snapshot

I am of a generation who still remembers what it meant to buy a film roll. You had to choose between 12, 24, or 36 “exposures.” And there was always that difficult choice to make between Kodak and Fuji. They said the first had warmer colors; the latter had a cooler, more green-blue feel.  At the time, you had to think before taking a picture, as you only had 36 chances before loading a new roll. And each print was expensive. The lab would often offer double prints at half the price so you could hand out those pictures to the others in that specific picture. As a souvenir of that moment. And we would assemble them in albums and write dates and headers. I still have some of those albums.

Today we stare at our mobiles for hours daily, and when we look through the lens, we take pictures like crazy. Today I have 25.839 pictures and 446 videos on my iPhone taken in less than 20 years. That is 1300 pictures per year. And I consider myself a modest photographer.

So, when you scroll through those pictures, plenty of good (or bad) memories come to mind.  Sometimes you are surprised about the moment. As if you were not present. That’s a snapshot. 

Take this picture. Family of ours from Spain was visiting, and we had a lovely dinner at home. I remember we discussed Barcelona, the weather in Spain, food, and restaurants, and we must have done the tour de table of the other family members absent that night.  But it feels like we were in another place when this snapshot was taken. Katia, my niece, was the only one fully present in the moment, watching the camera of her daughter Caroline. Aware that it might be distributed further, she smiled. I was checking the dishwasher, as I tend to do the second half of the evening when pondering how much work I will have to clean in the morning. My motto for such diners is, whatever you can do today, you do. Filip, probably unloading from cooking, was looking for more wine and whether we had to open another bottle. I can confirm we opened at least one more bottle. Alex seemed to confirm that.

I wouldn’t have realized this in the old traditional picture world. This snapshot added a new dimension to that night.

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