Shoot a picture, instantly upload it, and the entire social media world can access it at the fingertips. So easy it has become. The thrill of this ‘instantness’ sure does gets one on a high. Film rolls have become passé; having died a rapid death with technology being digitised by the hour.
Yet, the old world charm of feeling a photograph is timeless. I still recall that our first family camera was of a brand called Agfa. I did a Google search, and it is still a camera-producing company. The camera had a black, coarse matte surface finish with an orange button to click. During special occasions, my relatives would look for the best photographers within the family. At the behest of the entire family, this trusted family member, who is supposed to have thorough knowledge of the one and only ‘camera’ that the family owns, dons the hat of the chief event photographer to give complete coverage. The arduous process of giving the camera to a colour lab and getting the film processed follows. You waited patiently for them to be delivered; for we had the assurance of a gratifying experience at the end of the day. How delightful it used to be when we held the film negatives against the light and chose which ones needed to be printed. The quality of the prints back then was commendable too. And how could one forget the tedious process of meticulously tucking each photo into the transparent plastic provision in the complimentary albums provided by the photo studio?
As a child, I made several memorable trips to my paternal uncle’s home, where our primary pastime was viewing photos. He was our official caretaker of family photos.
However, there was one condition: we could not take back home any photograph from his collection. As a child I used to frown at his sternness, but now I know why.
Despite the convenience of sharing and uploading pictures instantly today, when someone fishes out a sepia-toned picture from their collection and has it uploaded, it’s a different feeling. We suddenly get chasing the route of those pictures and would want to know where these pictures were all the while. Of course their smartphone counterparts are here to stay; but the charm easily fizzles out. While in the past clicking pictures was reserved for special occasions, now we have countless reasons to keep clicking. We have the word selfie (a self-shot on a mobile camera) that has even made it to the Oxford dictionary.
So, giving all those instant shots a break, it’s a good feeling once in a while to rewind and soak in some evergreen memories...
(The writer’s mail id: firstname.lastname@example.org)