I Was Wrong…

…I admit it. I’ve been saying for years how stupid I think it’s been for such hoopla to be made over cameras in cell phones. It never seemed like a logical connection to me, and while I’ve understood it can occasionally be useful I didn’t get the impact it can have.

Until now.

I started digging through old photos recently to find some pics relating to a record I was remastering of a band I was in during the mid 80s. Of course to get to them I had to sift through everything else in an old box of stuff. Looking through the other photos to find what I wanted caused many old memories to flood back. Things and people I had completely forgotten about were refreshed. A few things I have photos of I still didn’t remember even as I sat there looking at them. I scanned a bunch of them to get them into the computer where I could have more ready access, and to hopefully prevent any further loss or deterioration (many of the negatives are long gone). These photos tell the story of my life in a way, and I find that some of what I remember is through these images. In other words, my vision in my mind’s eye of an event is really just the same snapshot of the picture I’ve seen a few dozen times over the years. There’s a fine line between really remembering something and only remembering a static image of it. But either is better than the alternative.

What really struck me during this process was all of the things I DON’T have pictures of. There were so many people and things that just never got captured. I have scads of pictures of people opening presents at Christmas, and quite a few of trips, but relatively few candid shots of us just living our lives. And I wonder what I don’t remember. As some of the memories kept coming back I realized that the majority of my life is lost to what I don’t remember and isn’t documented. That’s a shame because I really do value that stuff. I had fun and for the most part enjoyed growing up. So

much of it is lost, as in never captured in the first place. I recently posted a few on Facebook on a whim — some of them are kinda’ funny. Others are significant in other ways. People are already responding to many of them, and based on their responses in some cases it is obvious they were around and we had some interaction. We may have even been friends or did something together. In some cases I don’t know who they are. I feel like I should, but… There is so much of it I don’t remember.

So now I get it. The miniaturization of cameras and relative ease of making photos has revolutionized our ability to document our lives. I only wish I had photos of many of the other things I did. Even if they were crappy photos it would be something to help remember it. Not that you’d have to, but tell your kids to shoot away with their phones or digital cameras. Some of those captured instants in time will one day be meaningful to them.

Kudos to Kazumi Saburi at Kyocera for starting his work in 1997, which led to the release of the first phone with a built in camera in 1999.

I stand corrected.

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