Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Way Things Are

I was driving near Oregon State University like I typically do. The weather was sunny and gorgeous. As students walked or biked to their respective destinations, one student in particular caught my eye. She was bending down to take a photo of a daisy in the lawn just off the sidewalk. I had to smile. In the midst of the hustle-bustle of life's demands, she took a moment to stop and capture a tiny sliver of nature while on her way to her destination. 

When I was a kid, I had my very own Kodak Instamatic Camera. The father mailed it to me for my 11th birthday. Living in Hawaii at the time, I remember how I'd take pictures of flowers or my pets or the scenery. When the film was full, I'd mail it back to the father who would develop it and send the photos back. All of this would take a month, sometimes longer. I would not-so-patiently wait for the mother to get home from work, hoping the photo package would be part of the mail she'd picked up from the post office.

Remember this? 
When those photos finally arrived, I was always disappointed. The perfection that I had hoped for was always out of reach. Even years later when I'd take photos of my children with more advanced cameras, the results would never meet my expectations.

But then something magical happened. Digital photography happened. Comparatively tiny, pocket-sized cameras with high-resolution capabilities happened. Easily accessible computers with decent photo editing software happened. Risk-free photography happened. What a fabulous concept!

Now, kids can pull their telephone out of their pocket, snap a photo and post it on social media sites, all in a matter of seconds.

And not just still-photos but movies! When I was a kid, movie-watching was a big production that required setting up a portable screen and noisy projector.

Kids and young adults of today's world can't possibly understand how we older people marvel over modern technologies. To them it's just everyday stuff.

When I see youngsters taking photographs of little flowers or whatever, I'm reminded of that Me of long ago. And I'm happy to witness the improvements.

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