Some of my happiest moments are caught on film. My childhood was one filled with the sound of 35mm film rewound — either manually or electronically — the slow, loud click of the shutter and the blinding flash, which was sometimes a magic cube, purchased separately, and attached to the camera. There was the excitement and mystery and anticipation of waiting to see what the photos looked like once they were developed.
That has slowly disappeared.
Photos are instantaneous. There’s no need to wait three days to find out that someone closed their eyes in the photo or whether the lighting was right or if we caught junior at the very moment he blew out his birthday candles. There are no limits to the number of photos we can snap or store. And sharing photos is easy now, just a text or a post away.
Although I love the convenience of digital, and I use my iPhone camera far more than my point and shoot or DSLR, there is something about film: some romance, or poignant emotional attachment. So, when I had film to develop, and had to call four different places to find someone who still develops film, and then found that my black and white exposures would have to go elsewhere, I was a little sad.
It’s the end of an epoch. And that is bittersweet.