Sunday, March 27, 2011


In the late fifties, it took 7-10 days to get pictures back from the processing plant. It took 10 days to two weeks to get an 8 x 10 enlargement. And what you thought you took, wasn't always what you got. I don't remember the price. I do know many people used black and white only and sent the film, often pronounced fill-um away to be processed to a place called Brown's. I mostly just pestered Mabel at Ekeren Drug. Fast forward a half a century into a photographer's paradise when what you see is what you get but FAST! The story isn't that I saw a frog at the department store and passed on it because I had to figure out how I could jazz him up. It isn't about going back for the frog and polishing him with emerald gold left, (which is like shoe polish in paste form). It isn't even about MST turning the frog so I could put primer on the crown make it ready for painting it gold. What it is about is before and after pictures. Something people nearly always did before remodeling or refurbishing a room. This is about a frog picture. Something I would not do if it wasn't for digital. And it is about trying to explain putting the French doors back on the sun room even if they are always open. Because if you haven't been to our money pit, how would you have a clue. So it is before and after. But what started the thought process for this note was based on a stair rail we had installed. Because someone I know and love asked me to send a picture of it. Now, I want you think about this. Keep yourself at the age you are. If it was the mid 50's, you wouldn't be doing a play by play letter as it is with email. If it was the mid 50's, most likely you would not take pictures of a frog, stair rail, or door in production, if you took a picture at all. Most likely you would save the fill-um for Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, or Halloween. Are you with me? Think about if you did take those photos, Take, finished the roll, because NO ONE ever took at few and sent it in with pictures without finishing the roll. (Although I was known to do that simply because the process charge was the same for 1 or 12--forget about 24). OR take 8 pictures of the same thing to use up the roll. Like the dog standing in the sun and the shadow blotting him out. And now, the pictures are back and if you didn't get doubles, you either send the picture and ask for it back or go without. Asking for it back was a big thing. By the time you get the pictures back, the stair rail, frog, or doors are old news. So you probably won't send it anyway and now you have double prints of something you did but never wrote on the back of it so generations beyond aren't going to have a clue as to what it represented and when they sift through all your pictures, they are going to toss it because there is no person in it. It today's marvelous world of digital, one can snap, email or process the picture. If you are married in April, you don't have to wait until December to put it on a Christmas card. Huzzah for digital and email friends who want pictures of frogs, stairs, and doors. Why? Mostly because they humor me. Joy to you on your stairway to the stars to dance on the Milky Way in your top hat and tails or in your long shimmering gown. Be sure to get a picture! e

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