3 Doors Down from a Red-Eye Monster

Posted by: , November 17, 2008 in 11:03 am

A picture is worth a thousand words. 

Unless of course, it is being held hostage in a digital camera or on a slow running, overburdened hard drive.  In such a case, a picture is worth zilch.

A few months before our son was born my parents bought me a digital camera.  The Radio Shack guy talked them into purchasing a charger and rechargeable batteries.  Apparently the Shack knew nothing about memory cards.  Michael and I soon figured out the glaring difference between having a 512 MB memory card and a 1 GB.  We were filling our memory card with 25-30 photos.  We soon invested in a larger card and now take 200 snapshots of our life at any given time. Funny thing, though:  I am thirty-six-years-old and from 1972 until now my entire life captured on film resulted in less than 200 snapshots.  Since the advent of digital photography, one month in my four-year-old’s life produces 100+ photos.

And the mommy minions have not yet converted me to scrapbooking.

I am admittedly a whore to Snapfish.  Recently, I spent two full days removing red-eye, cropping, re-organizing and uploading Benjamin’s entire life to the digital phantasm known as Hewlett-Packard.  Snapfish catalogs an archive of my entire post-baby existence; they are a web-based service I am fairly certain every American mom (cropper or not) prays NEVER crashes. 

Of the thousands of photographs Michael and I have taken since he was born, we have only the first six months of Benjamin’s life printed out.  Snapfish is holding on to the rest, in neatly organized albums.   

Digital photography seems like a blessing.  Yet, recently I have been caressing my 35mm thinking back to the good old days. 

I can’t be the only one who mourns the death of traditional photography.  Aw, come one.  Let me make my argument clear.

Have you ever been treated to an Adobe slideshow of one of your friends’ kids—didn’t you sort of yearn for just a face-to-face visit and a tangible, good ol’ fashioned photo?  Let’s get together.  Hand me one picture of Johnny’s little league game.  If I wanted to see a frame-by-frame representation of your kid’s game, musically accompanied by a 3 Doors Down song, I would’ve been sitting there next to you on the bleachers (listening to 3 Doors Down on your iPod). 

Oh, and have you ever begrudgingly clicked through a series of lamely captioned photos your co-worker forwarded to you?  You know the ones.  “Here’s Looking at You Kid,” typed beneath a photo of Little Billy staring into the eyes of an ornery goat at the Petting Zoo.  You wish to God that Kodak Picture Sharing had never been invented, don’t you? 

Oh!  Oh!  How about the times you’ve visited a friend’s Facebook profile and there she is in all of her glory, a flash reflection whiting out her 2” x 2” profile picture because she took a photo of herself in the mirror.  With her camera phone. 

Polaroid, anyone? 

Oh, and how about the profile pictures procured by holding out one’s camera phone, two feet away from one’s face.  I’m glad someone thought up a way for us all to enjoy each other’s real and/or optically-illusioned double chins? 

Just think.  If not for digital photography we would have to take our roll of film into a photo shop.  We would have to wait a few days.  Eventually we would return and pick up our envelope.  We would sit in our car flipping through our recent memories, now captured for eternity on actual paper.  We would discretely discard those red-eye photos, the double chin shots, the blurry kid-on-the-move ones and we’d be left with only good memories. 

But hey…isn’t it great to know you can take a colossally bad photograph and upload it to the internet in only a matter of seconds, for literally everyone in the known universe to see?   

Well, I should get going.  A friend just sent me a 120-photo slideshow of her 3-month-old lying virtually motionless, beneath his Baby Einstein Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym. 

I’m afraid to admit this, but one-quarter of the way through this slideshow, Michael might find me here begging for some audio accompaniment.  The Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym could probably benefit from some irritatingly catchy southern rock.  




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