Today I was remembering…Remembering when cameras had to have film put into them before you could actually take a picture. Remembering when you had to be particular with what photos you took, as you had to pay for the whole roll to be developed. Remembering waiting for days for the film to be developed. Remember those days? And then remember how grand it was when faster processing, especially 1 hour processing became available?!
After all the years of anguish, of discovering dirty camera lenses, fingers blocking half-the picture, blurry images… All the torture of finding you didn’t actually capture the moment the way you remembered it? Seemingly, this has to happen no more. We now happily find ourselves immersed in…The Digital Age.
I’ll readily admit, I definitely had some issues with the whole idea of digital photography. Especially when it came to the quickly growing options in editing. I’d spent years and way too much money investing in learning how to take good pictures. To see that people could snap a pic, have it barely worth noticing, then alter it into something it wasn’t to begin with? It was in the middle of a scathingly hot August, the grass wasn’t actually green, but we’ll make it appear that way… That, to me, was sacrilege.
And I’ll admit, some days it still is. There’s something about a pure, unaltered, unadulterated photograph. Knowing that is how the moment actually was. The waters of the lake were really that blue, as were the cloudless skies above it. That smiling boy’s cheeks were truly as rosy as the red apple in his hand. The sparkle in that girl’s eye that wasn’t photoshopped in.
Yet here I am, fickle-minded and now delighting in the options of digital photography. I love it. Yes, I still take photos with care, though no longer for worry of misusing valuable film and costing myself more pennies. I do so because I know that the way I capture this moment, it represents how I see the world around me. Quirky, colorful, vibrant…inspiring. And if the world sees things how I view it, I might feel a little more understood. A little more known. Or people might at least understand that, yes, I’m really that odd.
So I confess, I edit some of my pictures. I sometimes crop edges to frame the subject better, I add a little more ‘pop’ to the color, I add some effects… and I have fun. I still don’t own photo editing software on my computer, just apps on my phone. But I happily use them, making my grass look greener than my neighbors at times, or taking some of the red out of my own cheeks in self-portraits. (Vanity, I know.) It’s actually become common practice to see how I can better what I’ve captured.
And then there are pictures like the one I took yesterday. It’s just a iPhone pic, but it’s one that I can think of doing nothing with. It is far from perfect, but it captured beauty, life and dazzling colors… It captured the way I saw things, in that moment.