Saturday, September 1, 2012

I Hope You All Know A Good Photography Major

Does anybody remember taking rolls of film to be developed at a photo hut in the mall? Or even your local Walmart or pharmacy?

Do you recall paying so much extra for double prints or trying to avoid the watchful stare of the developer, in your shared knowledge that he has already seen photos of your girlfriend naked? Even before you got to see how they came out?

I ask you this, because I realized I don't have photographs in my room. I've have art – pop art prints, a signed-and-framed movie poster, even a few original paintings. All my photos are in albums next to yearbooks and whatnot in my night stand. The last, maybe half of those are just printouts of facebook pics.

Pics. Not photos, but "pics." One or two might even have little neon hearts and dates on them, but a few are just cropped. All are on standard, bleached white printer paper.

I own photo paper, what the hell? I could make a real photograph out of any hi-res image on my drive. Why didn't I? Why don't I?

And I'm in a better predicament than most. Half of my friends don't own a printer. Several don't own a working computer. Several are without cell phones. In 2012.

And that may be the problem. It's 2012. I've seen this movie. We don't grab our digital photo frames. The kids grab their GameBoy 6GS-X's and John Cusack grabs the kids and throws them in his plane. Everything is connected, and everything is in the cloud. Hoarding physical media collections is considered an eccentricity, and I can see why. We have fewer things in physical space, just as we expand our presence out into cyberspace. There's an infinite world a half-dimension away from us, and we're just expanding laterally.

Except none of us have any faces of friends and family on our shelves.

So for everyone with adorable children on the horizon and fantastic adventures in your spyglasses, I encourage you to invest in a stack of high-gloss Kodak paper.

Either that, or make nice with your friends from high school who ended up buying $3000 Canon Rebels, because they're going to be the only ones who'll be able to hook you up with eight-by-tens or know what stop bath is.

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