Yesterday, Andrew and I took a walk around the city. First to Cross Street in Federal Hill and then to Fells Point. It was nice to get out and we haven’t done that in ages. While in Fells we came across a bunch of antique shops (there’s a nice handful down there). They carried the usual suspects; radios, clothes, magazines, jewelry, etc. What really grabbed my attention was a box of old photographs. Boxes and boxes of them.
Obviously these photographs were taken with film cameras. Almost no one actually prints out the photos they take on a daily basis with digital cameras aside from family photos that go in frames. But now those digital frames are out, which only validates my statement even further. The digital photos end up on the internet, on Facebook, on Instagram, never once making it to a physical form.
How did all of these photos end up in an antique shop of all places? How does something so personal get placed in a shoebox to sit in the dust of some shop in the middle of Baltimore City? So many nameless faces. It was crazy to sit and go through all of them. Many of them had Baltimore streets and landmarks I recognized, just sixty some years ago.
I highly doubt my Nan, who treasures all of her photos, would ever let them be transferred to a shop and to be sold to
people for .25 cents a photo. I wondered how the photos got there. Maybe from the estates of deceased people? My point is, is that film lasts SO LONG. Most of these photos were crinkled and maybe a little yellow, but for the most part they were in really great condition. Crazy to think how little we use film when it’s proven to last so long.
Does convenience really trump longevity?
It seems that way. I mean, even when I get my film processed I almost never get prints done with them. I often find myself just saying “Scan and Process Please”. I never really thought about it until the other day. Maybe it IS worth it to just get the prints, or make them just to have them. My generation and all subsequent ones won’t have the luxury of having shoe boxes of photos or albums full of photos. My baby album, circa 1990, that my mom made is HUGE and there are so many photos in it. But when I see the album that the twins have (my siblings who will be 9) they are so much smaller and this is because most of their baby photos are on CD’s or stored in a computer.
Anyways, I think I am going to start accumulating prints more. I want to be that old lady who has a ridiculous dusty amount of old photographs in shoe boxes and frames and more boxes. Maybe I’ll do a post on how to make your own prints, I hear enlargers are selling for super cheap on Craigslist these days.