These days everybody has a camera in their pocket. If you want to take a picture of something, you pull out your phone, take anywhere from one to 47 photos, then slide your phone back into your pocket.
Next, you look at the pictures, decide which one or two you like the best, and delete all of the rest. Ha ha! Just kidding.
You keep all of those pictures on your phone until the day you have a really important picture you want to take, but you can’t take a picture because your phone memory is too full of all those pictures you never got around to deleting.
Back in the day, we didn’t take as many pictures. Why? Because we were limited by the number of photos available. Usually, a roll of film or a disposable camera (remember them?) would hold 24 pictures. Because of the scarcity of available pictures, we were much more selective as to what we would take pictures of. (Not nearly so many selfies, or photos of food.)
That’s not to say there weren’t any bad pictures taken back then. (I’ve always had the skill of not quite being in focus.) It’s just that we didn’t have so darn many of them! (And we didn’t know how bad they were for at least an hour (if we splurged on the one hour photo developers) or maybe even a week or two (if we sent the film off in the mail.)
Today, we can take as many pictures as our phones will store. That’s hundreds of pictures, or thousands of pictures, or maybe even hundreds of thousands of pictures. As a result, we are not very discerning about what we take pictures of.
If it’s a useless picture, we’ll just ignore it. But we’ll still carry it around on our phone for months, and we’ll still download it onto our computers.
Some time ago, one of my kids got hold of my phone for about 30 seconds. In that short amount of time, he was able to take 114 blurry pictures of what I think is my nightstand.
Several months later all of those pictures are still on my phone. They will remain on my phone until it dies (or I do.). These pictures will never be deleted. Oh, we’ll say things like, “one of these days I’m going to go through all of my pictures and organize them,” but it won’t ever happen.
The pictures of my blurry nightstand will forever be a monument to how terrible we are at photography. (and when I say, “we,” I mean “me”). (Capell is a Serve Daily contributor.)