Friday, May 16, 2008

So Many Photos of Our RV Road Trip

When I was little, Dad would occasionally let me snap a photo. Film back then produced 12 black and white photos after taking the film for developing. On the last day of school in the 7th grade, I was allowed to take a camera to school. I have a dozen color photos of friends playing four-square and clowning around in a long line of friends, no one wanted to create a second row. That summer when Moore’s invited me to their s cottage in the mountains, I had permission to take a camera.

Dad had a movie camera too. He got it when we moved to Greensburg in 1962. He was even stingier with this camera and its ability to capture life in seven minute segments. I used his movie camera to make a film of water pollution for the Ecology Club at Hempfield High School. After all, the film was educational. I lost my privilege to use the movie camera after a trip to the Jersey shore in 1972. I filmed some long-haired Hippies performing motorcycle stunts, not seagulls and the beach. Dad was outraged but never cut the segment from our family vacation 8mm movie.

My own kids came along beginning in 1982 and I wanted tons of photos. Heavy albums fill keepsake trunks stored at my Mom’s house. The recording of each occasion was limited to 24 or 36 photos. That’s all a roll could hold and film developing cut into the family budget. On vacations, I splurge and use two rolls of film.

Digital photography changed all that. Some days, I will shoot as many as 154 photos on my Olympus Stylus 800. Ed will even duplicate my shots with his Canon Power Shot S3 camera to get a different perspective. I delete some photos. The ones I save on my Dell Latitude laptop jog my memory as I write in my blog. I only post a handful on my blog. Once in a while, I’ll copy photos to a CD and send them to persons we meet on the road.

Not only has digital photography changed the number of photos I shoot. It has changed my willingness to be creative. Sometimes I look for the geometric shapes in a scene. Other times I try an unconventional angle. If it turns out poorly, I can simply delete it.

I use Picasa to edit my photos. I like the “I’m feeling lucky button” that enhances the shot automatically. I’m a big fan of the cropping feature too. I like to get rid of a small unnecessary detail or eliminate me from a shot when the pose is not flattering.

There are so many shots of our RV road trip that simply do not fit in my blog narratives. Some are a bit too personal to share like Ed munching a fish sandwich (he threatened me with divorce if I used that one) or the one of me crying as I said goodbye to Suzie. Some of the photos are simply redundant. But when it comes to photos, I’m not like my Dad. I’m not afraid to hand the camera to my four-year-old granddaughter. Let Brianna click away because I won’t be paying for film or developing.

On Mother’s Day Brianna took these photos of the family.

May 11, 2008

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