Worth a thousand words (or minutes)
You can easily determine the age of a photograph simply by the style in which it was taken.
The old tintype with the stoic poses at the turn of the century. The black and white portraits of babies dressed in white lace or sailor suits of the 40’s and 50’s. Even the Polaroid snapshots of the 70’s and 80’s with color smears from waving them in the air to dry.
The telltale sign that it’s a picture from the 00’s? A blurry, barely discernible, featureless image from a cell phone camera posted on Facebook.
I never have been particularly good with the camera. I was frequently known to forget it everywhere we went, and when I did remember, the pictures that would eventually emerge would be blurry, cut-off, eyes-closed and caught at the family’s most unflattering moments.
While the good news is I no longer have any undeveloped film canisters lying around the house, the bad news is if I ever lose my cell phone, all photographic record that my family exists will also be lost.
I know, I know, I know. That cell phone camera should only be used in extreme photographic emergencies like finding yourself sitting next to a reality-show celebrity on a plane or posting funny road signs on Twitter. But unfortunately, the cell phone camera has become our family’s primary picture-taker.
This might not be so bad if it actually produced decent shots of anything other than the dashboard when I go to answer the phone. But alas, it is literally a point and shoot--there are no features to zoom, focus or flash. No shutter speed adjustments, no red-eye reducer, not a single other option that I couldn’t figure out how to use on a real camera and yet suddenly I see the allure.
As a result, there are no photo albums lining the shelves after the year 2001. Our gilt frames hold SD chips. You want a nice 4X6 or 8X10? How about a thumbnail or 120X240 vertical web banner ad?
But I miss hard copy photos of my little cherubs without the digitally-forged halos from the vibration of an email alert. And so for perhaps the millionth time in my maternal career, I vow to take more pictures of my children. High resolution, wonderfully artistic, clear-eyed, bright smiling, clean-clothes, tear-free, jolly portraits that are printable, scrapbook-able, frame-able and most of all, tangible.
Anyone know if there’s an iPhone app for that?
-- Tracey Henry, Suburban Diva