Saturday, October 19, 2013


I have been using throwaway cameras for my snapshots for years now.  They are little boxy things with film inside.

I'm quite shameless in asking passerbys to snap a picture of me in front of a marvel, usually during a running outing but often while on vacation too (see my recent posts).  I always say, as the person starts out by holding the camera away from himself or herself as though the cardboard box would magically sprout a window display,  "You're too young to know how this artifact works but... ."

At which point they focus on a point in their recent or dim past and say, "Oh, I know how these work."  And they look through the viewfinder and snap the picture.

Only once I had a person that truly didn't have a clue.  She kept trying to take the picture backwards, with the lens pressed up against her face as she squinted through the viewpoint the wrong way.

And once a little boy,once his father had obligingly snapped my photo at Camden Yards, snatched the camera away and tried to "see" the image on the back of the disposable camera.  He went into a snit when I wouldn't "show" him the picture by bringing it up on the cardboard backside.

And two weeks later, I get to relive the moment when I get the developed pictures back from the photo lab.  Often, I have no idea what the picture shows, or where it was shot from or why.

LOL.  Lately it's been an instigator of comments that border on the incredible as in, Where do you go to develop this thing?

A few years back, when I was president of the local DC running club, my picture taking with a film camera truly was a object of hatred by the club's twenty-something IT department members, because it showed how backwards and stupid I was.  Those three young turks, all board members, coupled with a sad sack VP they co-opted through temporary friendship, forced me to resign by disrupting all of my board meetings with their disrespectful and confrontational antics.

The chief instigator of the coup is now the president, although the club at least waited until he turned thirty before voting him the post (the winning slates are pre-selected by a committee).  As president I had tried to look into irregularities in the way he was handling the club's money flow (he controlled the PayPal account), but I had no support for such a potentially explosive inquiry on the existing board.

A concern I had with going digital is that whenever I carry a camera on a run, I'd rather carry a $7 piece of equipment instead of a $200 one.  Plus, whenever I would line up a running shot and click the shutter, it would take the picture about half a second later, not instantly as with film (I actually had a digital camera but disliked it).

Anyway, yesterday I went out and dropped $200 on a Pentax WG-10 Adventure Proof dust-proof, water-proof, shockproof digital camera with anti-movement software, 5X optical zoom and 14 Megapixels.  The purchase price included a photo card and a thumb-drive thingy which allows me to move the snapshot from the card to my Mac.

I spent an hour last night formatting my photo (storage?) card and setting the location and the time on the thing.  It's the same size as my dumb phone although its 2 or 3 times thicker and heavier.

This morning I ran 5 miles on the Mall with a running buddy and she showed me how to actually snap pictures with it and delete the undesirable images.  She also welcomed me to...well, not to the future but rather to catching up with the present.

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