In recent days I had occasion to look through old photos. Whilst doing so, I once again confronted the good and bad aspects of technology.
Firstly, as I’ve mentioned before, I embrace technology and the way it’s improved my life. As someone who was raised on radio, I am still amazed that I don’t have to buy a song or wait by said radio for the song to play. I can simply type the song title – or an approximation of the title – into a search bar and listen to it immediately.
Secondly, as I’ve also mentioned, I will never not miss video stores. Sure, they didn’t always have the movie you wanted to rent, but they would have something for you to watch. Yes, I know we can still rent movies, but I refuse to rent from those red boxes due to my paranoia and I am downright insulted when a streaming service suggests I cough up a few bucks to rent a flick. The absolute nerve!
See, there’s good and bad with everything, like digital photography. By the way, I was working at the newspaper when digital photography hit the scene. I remember where I was sitting when I was told it wouldn’t take hold.
Anyway, I’m not an expert photographer. Any success I’ve had with photography stems from advice a former colleague at the newspaper gave me – if you take enough photos, at least one of them will be usable. During my careers in the newspaper and public relations fields, I learned to be aware of my subjects and their surroundings. Thus, when I point out the good and bad with digital photography, I am not going to discuss lighting and other artsy aspects. I’m all about the basics.
So, here are the goods – you can immediately review the photo and see if a subject’s eyes are closed or if it looks like fire is coming from the back of somebody’s head. You can see if a photo is out of focus. You can see if someone is making an embarrassing face or not showing the best side or if it’s just a bad picture. Those photos can forever be deleted and never seen by anyone, assuming you are not subject to a subpoena.
Digital photos can also be shared on social media and with others immediately. And uploaded to the cloud – I have no idea what that is – and other places. You can’t do that with prints. Indeed, I had to take photos of old photos with my phone for a photo book I’m creating.
Here is my only bad with digital photography – I miss prints. Yes, I know it cuts down on so much stuff. Yes, I know we can technically still make prints from digital images, but it takes wizardry to find a working machine. And if you find one, you have to pinky-swear that you own the rights to the photos. I get nervous, afraid I’ll be arrested if I accidentally make a print of a photo my niece took.
As I’ve mentioned before in this-here column, I love reading ebooks. They changed my life. And I love snapping photos of everything from store merchandise to food to lists to tulips with a phone. A phone! If you’d told me that would happen back when I was sitting by the radio, hoping to hear a favorite song, I would have slowly backed away from you.
But I’ve embraced technology. My phone and computer are filled with photos I’ve taken of loved ones. I’d also like to be surrounded by more of those photos in print even if it requires more pinky swears.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.