I love taking pictures.
Even when I was younger, I always had whatever camera was in style. Remember Polaroids? You took a picture, it magically came out instantly, and then you could watch it develop. It was truly miraculous. Of course if you put your fingers on it accidentally the whole thing got ruined and it was really cool to dissect the actual picture to see what was going on — though they were a little on the expensive side, so you tried to be as careful as possible. If you are wondering why that technological marvel no longer exits, it is probably because the camera weighed about 12 pounds and didn’t really fit into anything to make it easier to shlep it around.
For my eighth-grade graduation, my aunt and uncle got me a Nikon camera. That one was totally awesome because I had to install the film myself — hook it up, roll it through — it was a very complicated process, and I felt very mature and intelligent when I got the thing to work. I also had to use the lens to focus so the picture wouldn’t be fuzzy. Of course, when you take pictures with a camera like that, it takes a tad bit longer. OK, it takes a lot longer to get the picture in focus, and you have to hope everyone has enough patience to get the shot. And after you use the whole roll of film, you pray that you forwarded the film enough that when you open the camera, you don’t expose it and ruin the whole roll. It was always hit or miss and I probably hit and missed an equal amount.
Then you brought the film in and waited a week to 10 days to get your pictures back. And then you have those memories forever.
My next camera had a cool red case and it was programmed to do everything, so I just popped the film in the back and closed it. Fantastic. It was so high tech that the date of the picture appeared on the bottom of the actual picture. Of course I could never figure out how to put the correct date in so I have a whole bunch of albums filled with pictures that have the wrong date on them. Oh well. At least the pictures are all in focus.
And then came the digital camera. You could take pictures and then see what they looked like so you could decide if you wanted to retake the picture. Technology is amazing! You can see the picture before you develop it! Woweeee! I loved this little silver device. When it broke, I paid to fix it because I loved it so much. Unfortunately, in the two weeks it took to get my precious camera back, out came the iPhone. And as you all know, life as we knew it would never ever be the same. The iPhone was great. You could call people, you could text people, you could take pictures of people, you could video people, all in one handy dandy product.
As some of you know, it took me a while to give in to the iPhone trend. It isn’t that I thought it wouldn’t last, I was just afraid to become a part of the culture. But once my boys got it for me, I said goodbye to all of my cameras. I apologized for having to break up with them. I told them how easy it was going to be for me to take pictures. The quality of the pictures was better, the ease it took to take the pictures…it was all wonderful.
Except for one crucial thing. I had and still have no idea how to develop them. Any of them. There are hundreds and hundreds of pictures on my phone. Three years worth of pictures. Son #3 has started shaving and grown five inches since I have been taking pictures on my phone, and I still can’t figure out how to develop them. I don’t even know where to start, or how much it will end up costing to develop 700 pictures. And then my phone starts telling me that I have no space left in my camera and I have to start deleting some pictures. Which ones do I delete?? I can’t delete them yet. I don’t have them in an album and I can’t get them in an album because I still don’t know how to develop them. So you see my problem…
Maybe I will ask Alexa what to do, or Siri…at least they won’t laugh at me.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is still in denial that son #3’s high school graduation is in two weeks. But will probably still take pictures and cry.