Thinking about digital photography for a bit

Shaking off this latest cold has been difficult. It lingered more than I thought it would. A lot of people seem to have had a wave of something spread throughout town. That mental dullness that comes from having a cold easily defeats the need to write. Even some of the output that has occurred has been left to the false start bin which in my case is just unpublished prose. It will sit in a word processing document from now until the time that cloud storage ceases to exist. Remarkably large amounts of data have been stored in terms of pictures, documents, and other nonsense on cloud servers. Sometimes I end up wondering what will happen to all those pictures. For the most part even well kept photo albums from the past only last for so long. We have surprisingly few photographs in our possession from before 1980. People certainly did take photographs with film based cameras and had them developed at these little stores that no longer exist for the most part. 

You got an envelope with pictures and the now exposed film back at the end of the process. Today none of that waiting really exists. Some people do use instant film cameras and a few people have these little portable printers to be able to give somebody a physical copy of a picture. Presumably the vast majority of photography today is just digital. It’s probably in the neighborhood of around 99% based on the rise of the smartphone and its promise of AI assisted quick and easy digital photography. I’m not saying that nothing is getting printed these days. People certainly print photographs and share them or maybe display them on a wall, desk, or shelf. Presentation and sharing just account for a very small amount of the totality of photographs taken these days. It is something that changed. My personal photo albums of which I have 3 of them in my office go from 1996 to around 2004. One of them is just basically high school to the start of college. 

All of those pictures in that first photo album exist from mostly disposable cameras that I carried around in my backpack. Over time all the photos the camera was capable of taking which I remember as being around 24 the internet suggests actually included 27 based on a couple quick searches. Either way it was a process of rarity not a bulk creation of content. Almost all the photos are staged in some way and you can tell the people in frame are looking back at the camera. I’m not even sure at this point if I had gone back and digitized all the photographs in the albums. At one point, I do recall purchasing a nice flatbed scanner which was probably used for that purpose. 

You may well remember that my first digital camera was an HP PhotoSmart C200. I spent a few minutes on eBay this morning looking at them, but buying a 1 megapixel camera just does not seem very practical. It would be an outright act of nostalgia. Some of the listings came with the camera and the box. I used to carry that camera and a set of backup batteries. It makes me want to go back to using Flickr again and sharing random photographs of things. Please keep in mind that very few of my photographs turned out to be amazing works of art. Anything amazing contained within the collection of photographs was happenstance not an intentional act of photography greatness. Over time, people started really just sharing the best photographs on Instagram and that platform took off to the size of billions of users.

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