Reverse Technology

The digital camera has revolutionised photography in as much as we can now take as many photos as we want, view them instantly on screen and then completely lose them in the depths of our computer hard drive.

When I was younger, my mum would occasionally the family treasure chest of photos. This was a large tin box crammed with black and white and colour snaps, some recent and some dating back to the 19th century. This was our family.

We’d spend an evening sifting through them and get to know people I never knew, or people I did know but in the light of their youth.

The great-grandparents who died when I was a toddler; my nan’s brother and his family  who emigrated to the US; the grave in Holland of my mum’s cousin killed in WWII; and quiet grand-uncle Charlie in uniform, posing incongruously behind a Vickers machine gun during WWI.

Intermingled with these distant memories were others of more recent vintage. Family holidays in Wales, golden weddings, marriages, new babies and school photos. All those important landmarks in life captured on film, processed and stuck in albums or a tin box ready for the future.

Which is what we don’t do now, or at least I that’s true for me. I take thousands of photos and file them away on my computer, but opening a folder on my hard drive isn’t quite the same as pulling out that old tin box.

And that is why Mrs P decided to rectify the situation by getting me a decent photo printer for Christmas. That’s it above, a Kodak Hero 7.1 and very good prints it produces too.

She also bought me an old-fashioned album, complete with paper photo corners. None of that self-adhesive, acetate overlay nonsense for us!

So I’ve been having great fun with my new toy that will hopefully make my digital memories less transient.

But there was something I have to share about the printer and that is the instructions. The set-up leaflet covers four languages and uses illustrations, rather than words, to guide you through the process.

However, one word has been translated to help you know when the ink cartridge has been properly fitted. It reads: ‘Click! Klick! Clic! Clic! ¡Clic!’

Of all the words to choose when onomatopoeia is quite clearly the universal language.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

5 comments… Add yours
  • john 30th January 2012

    there is something quite tactile about a box of photos….. physically sorting through them….i think, is so much more fun than flitting through a file on the computer….
    i guess it is the same with paper books vrs a kindle……
    perhaps i am just a dinosaur

  • Mr Parrot 30th January 2012

    If you are a dinosaur, then so am I! I don’t have a Kindle, but I got Mrs P one for Christmas and she loves it even though she’s a technophobe as a rule.

  • Mr Pudding 30th January 2012

    Quote:- “my mum would occasionally the family treasure chest”
    Need to insert something – no not that – …err…”open” perhaps?
    Once photos were special and I guess that in her entire childhood my grandmother might have only appeared in half a dozen photos. Nowadays, the graph of photos taken has shot up like a rocket. Thank heavens they are not all being printed because if they were we’d lose a forested area the size of Sweden every few months. Thanks for the camera tip by the way.

  • rhymeswithplague 30th January 2012

    Ours was red and the pages were black. After my mother carefully put the corners on the photographs and placed them on the page, she would use a pen and white ink to identify the people and places.

    In our hall closet sit several Ferris wheels (not carousels) of color slides dating back to the early sixties, along with a slide projector. We still have the “silver screen” tucked away in a corner of the garage. No one has looked at them in years, certainly none of the grandchildren has ever seen them.

    This is called “progress”….

  • Elizabeth 31st January 2012

    Oh, I’m with you, Ian. We love not only creating the albums but also leafing through them. We include things like birthday cards, scraps of wrapping paper, tickets and other ephemera into the pages. John is right; it is such a tactile and interactive way of responding to memories. It’s a very calming, therapeutic process putting the abums together, sifting through the photographs and encourages so much sharing conversation as they are passed around.

    I have only one photograph of me as a child – and that by default – and certainly looking at it on a screen would not mean as much to me at all. Like Bob, my husband’s family took lots of big reel footage and my children always ask for the cine camera to come out at some point in the winter months – seeing their dad pootering about on his Triang tricycle with teddy stuffed in the trunk just wouldn’t be the same if we transferred the films to DVD.

    Glassine layers, little photo-corners and the ‘handle’ of lovely glossy prints – yep, they do it for me, Ian. Kindles – Bleuch!! 😀


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