Digital cameras give us instant gratification. You take a shot, check it, and if everything’s not perfect, you delete and try again. We can zoom in and get only a fraction of what the old “film” gave us in a photo. We can edit out the toys all over the floor, or the goofy face someone made, or the random pet that wandered onto the scene at precisely the wrong moment. We can erase the photos the kids took of the weeds in the backyard, or the bad hair day we had on vacation with just the touch of a button. Is this always a good thing?
While cleaning off an old bookshelf, I ran across some of those little photo albums we used to get back before we had a digital camera. They were full of random memories. There were lots of candid shots. There were photos my daughter took of her stuffed animals, and halves of our heads, and beloved pets who have gone to Heaven now. It was an amazing treasure trove of things and times I’d forgotten. What’s more, I could hold them. Since going digital, I rarely print a photo. They scroll on my screensaver or flash on a digital frame. But, holding these photos was like placing my hands around a little bit of the past. It’s almost as if to prove that those moments were solid once, as real as the photo in my hand.
So, this week I have decided to dig out the “film” camera, dust it off, and make some new, not-so-instantly gratifying memories to find someday in the future…like long forgotten, perfectly imperfect treasures.