Develop a Photographic Memory





Introduction: Develop a Photographic Memory

Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us. - Oscar Wilde
A photographic memory can be a very useful thing. You can use it to memorize cue cards for speeches, grocery lists, and phone numbers. Some of the national champions of memorizing can memorize 32 decks of cards, how the decks themselves are in a pattern and how the cards are organized, in an hour. Maybe you don't want to do these things, you just want to have a better memory than 99% of the world. This instructable will show the two methods used to develop this amazing talent. 

Step 1: Method 1

This first method is used by national champions of memorization around the world. This method is longer though. If you want to get really good it will take up to a year, but you can miss days occasionally, whereas the next method takes a month and if you miss a day it will set you back one week. To complete this method, grab a deck of cards, I used Uno, draw the top three cards and try to memorize them. 

Step 2:

Place the three memorized randomly into the deck. Spread out the deck.

Step 3:

Pick out your three cards. Put them in the order they where in earlier. Do this everyday with three cards for a week. Next week, do five. Then 10, 15, 20, 25, etc...

Step 4:

Do this until you have the ability to memorize a whole deck. Grab a box of dominos

Step 5:

Make a pattern with 10 dominos. Memorize it. Every week add 10. When can do a whole box of dominos, do 2. So on, so on....
This method is extremely effective, if not very fast.

Step 6: Method 2

This method is used by the military to help operatives learn faces and names quickly. To be successful, you must not miss a day. If you miss a day, you have to do it for another week. This technique ingrains pictures into you brain.


Small bright light
Windowless room
Paragraph of literature
Piece of paper with a box in it the size of a paragraph 

Step 7:

Go to your dark room and set up the light. Turn on the light. Set up your paragraph so the paper with the hole covers up everything but the one paragraph. Look at the paragraph for five minutes. Turn off the light while you are staring at the page. You will have a flash of light where you will distantly see the page.

Step 8:

Repeat this process everyday for a month or until you completely recall the paragraph and read it from memory. Then, if you do this once with anything else it will be memorized. This method uses the light to ingrain the visual into your brain. I would recommend watching this video



    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest
    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest

    26 Discussions


    Question 4 months ago

    In method 2, does one need to change the piece of paragraph or the same one has to be used for the month?

    1 more answer

    You should start with a paragraphc with bigger letters and when you get used to that try to change to smaller text. Hope this helps. I tried this for over one month and did not have great success with it but I hope you do better.

    I don't get what you mean by "with a box in it" Are you saying to cut the paper down to box around just the paragraph?

    1 more answer

    You take a large black paper und cut in the middle of it a black box which only exposes one paragraph. Then you flash with a light this paragraph whic his covered by black paper over and over again.
    I would like to hear your progress with this technique because i am now at day 29 and dont have great success with it.


    5 months ago

    Has someone tried the second technique because i tried it and dont have great progress so far. I printed out a white page with black letters in 36 and only with some flashes i can recognize the letters precisely, usually the letters are just blurred. Could someone please give me some advice.

    Method 2 really works for me. after i month I'm like Mike Ross from suits

    3 replies

    Could you please tell me how your approached the exercise because i am eager to develop this. I am currently at day 21 and i dont have much progress so far.

    After you finish doing the excersice for one month, do u have to use a light to be able to remember everything else or can you just read it once and be able to remember it without the light and also can u tell me the step to step of how you did it

    Does it actually work in the way its described? and if so i have a question, do u have to look at the paragraph with the light to be able to read it or can you just have a glance of something in mid-day and be able to memorize it, and if so for how long? thank you very much

    sorry to say but i actually tried the second one and my eyes and memory both got weaker

    Do these just give you a better memory, or an actual photographic memory.

    For those who are confused about method one, it is about improving your memory. It is just like memorizing how to spell words and the such. It also improves your reading speed and how fast you learn. It is a method we use to teach the kids in the daycare I work at. As for method 2, you know when you look into a light then blink and you see little shapes floating in your sight? It is the same thing. The light reflects off the white paper but not the dark ink. So when the light is turned off, the light reflected on the paper stays for a few seconds and that being the only light, it sticks in you line of vision like when you blink while looking in to a light. Sorry for the lengthy explanation and thank you if you read it all.

    1 reply

    have you tried method 2? For method 2, after you do the excersice for a month and can remember the whole paragraph, for everything else after that do u need to use light to remember it or can u just remember everything without light?

    Do you have to pick 3 different cards everytime or do you use the same three over and over for a week and then add 2 cards to them??

    Instructions to second method are unintelligible.

    Does the first method really give you a photographic memory?

    For method one after you memorize the first three cards and then shuffle them, how are you to be sure that when you put them back they are in the correct order? Should you right them down before to make sure your correct?

    1 reply

    Write*. Also, if you are not sure about the actual order/colour/type of card - not good enough. Blue +2, Green 8, Yellow Skip

    I don't get the second technique...can you please elaborate?