Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Photography

So, a couple months ago I walked into daycare and there were pictures of kids all over the front bulletin boards. I scanned them and finally found the most adorable picture of Jacob...one like I had been wanting to catch for a couple years now. Alas, we have very few leaves in our yard now so who knows when I'll personally grab one like this! As Christmas approached, the pictures were taken down and I wondered what became of the photo. But it finally showed up in Jacob's mailbox sometime around Christmas. I was pretty psyched.

And now, thanks to a computer equipment free-for-all at work, I now have a scanner with which to scan it. I'm pretty excited about that, because just the other night I was thinking about the cool pictures I have from about 15 years of using a film camera that haven't had the chance to be part of my digital frame slideshows or used as my wallpaper.

Obviously most of them are so far removed from the focus of this blog that I don't think it will enhance this space very much, but sometimes it is fun to reminisce about the cool things I did do before getting married and/or having a child. With Jacob as my main focus most of the time, I tend to forget that life before him had some great moments too. Even before Craig, for that matter. Last week I was thinking about the trip I took to Quebec City 15 years ago. It took place on MLK weekend, and in the midst of the brutal cold we happened to have on MLK day this year, it took me back to that amazing trip--three whole days in the French Canadian world I had craved to experience. And when I was thinking about it last week, I wished I had a scanner to scan more than the one or two pictures I scanned years ago for my now-defunct website. At my old job, the Amerks' office scanner lived under my desk and I scanned quite a few pics back in the day, but in the five years since (and yes, the majority of that time I've owned a digital camera so it hasn't mattered), I haven't had access to one and therefore many of my older pictures sit forgotten. But literally a day or two after wishing I had one, the email went out that some old equipment in my office was free for the taking, and voila...we have a scanner.

That said, I still believe wholeheartedly in my hard-copy photo albums. I love looking through old albums--my own and others'--and think it's sad that they're going the way of the dinosaurs. I just feel like there's more permanence, and the quality of the content of those pictures isn't as diluted by random stuff as what comes from us snap-happy digital photographers these days. It had to be special to expend one of those 24 exposures on it. We just had to hope we got a good shot. That said, I do like that I can capture the perfect photo and lots of background detail-type photos with my digital camera without wasting film or spending another $10 on another roll and the developing. I love that I can print four times as many pictures for the same price now, and take dozens more at no additional cost. I wouldn't change a thing about the digital era. But there's something special about those old pictures and I hope someday Jacob can enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed my parents' old albums.

However, I do know the reality. He'll have more opportunity to see digital shots than anything else, and I think that's why having the scanner will be great. I can scan some of my favorite shots and have them available for him to see among all of our newer pictures. We did have a life in pictures prior to August of 2006, and I want to make sure it's well-represented in the ones I browse through periodically. Still, it's amazing to think that Jacob will never live in a world of film cameras, where we had to wait days or weeks (or months!) to see how a picture turned out, where printed photos and albums will be scarce, and where nearly every significant moment of his life will be well-documented. Amazing how times have changed.

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