Friday, November 15, 2013

Pictures in a Digital Age

One of too many Oops shots
When the boys were younger, we would buy them those disposable cameras to take on field trips and vacations.  It was the safest method for their picture taking considering how often they forgot where they put things.  However, when I went to have the film developed quite often I had wished that they had lost the camera.  There were shots of the car ceiling, the floorboard, the back of a seat, toys taking naps, and some things I just could not recognize.  There blurry shots and dark shots and too bright shots and shot after shot of a tree, usually the same tree.

Still, there were funny moments found in their cameras, such as the photo shoot taking place in the back seat where Chris pretended he was one of the Power Rangers and Zac took several shots for posterity. There were cute poses of them sleeping and several of the family pets, pictures I would have never known about or probably taken that I’m glad I have now.

However, then the problem became we took them, glanced at them after we bought them, and then tossed them into a box or photo album, stuck them in a closet and forgot about them.  We only dragged them out when company came and wanted to peek or we moved houses and remembered they were in there.  All of those memories were remanded to a closet darker than my memory.  It seemed a waste and a shame.

One of the Billion scenery shots we have
Things became somewhat better with the advent of the digital camera.  Now it didn’t matter how many pictures they took of the car’s floorboard, because I wasn’t paying to have them developed.  A hundred pictures of a tree from every angle and still that was fine.  Digital space is easier to maneuver than closet space.  It also made them easier to share through email and uploads.  Still, it didn’t even matter that they were on social media sites like Facebook because while I post them so that long distance family and friends can see them, I rarely go back and browse through them unless I need a picture for a blog post and remembered where a good embarrassing one of the kids was posted.  It’s faster than digging through that box in the closet and scanning one.  Still, even though they are easier to find and look at, it still seemed I wasn’t enjoying them as much as I should.

I have no idea why I have this picture
Then technology caught up with my frustration, as it has a habit of doing, and someone invented digital picture frames.  While quite a bit of technological advances leave me feeling like Gibbs from NCIS, I love this contraption, er, device.  We have two, one in each of the main rooms of our house and I have purchased large thumb drives to use with them.  I’ve spent hours loading pictures and shuffling them so that they will rotate in no necessary order or timeframe.  Zac will be in his baby carrier in one picture and then two pictures later he’s showing off his new truck.  I can sit and stare as they shuffle through or just smile as one photo catches my eye as I am passing through the house.  The 9 year-old is constantly stopping in front of them and staring at pictures of her, which I suppose is better than her standing in front of a mirror all day long.

And the great thing is that I can do whatever I want with them.  I have thumb drives for the holidays, and at Thanksgiving, I will pull the general one out and place the Christmas one in.  We can relive the previous years’ highlights as we’re preparing for the current year.  And we can keep adding, unlike a photo album that fills up, and a thumb drive is quite a bit smaller and easier to store than a photo album.  The digital picture frame even has a remote!

I would replace all of the picture frames in the house with digital ones if I could.  I’d hang them on the walls, put them on shelves and desks, and keep one by my bedside.  There is never a time that I get bored of looking at them as the memories they hold are always bringing a smile to my face.  I’ve even begun to scan all of those pictures that have been crammed into boxes in the closet or under the bed.  Now I have to figure out what to do with all of that space I am freeing up.

Because I wanted a picture of the booze I bought on the cruise

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Other posts you might enjoy ~ It's Time to Invest in Your Own Pictures 
                                            The Online Word of Mouth 
                                            The Importance of Being Alone 

Thanks for visiting The Mess! Keep chasing your dreams!


  1. I saw my first camera (my father's Rolleiflex double lens image viewer) and I was hooked. Through school and travels, now wish I could catalogue them all) And now my children, also love photography. Thanks for this reminder!

    1. My pleasure. I've always been a picture buff to the point that at times it drives my family and friends crazy. It's awesome how they can take you right back to a period of time. Thanks for visiting.

  2. Pictures are funny things, aren't they? We always want to capture those moments, yet we rarely go back and look at them. I agree about the digital frames being a great invention. Slideshows on my computer are also cool. And I've made video slideshows of my family through the years, set to songs with lyrics that mean something for those specific people. Those are fun to watch, because I can watch the people I love progressing through the years, all in the space of a few minutes. Those slideshows also make me cry. I suppose that's the power of photo images. :)

    Thanks for another fun post. It's been a long time since I thought of all those crazy and nonsense photos caught on film!

    1. I've done the slideshows myself with music in the background. Loved watching them as well, and I did shed a few tears as I watched the boys grow up before my eyes.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Darcia :)