Having a new baby in the family prompted me to organize my photos to make room for the many more I’m sure will come. I have photos everywhere – hard drive, flash drive to back up my old computer, flash drive to back up my new computer, iPhone, Google+, in the cloud and – from ancient times – hard copy photo albums. Remember those?
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For my Generation Z readers (born 1995 – 2012), photo albums are what we used to have when we actually had cameras – no, not your phone – the camera was its own device. We would carry them around in lieu of imprinting “tourist” on our foreheads when on vacation. At parties, cameras were a must-have and indoor parties required a flash. The guests and guest of honor would see spots for hours after saying, “Cheeeeze!” while looking straight into the camera at the cue.
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Then you had to wait until the whole roll of film was used, very carefully remove it from the device to avoid exposure, and bring it to a camera store to be developed. Some people, like my dad, enjoyed developing photos themselves in their own darkroom. Those of us without that inclination had to wait patiently, sometimes for weeks as I recall, before the photos were ready and you had the time and money to pick them up. Delayed gratification was a practiced art at one time.
After being rescued from the camera shop, some photos just didn’t make the cut. Without the capacity for editing, we inevitably had some photos that contained red eyes, heads cut off or no image at all. Into the sleeves of a photo album went the surviving photos, so we could then bore every poor soul who had the misfortune to visit our home after a big event or trip.
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Now don’t get me started on home videos. I’ve dated myself enough for one day.