A Kodak film camera is the family’s most prized possession. You take it to every trip, but the kids can’t be trusted with it. Last time, the 10 year old dropped it and smashed the lens, and you had to get a new one costing thousands of Rupees. Oh family vacation coming up, pack many films because you don’t want to run out. Pick ISO 800 film, that’s probably safe for all conditions you’ll encounter. The trip is done, it was fun, you have five rolls of photos you can’t wait to see. Someone must drop them off at the big Kodak shop that has a dark room. Ugh they’re too backed up, everyone’s returning from vacation and wants photos developed. You wait for a week, and receive five crisp white envelopes. The photos are here! You can finally fill up your trip album book. The cover has colorful floral designs, and each page has a transparent slot for two photos. The album doesn’t have enough slots left, so stuff the poorer pictures behind the better ones. Stuff the negatives somewhere in the back as well. That family photo turned out nice, but you wish the resolution were nicer so the mountains in the background could be seen. You invite friends and relatives over because how else will they see your photos? You sit in a circle and pass the album around, as you tell your stories. There’s chai and laughter to go with it.
Good light for a portrait. Set ISO, adjust shutter speed, reset white balance. Then 20 attempts until that one photograph which will get all the hearts on Instagram. What else will you do with that 64GB memory card, or the terabytes of backup space on Dropbox? Plus there will be post-processing and filters too. Too many bathroom selfies at top resolution. But that’s okay, algorithms will help you search through the thousands of photos that now document your life by the minute. The old family computer can’t even handle the resolution, so no use sending photos to the parents. You’re now ready to share on Twitter, which surprisingly your camera lets you do with one tap. All the friends and strangers can see and envy you in real time. What about the stories, someone asks? Come on you need to get on Instagram to know the stories behind the pictures! Don’t miss the photo of latte art I posted right away, it’ll disappear in 24 hours. By the way, we should also get coffee sometime, it’s been a while.
Kids still can’t be trusted though. But they need not be – they have their own device.- nRT