Last weekend, my husband asked for one picture, a single lone shot he took. When I went to get it off my camera, I discovered that every single picture I’ve taken over the past year and a half was still on the memory card. Oops.
It took me an entire afternoon and evening to get the pictures onto my computer, sorted, labeled, and edited. It has taken the rest of the week to get them uploaded onto a web site, so I can order them. As I’ve dealt with all these digital images, I’ve been thinking about all the reasons I miss the days of film and negative strips:
1) I take far too many pictures with a digital camera. It never runs out of film, and I can just delete the bad shots which makes taking 1000’s of pictures easy. With film, every image cost money to develop, so I was much more particular about the shots I took.
2) It takes hours of precious time to deal with my overabundance of digital images.
3) I can no longer shove a roll of film into an envelope, drop it into the Kodak box at the grocery store, and pick up the developed pics a few days later. The photo people took care of everything, saving me lots of time.
4) Editing bad photos merely entailed tossing the crappy ones in the trash, the actual can underneath my desk, not a virtual recycle bin on my desktop.
5) Before I get an actual picture, I have to upload them to my computer, sort them into folders, edit them, and upload them to a site before I can order them. The other option is to take my memory card to Wal-Mart on a Saturday with every other person in my small town and wait in line to use one of their machines to develop my shots. Neither of these options is quick or ideal.
6) I no longer have film canisters lying around to store random odds and ends or make to fill with something for a quick baby rattle. The only ones I have left are the ones my husband’s grandma gave us full of the different State Quarters. Did you know that a film canister fits a stack of quarters perfectly? I’m not sure my kids even know what those handy little black canisters filled with
quarters were originally used for.
7) I now have a phone that takes pictures. When we used film, my camera was the only “device” I owned that took pictures, and I didn’t carry it everywhere. I have far too many opportunities to take photos which I then have to deal with.
8) Did I mention that it takes far too much time to take organize and print digital images?
9) In the next week or two, I will receive 800+ photos in the mail, a huge amount. In the happy days of film camera, I got my pictures in perfectly manageable bunches of 24 or 36, depending on the roll of film I had purchased. After my monster order arrives, I will have to spend another hour or two sorting and filing all these photos, getting them ready to put into an album, so we can actually enjoy them. Isn’t that the point? I won’t get started on the amount of time it takes to put them in albums and write about them. I can’t blame that problem on digital cameras, though, so I’ll leave it alone in this post.
Perhaps my problem is not the camera, but the fact that I love photos. I enjoy taking them, putting them in albums, writing the stories behind them, and looking at them. The only real solution here is to abandon photography altogether since I seriously doubt film cameras will ever make a comeback, and abandoning photography is not a solution.
Maybe I should just deal with my photos more frequently than every 18 months. I think I’ll try that.