Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Old School Photos and Books

The age of old school photography has pretty much ended. I am not talking about the professional photographer, but instead, the amateur photographer:  the person that goes on vacation and has to have a picture of your travel mate or family in front of every ridiculous monument you visit. I was and still am one of those people. With digital photography, mistakes can now be just deleted with the press of a single button. We are now in an immediate, instant world.

There is something about holding that photograph in your hands that you waited an entire week for. That feeling of satisfaction gazing down at the photo that you yourself took. I would always love waiting for them to come in the mail from Clark photo labs or counting down the week until they were developed at the local supermarket or pharmacy. I would pray and hope that each one would come out perfect! But more than not, Uncle Charlie would have his eyes closed and Cousin Sarah would have the dreaded “red eye”. My brother Adam's mouth would be gaping open at an inopportune moment ... sorry Adam :). Someone’s little brother would try and photobomb each picture. You would see his head try and creeping into the bottom of the photograph. Or he would just lunge in between you and your best friend. I’d take a photograph of the cat who would jump out of the frame at the last minute and curse him for making you waste the film. Or it would be too sunny or too dark and everyone’s faces would be whited or blacked out. I would try and photograph a landscape while in my Dad’s car and inevitably, it would come out blurry. But every once in awhile, I would have that photograph that comes out PERFECT. It would either go on the fridge or in a frame on the my dresser. I miss that thrill. Today, it is too immediate, too instant. Some of the joy of amateur photography has been lost in the digital age. Our kids will never know a world where they don’t have to wait a week or two to get their photos developed. 

And in the same breath, the Kindle, Nook, or other electronic book readers have begun to revolutionize our attitudes and methods of reading.  Two of my coworker both love theirs. They say the readers are convenient,  easy to use, and save on space, especially when traveling. The memory on each is incredible, the books are cheap, and you can swap the book 'files' with others, or even rent them now at the library.  Books can be downloaded anywhere you can get a "wifi" signal, the readers are light, and can be read in bed or while working out at the gym easier than a conventional book. Both friends interestingly agree that they use theirs for their hobby of reading novels but both say it would not replace purchasing or reading coffee table or photography books

I will always love books. I love their smell, their feel, and their weight. Thumbing through colorful pages of photographs, back and forth, marking where I stop for the next night with a favorite book mark. I am so old school with my books! I love coffee table books which are large enough to encompass your entire lap, ones that weigh like 10 or more pounds. What fun and joy have I always received from spending hours of my youth pouring over pictures of different animals, people, and places. These days, I have about 4 or 5 bedside that I pick from to read for an hour or so before bed.  One night it may be the biography of Thomas Jefferson, another night a travel journal from across the globe, and still another Ernest Hemingway's short stories. Reading before bed relaxes me although I find I need to go over the last couple pages from the night before. I often forget what the heck I last read from the previous night.

When my father moved West with my step-mom Martha, he graciously left me his art book library. I added it to my own library and now treasure each tome. My Aunt Janet was one of my favorite aunts when I was a little kid. She gave me a book each time we visited with her. Now as an adult, I appreciate that. These days, I try and give a book each visit to my nieces, nephews, and kids of my close friends. I guess you could say I am the "Book Uncle." I bring them a book each time I see them ... but usually throw in some cold hard cash in the inside cover for them to buy what they actually wanted. I love books and want to pass that on, but come on now, I was a kid once too!


  1. I love books, just as exactly you describe them.

  2. Marc, Frazzled at FortyAugust 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Thanks for the comment. Yesterday was so rainy out, it was a "perfect" book day!