Sunday, June 12, 2011

Where's Waldo and 4x6's

Yesterday, after a hiatus, I had some prints made of some of my photos. Most were 4x6's, one was an 8x12. Duplicates were made of all the 4x6's for a very special reason. I plan on sharing my direct memories with family members in a physical form. My photography is shared in bulk online. I take a photo, tweak the color and exposure slightly (if digital), and then it's off into Internet land. Through normal mail, family members will be able to hold, touch (and smell!) my photographs. There's a certain spirit to ink and paper that a computer screen cannot duplicate. Maybe it's the immediacy a computer gives; a computer can load an image quickly, it can be removed from existence quickly. The press of button can delete a ten thousand photos. A physical photograph can be ripped and shredded, put into water, and still the most efficient way is through burning them. Now THAT'S  tangible.

Looking at my prints though.. it's like the first time I had prints made from my 110 "Where's Waldo" point and shoot camera I had bought with tickets at an arcade called "Fun Fun Fun". To my parents' horror, every photo had Waldo in the photo. And no, he wasn't tiny and we didn't have to squint our eyes while standing on our heads to find him. He took up a quarter of our 4x6's! And to add insult to injury, these were timeless Christmas photos. Yes, Waldo would will spend the rest of time in our Christmas photos. And that is exactly what makes them so memorable. That's what makes me smile about photos that I took almost twenty years ago. Those are the photos that let me know that we existed and had fun and made mistakes as a family. Photographs are our lives. They reflect who we are and who we aimed to be.

Photographs are memories. They are what we saw on that day, on the hour, at the minute, on that very instant. Whether our photos are recorded chemically or digitally, it's that physical aspect that I had lost touch with.

Don't let your photographs become nothing more than 1's and 0's on your hard drive. Bring them to life again and share your lasting memories with loved ones.

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