My Belated Farewell to Kodachrome
Last week was death to electronics week at my house.
First my cell phone developed narcolepsy and amnesia. It now shuts itself down without warning, and wakes up slowly, only after I remove and replace the battery and sim card… Not all that much unlike myself.
It has also permanently dumped it’s memory. At least I still have some of mine.
So, if you call or text me in the next week and I don’t get back to you it is because my phone has probably alerted me to the fact that I missed you, but it won’t tell me who you are. Fortunately there is a new phone on it’s way.
The next day, my computer crashed and died. This blog post is coming to you courtesy of a 10” netbook, reminding me that glasses are a lot less optional than they used to be.
For reasons too long, complicated and boring, I have been unable to back up files for a very long time.
This is why I find myself contemplating the possible loss of nearly 200 gigs of data, and I recognize that this might be one of those times in life where I need to accept and let go.
The thing that is most difficult to contemplate losing, is the thing that most of us treasure. Photographs.
Nearly a year’s worth and I am sure there are at least a few out of hundreds that I would be sad to lose if I thought about it long enough to remember what was there.
Luckily, I haven’t been serious about my photography since putting my two film SLRs aside for a digital point and shoot a couple of years ago, and I realized that the photos that I am most proud of are safely tucked away in boxes in the form of negatives. How sad that negatives are virtually a thing of the past.
These are the fields behind the home I grew up in. I spent much of my childhood there catching tadpoles and frogs,and riding my bike around trails with friends. The fields have changed remarkably since then but now have new wonders to share.
Trees and shrubs now grow where there was once nothing but tall prairie grass and new animals have moved in to join with Jack Rabbits, Richardson Ground Squirrels and the occasional Prairie Chicken. Around the time these photos were taken, which would be fall 2008, I ran into a young Buck a few times late in the evening.
Fog is not too common here and it is unlikely I will ever see a Saturday morning like this one, which also happened to be the morning after I purchased my previously well-loved Canon Rebel.
The same field on a different night. Welcome to prairie sunsets.
I love these photos because I took them with my first and favorite camera. A 30-year-old Canon AE1. A friend picked it up once to take a picture and asked, “how do you turn it on?”
The answer; “You don’t.”
The only problem with the AE1 is it weighs more than my lazy spaghetti arms can bother to lift these days. I might just build some muscle if I dusted it off.
Reviewing these photos, I cannot avoid contemplating change and the passage of time. The fields are remarkably different from when I was a child and the kids in the photos are older, and a little closer to not being kids.
Kodachrome is no more, and my beloved cameras have been set aside for more modern but not superior technology. (Fortunately, I am inspired and as soon as things settle I’ll be pulling some rolls of film from the freezer.)
The home I grew up in is now sold, and I play in a different, even more wonderful neighborhood.
Change, whether created, or dreaded, is inevitable, and somehow always brings some gifts to appreciate. The key I suppose is to let go of resistance to what is new or unknown, welcome what life has to offer and know that acceptance is what will guide us to the place we were meant to be.