There’s no point in waiting one hour for pictures anymore

It used to be that a few days were quick enough; then it went to an hour. Now, a few seconds is just unacceptable.

It’s interesting to think back a few years ago about the transformation of cameras and how photo processing has changed over the years. Does anybody shoot film anymore?

I take a lot of pictures whenever I travel, to say the least. It used to be a dozen rolls of film on a weekend getaway. But developing costs added up pretty quickly, especially when I was impatient and wanted my pictures developed on CD and in an hour.

Given that so often I am shooting for a digital medium – Web sites or e-mail – I don’t need prints of every picture I take. Frankly, when you consider how many pictures I take, there are bound to be a few duds. Make that a lot of duds.

When I was shooting with a film camera, I certainly took a lot of pictures, though I would try and limit the number, keeping in mind I still had to pay to develop these pictures, no matter how they turned out. I’m the type of person to go to a film developing location and pay for all of the prints, that is, I typically don’t turn down any of the pictures I have taken, no matter how atrocious they may be.

That usually added up quickly, but luckily, I had some restraint. In the film days, I usually didn’t pack more than about a dozen rolls on any given trip, knowing it was not financially wise to develop 20 rolls of film for about 20 pictures I really wanted. Had I not done that, I might have had to take out a loan just to cover the developing costs.

That’s changed in today’s digital times.

If there’s any drawback to a digital camera it’s the “unlimited” pictures I can now snap. There is no developing cost, for all practical purposes, so I can now take as many pictures as I want. And believe me I do: that funny sign over there, the sky and perhaps a few of that squirrel sitting on top of a nearby wall (even though they’re hideous animals). But hey, it’s something to take a picture of and besides I may want it someday. For what, I have no idea.

And if a train happens to pass by, forget about it – I need another memory card for that; luckily there’s an electronics store across the street. Perhaps, while I’m there, I should also pick up a new hard drive. These pictures aren’t small and considering I take at least 200 pictures on any given trip – make that 200 or 1,000 per day – that can add up to a couple of gigabytes. Good thing for that DVD burner.

I guess I can take my picture-taking affinity one step further with my camera phone. Too bad this thing doesn’t have rapid fire. It really limits the number of pictures I can take.

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