Sunday, December 13, 2009


Once upon a time there was a thing called film. Much of it was made by Kodak. It was used to record visual images, called pictures. The film had to be processed, or developed, in order to see the pictures. Almost everybody had to send the film off, usually through a drug store, in order to have the film developed. You would get your pictures back in a week or so. Some stores would allow you to review your pictures and not pay for those that were overexposed (too much light), underexposed (too dark), or just bad. Although not really expensive, between the cost of the film and the developing, you normally only took "important" pictures. The really good pictures might be framed and displayed. Most went into the "picture box" never to be seen again (except during family reunions when the box might be found under the bed and opened in order to embarrass Aunt Martha whose hair was no longer black, or Uncle Joe whose hair was no longer.) Then the world went digital!

Now pictures are instant. As soon as you take the picture, you see it. If good, you keep it. If not, you delete it. If you forget your camera, no problem, use your phone. No phone, use your laptop. No way to take a picture? Ask anyone around you to take the picture and email it to you. It is there before you get home. Picture box? No way. I-Photo. Not only can you store unlimited pictures in your gigabytes of storage, they will be indexed by date, GPS coordinate, and facial features. You can email your pictures, share them online, and print them. Better yet, you can modify them. No longer is it necessary to tear a picture in two in order to get rid of the old boy friend. Now you can just erase him! Have you gained too much weight for the class reunion program? Hit the "slim" button. Grass not green enough? Enhance it.

I guess digital photography is better than film. It is certainly easier. But are your photos as valued as they once were? Or has speed, economy and ease taken away some of the importance we once placed on a good picture? In fact, has speed, economy and ease taken away some of the importance we once placed on many things in our lives?

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