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Digital isn’t always better

Yesterday I officiated at a wedding.  Not unusual for me on a Sunday afternoon.  While there was an official wedding photographer almost every guest at this wedding had a camera of his or her own.  You know the kinds. Small digital cameras that fit in the palm of your hand.  And those that didn’t have a separate camera clicked away taking pictures on their phones!

With the advent of digital photography everyone can be an official photographer.  It’s so easy now. Any photograph that isn’t perfect can be simply dumped and deleted.  In the old days of film everything was developed the good and the bad.  But now you can be even more selective about it.  

The problem for me is that I take them with my digital camera. I even go the next step and upload them on my computer but there it stops.  I usually don’t go the extra mile to have real photographs developed;ones that can be framed or put in an album.

Last night I was going through some old photograph albums of my family. Pictures from my childhood, Bat Mitzvah party, summer camps. Pictures of my college buddies, fellow rabbinical students and my family.

Holding the albums and the pictures some of the Polaroid ones a little faded made me realize how much I miss having the albums.  It also made me realize how much of my life was already lived. I lingered over the pictures of my deceased parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents.  Seeing in the albums my childhood friends and high school friends some of whom I have reconnected with on Facebook and some with whom I never lost contact  brought tears to my eyes.

It is a different experience holding those albums and turning the pages than scrolling through the my pictures category on my home computer. For me it was more comforting, perhaps the nostalgia of the past. 

So for me digital isn’t always better.  I guess the challenge is to print out the digital ones and make new albums so they don’t get lost and future generations of my family will enjoy the photos as I did last night.

Add it to the list of projects. I’ll let you know when I achieve it. 

Happy clicking and downloading and printing them out.

2 thoughts on “Digital isn’t always better”

  1. I soooo agree – when I went home to my Mom’s I spent every night going thru the many photo albums that my Dad had put together – way before digital was thought of – we have photos dating back to the late 1800’s of my great grandparents and early 1900’s when my grandparents came to this country and were married in NYC – they are precious to me and am so grateful to my Dad for creating the albums and leaving them for me – I am able to hold the history of my family in my hands and linger over the stories they hold – I encourage you to print out your photos – or burn them on a disc and take them in to have them printed – they are priceless – wishng you and yours a very happy new year xo reva

  2. I’ve spent the past week (more to go!) sorting through the possessions of a friend who passed away last Sunday. Every so often among the paid bills and small treasures stuffed into drawers a photo would pop up – Robert in a restaurant in Barcelona, Robert serving Thanksgiving dinner, instructing me at one of our courtyard BBQs or cooking in the kitchen at the Theosophical Society where he cheffed for over 20 years. We would stop the work and share the story that the photo recalled. This would not have been the same if we were going through files on his computer. Now the photos will be scanned and uploaded to Flickr to share. I hope lots of them get printed.

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