Ask any twenty year old if they have ever used a film camera and they will likely have no idea what you are on about. They may have been given a Polaroid for Christmas one year that was played with for a few days then never used again when their parents realised how expensive the refills were.
They will never have had to choose an ISO, how many negatives they want on a film, if they fancy black and white or colour. All the planing that used to go into taking photographs. They have lost the joy in being limited to how many images you can capture, spending the extra time on getting the perfect angle, best lighting and not knowing if you even managed to even catch that shot you so wanted. Remember the noise signaling the end of a film, the chance lost? No more opportunity to capture the moment. Then putting it into the bottom of your bag until a few weeks later you actually get round to handing the film in to your local chemist to get developed, and then a month later you remember to pick it up.
Nowadays people snap away taking hundreds of photos of the same thing, then they edit it, make it look sunnier, take away a few spots and a pot belly before putting it out there for the world to see. Where after a few days it will be lost, will all the other photos in the world of the internet.
Now it is a surprise to even see someone with an actual camera, not a mobile or a tablet but something that is purely made for the sole purpose of capturing a photograph, nothing else. Photos are now all about the pose, the selfie, the look at where I am, how amazing is my life, seeing how many likes your latest upload gets from friends and family on social media.
People no longer have photo albums, organised and cherished. Those shoe boxes of photos under your bed there to rediscover when ever you move house, or as the lid pops of when you hoover round them and you are suddenly in the moment of a time long ago, something to have forever. Something to bring back family and friends no longer with us, a chance to relive and cherish those precious moments.
What will future generations have to do to relive moments of those lost in these times? Hack the social media page of their loved ones when they pass? Does anyone ever even print out their digital images? do you know where they are, or would your first response be to check Facebook?
Remember how your gran used to carry a few photos in her purse? She would get a glance of those special people every time she went to buy something. When was the last time you saw someone carrying an actual printed image?
I know digital has it’s uses and I know the world is not going to go back to film cameras and having a darkroom in our spare room (one day, one day I will have one!).
But why not get a few prints of your happy holiday snaps this summer? pick your favorites, buy a photo album ( or give a life to one of those unused at the back of your cupboard) and spend time looking through them, trust me you will love it. Even better make up an album for a friend as a gift.
Bring back the joy in the printed image! 🙂