Recording and creating memories

photographs

Seeing the summer’s crop of cameras makes me think of how we record our memories. Every photo is a memory, whether it’s our conscious intention to record one or not.

Snapshots of the family barbecue goes without saying, but even the picture of a stranger’s flower garden, a bird or a scene from a well travelled road is taken so that we can remember it in some way.

We tweak the lighting, play with the angles and decide what to include in the picture so that looking at that picture evokes the right memory – for us and hopefully for everyone else who looks at it.

Centuries ago, our ancestors told stories about themselves and their world so they could pass their memories on to the next generation.

Eventually, we created a written language, and memories were recorded.

The first mention of the principles behind the pinhole camera, a precursor to the camera obscura, belongs to Mo-Ti (470-390 BC), and in 1888 the first Kodak went on the market.

George Eastman sold his first Kodak that year, the culmination of a fury of photographic inventing in the 1800s. It used paper film. In 1889 he switched to celluloid, an industry standard for the next century.

Ah the good old days. I see a lot of people still having trouble letting go of film. Some things are just history: Let it go and move on. It’s called evolution.

Time to find a good digital camera and leave the antique in the closet. Think of all that money you’ll save developing film and buy a good one.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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