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January 13, 2011 / Jenny Ann Fraser

My Belated Farewell to Kodachrome

Pictures From The Past

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.

Re-visiting old Facebook albums made me decide that it would be fun to share some of my favourites, timed only a bit late to mourn the end of Kodachrome. A sad time for many a film lover.

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 at Night


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.”

It is completely manual you really have to think to use it, which it turns out, forces me to take better pictures. The battery, which only runs the light meter seems to  last about 12 years.

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.

Sometimes you just need to take a picture of your own feet.

DOWNTOWN

RAINY AFTERNOON

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE ROOF


Z

LOVE

ONE BRIEF MOMENT

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.

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21 Comments

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  1. TUNER / Jan 13 2011 12:24 am

    I remember the first time I saw your photos, I remember when you took some of them, I remember using some of them as wallpaper on my computer screen. But what I remember most is smiling when I saw them all; smiling because theres a bit of you in every one of them, grinning at the stories behind some of them, and nodding in approval at the love in all of them. 🙂 ~ T~

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Jan 13 2011 6:53 pm

      And as I said earlier… I Love You!
      It was so nice to re-visit them. The photos I took of you and the kids are on my living-room wall, but I am still looking forward to the day when I can have them enlarged, mounted and framed.
      Thank you!

  2. Emily Jane / Jan 13 2011 8:15 am

    Acceptance is the key to most everything in life, but it doesn’t make it a little bittersweet sometimes…

    Those photos are absolutely dreamy, beautiful, and full of love 🙂

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Jan 13 2011 6:54 pm

      It is true Emily. Acceptance does make things a lot easier. There is always the issue of what to accept and what to change, but when something is gone for good it is a lot less painful to accept and move on…
      Thank you so much!

  3. nrhatch / Jan 13 2011 8:51 pm

    My computer crashed once (due to an error on the part of the techie I had hired to fix a minor glitch).

    He expected me to be furious for losing all my photos, my financial records, my writing projects.

    I wasn’t even annoyed. I just smiled.

    Acceptance turns boulders into pebbles, allowing us to go with the flow instead of exhausting ourself by struggling against the current.

    Embrace all with joy. Anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.
    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/embrace-all-with-joy/

    Barn’s burnt down ~ now I can see the moon. Masahide (1657-1723)

  4. learncreatedo / Jan 14 2011 4:43 am

    When we used film we’d take each photo carefully, each one treasured, a roll could last months or even a year if only used on special occasions.

    Now that we’ve gone digital we could have thousands of photo’s stored on our computers, never looked at again, never remembered.

    These are truly beautiful.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Feb 18 2011 9:10 pm

      Thank you so much for the lovely compliment!
      It is true. Film forces you to be more careful. I am looking forward to owning a great DSLR soon, and my plan is to try to “think” as though I am using film and see what happens.

  5. rob white / Jan 14 2011 11:28 am

    Sounds like we have the same aversion to technology, Jenny Ann! Computers will be the bane of my existence. Love your photos… you have a great eye for composition and you express your Authentic-Self with these subjects.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Feb 18 2011 9:11 pm

      Hi Rob and as always thanks for the support!
      I actually love computers and technology. Sadly it doesn’t love me! 🙂 That said, I’m thinking about marrying my new Iphone…

  6. Debbie @ Happy Maker / Jan 14 2011 12:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Those a some beautiful picture. sorry about the computer crash. I need to get my backup real soon. You have to love those memories and it is great to have picture to go with them. Life is wonderful when it is full of wonderful memories in ones memory bank. And when we keep making deposits!
    thanks again for sharing.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Feb 18 2011 9:13 pm

      Thank you Debbie for stopping by, and I’m sorry it has taken so long to respond.
      I think I have learned my lesson now, and will make sure that I have the appropriate tools to back things up. At the same time, I do wonder if it isn’t a good exercise to just let stuff go when we have to.

  7. Ollin / Jan 19 2011 12:30 pm

    Beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing, and I loved your thoughtful conclusion.

    I learned that clinging to the past can make us blind to the wonders that await us in the present.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Feb 18 2011 9:17 pm

      “I learned that clinging to the past can make us blind to the wonders that await us in the present.”
      How true. I think that I might need to post that on my wall because lately, I tend to forget. I remember reading once that forgiveness means accepting that you will never have a better past.
      I have also noticed, that accepting things, like my computer crash brings a lot of peace. Now if only I could just accept everything… 😛

  8. Angela Artemis / Jan 26 2011 7:23 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    I loved your photographs. It is sad to say goodbye to the camera that uses real film. I think real film sometimes captured something of the essence of the person where digital photography cannot?
    I’m glad you’re putting some film in the freezer!

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Feb 18 2011 9:19 pm

      Hello Angela,
      True, there is a depth to film that digital cannot quite capture. That said, I tend to agree with a pro photographer friend who says that film and digital are two different mediums and should be regarded as such rather than comparing the two. I tend to agree, but do worry that there won’t be any film to be had in the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there is now and I intend to take advantage of that!

  9. brittany220 / Feb 15 2011 12:50 pm

    Wow these photos are awesome! I hope you don’t lose all the pictures on your computer, that would be really sad. I’ve actually been afraid that my computer might crash soon too because it’s kind of unpredictable sometimes. I really need to back up my photos on a DVD or something. I’ve already lost a bunch to the computer messing up before.

    This was beautifully written, and I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Feb 18 2011 9:21 pm

      Thank you for stopping by Brittany!
      I would advise you to back up if you can, my comp was showing signs for a long time so I really should know better.
      Oh well. Live and learn!

  10. kevinmorente / Feb 17 2011 6:54 am

    Wow, it would be a shame to loose all those files. But I guess when ever the computer froze all data are intact if you get a good technician they can actually retrieved all your files otherwise if its the hard disk that had crashed but don’t worry even if it crashed sometimes most if not all is retrieved completely.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Feb 18 2011 9:23 pm

      Hello Kevin!
      I’m not sure that I’m interested in paying to recover my hard-drive and I’m pretty sure that that is what went. I’ll find out soon.
      Though there is some data that I am truly sad to lose, I’d rather put money towards a new one. The netbook is not cutting it.
      I will find out soon though what can be done.

  11. Kathy Loh / Feb 18 2011 7:25 pm

    Really beautiful Jenny – my very first camera was a Brownie 8 (I think it was called) I won it when I was about 6 at a picnic raffle. I took pictures of everything. My first camera like yours was a Canon AT-1 – and I still have it, but my digital SLR has taken its place for sure. I keep my photos on computer, memory card and backup drive. Hoping 3 is the lucky number. So easy to lose. Sorry to hear about your losses. Big hug – A kodachrome hug

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Feb 18 2011 9:27 pm

      Thanks for that kodachrome hug Kathy!
      Digital is so easy, it is hard not to forget about film. Even my point-and-shoot wins often due to weight and the instant gratification factor. Though, it looks as though that might be on the way out too! LOL.
      I ran out of external hard-drive space over a year ago. I got a netbook with an extra-large drive for backup, but was concerned that the laptop had some hidden viruses… this is why I didn’t backup. grrr 🙂
      There may still be hope. I’ll probably know in the next week or so.

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