Of course, I’m talking about today. What a time to be alive. What a wealth of opportunities for everything from learning to having new experiences. We are in a unique time with plenty of knowledge at our fingertips. Want to learn about f-stops, because they’ve been befuddling you, there’s a resource online that will help. What to learn to guess exposure via Sunny 16, I have just the link for you. Want to look up the word ‘befuddle‘, here you go.
Plus as photographers, we have the best of both worlds, film and digital. Both technologies are offering us all we need to create the kinds if photographs we want to make. Whether they be digital creations that don’t resemble reality or gritty, grainy black and white documentary photographs, we have the tools to do it all. The best labs are the only labs left. The new films. The latest digital technology, too.
To make whatever we want to. It really is the Good Old Days.
Now, sure a lot of people use the phrase ‘Good Old Days’ to mean times long past. Because there was some simplicity with a TV schedule that was on weekly and if you missed it, you missed it. But if you caught it, you’d have had a shared experience with everyone else who did the next day around the water cooler.
There was something freeing about a phone and answering machine that didn’t follow us out the door. There was real value in writing or receiving a letter in the mail. There was. There were good things about the days gone by. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make some of these things today.
We can choose to leave our phone at home. Or with us on airplane mode. We can choose to write or type a letter to someone and send it along. There’s a special feeling to getting a handwritten or typed letter in the mail. I know from experience.
We might not be able to go back to the Seinfeld, Friends, Cheers, Night Court Thursday Night ‘Must See TV’ world, but we can still choose to watch TV only some of our free nights.
But there’s a wealth of opportunities nowadays, too. We can go out and make photographs with a 8×10 camera or a 110. We have access to affordable medium format and 35mm cameras that were once sold at out-of-this-world prices. Now, sure they’re climbing but they can be had with a bit of searching and luck on the cheap.
We can set up darkrooms for next to nothing–people will give you darkroom gear they want to get rid of. So much so, you can choose the equipment to take.
There are just as many opportunities to photograph friends and family as there ever has been. The landscape always awaits as does our kids playing sports or just out in the yard. There’s no shortage of chances to make meaningful photography as well as some good ol’ snapshots.
After all, these too are the Good Old Days to remember, days that in just a few short years we’ll yearn to return to. With photographs, we’ll be able to.
So get to work!