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Some days I yearn for the one-hour photo booth

A photo. Taken with a digital camera. (Photo by Todd DeFeo / (c) 2012)

I was thinking back to the good old days. When film ruled. Digital cameras were a pipe dream.

The something happened. One day, the one-hour photo booth was suddenly drinking mai tais with the dodo bird. The need for instant gratification took over our collective cameras.

And, we're all the better for because of it? Eh. Tell it to my hard drive — it's about as bloated as a gormandizer at a Las Vegas buffet.

Some years ago, I lamented:

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.

It sounds crazy, but some days I yearn for the one-hour photo booth. Oh sure, they still exist. Allegedly. I think it may be an urban myth.

Maybe instead of the one-hour photo booth, I need shutter restraint. Instead of the eight million photos of the Grand Canyon that require 14 2 terrabyte hard drives to store, I could stand for 650,000. I mean, if I only spent a few seconds looking at each photo, it would take me three weeks just to glance at them all.

I can't say for certain that any are even in focus.

I know every moment is a new moment to capture. But, are all these pictures that different? And why do I need 414 pictures of concrete corn. Really, it' concrete corn. It looks the same from every direction.

It also looks the same after all these years. But, I can't resist. And, I won't be heading to the one-hour photo stand -- my hard drive better rest up, because it's going to be busy these next few years.

Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo (866 Articles)
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is also editor of Railfanning.org.
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