When I graduated from high school my parents gave me a 35mm Cannon camera. I love taking pictures, even taking a photography course in college. It wasn't part of my major and I don't even think it counted as a needed general ed. The camera took awesome pictures. I miss playing with film speeds, f-stops etc. with the new digital cameras. We have a great camera now but taking a good picture with it really isn't such a great feat, just point and shoot if you switch the buttons to automatic. However, the new digital cameras pretty much are fool proof when it comes to getting your picture captured.
When Dad and I got married we took a trip up the north shore of Lake Superior. We snapped pictures all the way up. We went into Canada for the day to a place called Old Fort William and took scads of pictures. At some national park we walked an insanely long and slanted trail to a place called the "Devil's Kettle" where water ran into the ground and disappeared. I don't know why they called the Devil's Kettle, perhaps it was believed that the water ran into the river Styx or somewhere just as evil. I remember saying to Dad that I sure glad that we had the camera with so that we wouldn't have to walk the long trail ever again. We got back down to Gooseberry Falls and kept snapping away. Then it dawned on me that we sure had taken a lot of pictures and still hadn't run out of film. A quick once over of the camera told us that we hadn't put any film in it. We were newlyweds in love, I guess checking for film wasn't on our radar. We did learn our lesson though and always checked to make sure we film in the camera.
The next time we lost pictures was Dancer's first Christmas. I took all these great photos of her opening her presents. She was just the cutest little thing and since her birthday is early January she was walking by Christmas and had a good idea that ripping off the wrapping paper was fun and it made her parents giddy. She hammed it up for the camera and we were excited to capture her every move on film. I was quickly snapping away and soon needed new film. I rewound the film in the camera and opened the back to take the old film out and put a new one in. There wasn't a new film by me, we kept them in the fridge, did everyone do that? Remember how the film had that little tail that stuck out the end so when they went to develop it in the dark room they would just pull the tail and out it would come. Not opening the film in a dark room meant that the film would be exposed to light and be forever ruined. I set the film down on the floor and got up to get the new film. Quick as a wink Dancer snatched up that film roll, her little fingers grabbed the protruding tail and she pulled like she was opening a present. Grinning she sat among the twisted film. I was so devastated. It wasn't like we could do it all over again, the memories were lost forever. I can, however, still see her sitting there beaming up at me.
The new era of digital has made both of these scenarios highly unlikely. Now the worst that can happen is we can misplace the memory stick or technology will make them obsolete to where we can't retrieve the images.
As I reread this I see that I put the new era of digital. It isn't all that new anymore. This was made obviously to me a few years ago when Spark and I took Grandma to the little airport by our house so she could fly home to Arkansas. The airport is small enough that you can walk right up the security check point and see into the living room size gate before passengers board the plane. If you want to see the plane take off you can watch from the parking lot. Post 9-11 though they have all the security screening equipment. There was a sign just before the screening part where they run your carry on bag through that said to hand your camera to the security person so that pictures weren't erased from your camera. Spark reads the sign and asks, "what is film?"