unknownpictureI was cleaning my room at my parents’ house when I stumbled upon two old photo albums, and even more interesting, two old disposable cameras which had not had their contents developed. I flicked through the photo albums and it was amusing, seeing my clunky captions in my big, shaky childs hand writing, seeing photos from when we went on safari for the first time, when digital cameras and zooms were not common, were expensive, so all we’ve got is these terrible pictures from a disposable. (My father actually had a better film camera, but he never carried it around so disposables it was.) “Spot the giraffes” the one picture says. You have to bring the photo close, squint, and there in the distance you can just about make out the shapes of two giraffes. It makes you realise how weird it is that people obsess over vintage filters when really it’s amazing and we are very lucky to have moved to an age where we can get crisp, clear photos for nothing at all, with a decent zoom also being affordable. Still, it was interesting seeing those old pictures. The other album was slightly more recent – 2004 – and by this point we had an OK digital camera. My current phone camera is about triple the resolution of this at the time very expensive, very basic digital, but still, at the time it was great, and the photos are certainly an improvement from the disposables. The album wasn’t finished, so I trawled through our old photos on the computer, picked out the ones I wanted and printed them off to finish it off. Creating an album from about 2004 to 2011, when I started university. It’s fun to have photos in a “real” format, something tangible to hold on to for the future.

Then there were the two cameras. I was dying with curiosity when it came to those – how many photos were they? Were they still OK? Or had they completely degraded? And just what were they photographs of?

I googled and found out about Photo Hippo/Fuji Film and the good reviews and decent prices inspired me to send one of my cameras off, just to see what would happen. They had an option to just have the photos developed and put on a CD, which meant they didn’t need to be printed, so if they were bad they could just be shoved somewhere on my computer and forgotten about! I sent it off on Tuesday and today my photos have arrived, on Friday. Talk about quick service. I was so nervous as the photos began to load, and even more so when the first picture was black. But 3 pictures in and it was clear they had come out. (And that first picture was just me being a bad photographer, even then.) It was also clear that these were photos taken randomly on a school outing. I cannot remember which or who anyone is, really, which makes me feel terrible. None of the photos are particularly good or interesting, or indeed worth developing. Again, I realise how great digital cameras are. None of this waiting, anticipating, and possible disappointment – you can see immediately what has been taken and delete it as necessary. I am now pondering whether to send the other camera off. Will it also be as random and disappointing as this one? On the other hand, the photos are remarkably OK for having been in my cupboard for the past decade+. Fuji Film did an amazing job, very quickly, and it wasn’t that expensive. Although a little frustrating, it is also a little fun, experimenting with this old school way of doing things.

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