Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Leaving Your Mark (pt 2) get back to pondering about "leaving your mark"...

Lately, I've been reading one of those thin "Images of America" books from my town's historical society - you know the ones: a sepia photo on the front with lots of black and white photos inside and little tid bits about "what was" compared to "what is now." I love learning the history of people, places and things, especially when it's so close to home - literally. That parking lot? Used to be where the town stables were. That housing development? Used to be verdant fields stretching as far as the eye could see. I don't know any of the people in the photographs, but it doesn't matter.

As I flipped through the pages the other night, my husband commented on the photos and wondered what the "next generation" photo book would show. Years ago, at the end of the 1800s through the early 1900s, photographs were a big deal. The technology was new and exciting. Photos were special treasures. They captured moments in time that gave insight.

Fast forward to 2009. Digital technology is current. Photos on digital cameras and phones, no more film. Kodak has recently discontinued Kodachrome film (even if I still love the Paul Simon song). I actually miss taking my roll of film to be developed, anxiously waiting to receive that small package of processed 4"x6"surprises. I supposed you could still have film developed, and I have to say I'm jealous of those who have their own dark rooms and know how to process film.'s 2009. For the casual photo-taker like me, it's point, shoot, look at the playback to decide if it's acceptable, download and share. With the exception of my wedding and honeymoon photos, I haven't had photos printed in years. KodakGallery even threatened to remove our online accounts because we continually uploaded albums online but have not printed in the last 12 months.

So, where does that leave our "next generation" photo book? Some might say, nothing's changed. Technology is better, faster, sharper. We'll always have photos. Maybe. But will future generations get a feeling for how we lived? As evident by the ease of deleting photos, among other things, we have become a disposable society - daresay, a restless society - one that may not value things the same way as earlier generations. What do our photos say about us?

Don't mind me...I'm just feeling a bit nostalgic again. But it's food for thought, don't you think?

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