My phone storage is full. The message popped up this morning as I attempted to take a picture of you, Dwight. Not that I need any more images of you. I take for granted that my “clicking” has its limits. Snapping pictures with my phone is a daily occurrence. A butterfly, a heart shape on a tree, a heron, and of course your sweet face.
My phone is my camera. No more 35 mm film canisters, focusing, setting f-stops and shutter speeds. No more careful planning for that perfect shot, winding the film, removing it and dropping it off to be developed. No more waiting. That anticipation after picking up the processed film, flipping through the photos, hoping for some good shots. Smiling as the preserved images conjure up remembrances of a road trip or a mountain sunset. It’s almost too easy now. Failure is an option, that can be deleted, or preserved for a good laugh.
35 mm photography is an expensive hobby. I wouldn’t have wasted film by taking a picture of you every single day, or a shot of the pillow in TJ Max, to determine if it “fits” with the den sofa. A roll of film only had 36 shots, so I used them sparingly. I never had a dark room, so I had to take my film somewhere for processing. Sometimes the canisters would pile up, as I didn’t always have the funds to develop them.
Now I take a lot of photographs. Why is that? Am I trying to preserve a joyous instant? Hopeful that a good moment will become an epic one by capturing its image and sharing it on social media? I think I take so many because it’s easy. I always have my phone with me, so I can snap pictures all day long. But I find that I rarely give them another glance. They leave my phone to be stored in that great “cloud in the sky”. Preserved memories floating around in cyber space. There are probably as many photos in that cloud as there are stars in the sky.
As we are both working on our hoarding tendencies, Dwight, this is great. We don’t have to find a place to store them in the house. I can buy more cyber storage and click on. We can just access the cloud to find a memory.
Although my phone is convenient, I miss the old way of taking photographs. It was more mindful. A little slower. There was more mystery to it. A tangible memory that I could touch and turn over in my hands. One moment in time…preserved. Magic.