or “Entropy”… Or, if you were that way inclined, “My Cup Overfloweth”

  3. Clever shot Nick, I look forward to the explanation of how you achieved it. Fiji water is great although I’ve never shelled out for it outside of Fiji

    • I didn’t quit explain how I achieved it, however I will probably be posting behind the scenes pics on the Facebook Page, so make sure you head over there to check it out. I can tell you it was a mix between a ruler, billard ball triangle, rubber bands and photoshop… No really it was πŸ™‚

  4. Martin Lack on said:

    If you’re seeing how the real 99% live (in say India) buying bottled water is essential. However, for people in developed countries to do this is not only pretentious, it is the result of people being deeply-suggestible to what advertisers (fresh from their success at selling sand to Arabs) tell them they simply must do.

    Having spent 20 years in environmental consultancy before deciding it was more important to save the planet, I was ideologically opposed to helping people find decent sources of supply for bottling water long before I became similarly opposed to finding new sources of fossil fuel to burn. Hence my reference to “Entropy”.

    Having said all that, I really do appreciate how tricky this photo must have been to set-up and shoot (especially if you were working alone).

    • I appreciate your thoughts on the subject Martin! And yes working alone on this image was a bit of a feat to say it nicely haha. But Im happy with how it turned out πŸ™‚

  5. yes that looks like quite an interesting project………….i like depreciating by going out into nature with less and listening to the silence………if the human race could all switch of all their electro devices for a few weeks i think the planet may become sane for a short while…………..

  6. Olivia Griselda on said:

    Wow, you really illustrate (literally) your point really well! I do hate those bogus marketing campaign on basic necessities like water.

    Spend less, have less and be happier! πŸ™‚

  7. Well said and fantastic shot!

  8. Great picture. And as one who would never buy bottled water, nice lecture to go with it.

  9. A great story Nick, very though provoking and an excellent picture as well. I will be checking out FB to see how it was done. πŸ™‚

  10. Great write up and image ofcourse πŸ™‚

  11. I like both your image and your words; the shot has a definite WOW factor and is an appropriate symbol for your “talk.”

  12. Thanks for the inspiration, Nick. My post from today was a response to this post:

    Hope you like it (included a pic of my setup as well)

  13. Pingback: February 21, 2012 « 365fivephotoproject

  14. Don’t know what’s better: The point you make, the story you’ve mentioned or the example (along with that amazing picture illustration) you’ve used to substantiate it. This post has made my day!

  15. So will a new light box be one of YOUR 50 items? πŸ™‚

    • Hahaha, most definitely. However unfortunately Im a long ways from having that much simplicity in my life. I did take a bit of time today to think about how I could get rid of alot of the clutter I have. I think there are going to be some trips to drop off items to goodwill in my near future haha

  16. I love this! So awesome!

  17. Really great picture, and inspiring story to go along with it!

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