This little roll of film made getting pics so much easier.

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.

No Comments

  1. Rick Kirby Photography on November 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I agree, I miss shooting film.

    • Amy Isaman on November 13, 2011 at 3:59 am

      I thought of one more which would have made it an even ten – I really miss the excitement of opening up an envelope of film to see what I shot. That whole element of surprise is gone and we can take pics until we get them just right, but then we sometimes miss those elements that made a decent snapshot a great snapshot since we can delete so easily.

  2. Debra Mae White on November 10, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I feel your pain Amy…technology designed to simplify and speed up life has served to swallow up mine!

    • Amy Isaman on November 13, 2011 at 4:01 am

      I know! I’ve decided that technology is NOT designed to make our lives easier. Instead, it’s designed by people who love gadgets and are compelled to make more of them. They then unleash them on an innocent and unsuspecting public before returning to their computers to design more unhelpful, time consuming products – urrggghh!

  3. themiddlegeneration on November 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I love your perspective on the old film cameras. I hadn’t quite thought of it that way. I used to have a reason to put my photos in scrapbooks along with memorabilia from my trips. I’d occasionally pull them out and reflect on them. Now, even though I have a hard drive full of digital pictures, I rarely browse through them unless I am searching for a particular one. Too bad….

    • Amy Isaman on November 13, 2011 at 4:03 am

      It is sad. My mother in law was visiting a few months ago. She got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and ended up staying awake for three hours watching the slide show screen saver on my computer, so she could see all the pictures. I felt awful! That was the only way she had seen pics of her grandkids. There are millions of photos stuck on hard drives and memory cards because its so time consuming to get them off, and then we have so many of them that putting them into albums is a whole other project.

  4. Sharon Rosse on November 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Hear Hear! Great synopsis. I so agree with your assessment of digital photography’s downside – and it’s a big downside.

    • Amy Isaman on November 13, 2011 at 4:04 am

      All the comments have agreed. I think we could become rich if we could come up with an easy solution to this problem – but I have no idea what it is.

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