My Complaint about Digital Photographs · 19 November 2016
Photo courtesy Margie Miyoshi
I have only one complaint about digital photographs. They are too real.
Digital photographs are amazing. Even the pictures people take with their phones are high quality. You see these photos on the internet or even just on people’s phones and they are amazing. So realistic that it seems you are in the scenery or can touch the people in the picture. Which is, of course, my complaint.
When you lose loved ones, you want them to still be around. You miss them because they are gone. But with digital photographs, it seems that those people are still around. The pictures stay the same high quality forever. So even though memories might fade, the pictures do not. Which makes the pain more real too.
If we lived in The Matrix, we could just say that the pain was digital and as unreal as our memories. But the memories are real and those digital pictures help us remember in 32-bit color. And unfortunately, the pain is not digital. You cannot just turn it off.
Actually, I have a second problem with digital photographs. Pictures printed from those digital photographs do not fade. They do not get yellowed or beat up. And even if they do either of those things, you can just print a new picture and the loved ones are back again in full digital color. It is amazing.
I suppose that some of my problem is that I still miss my loved ones. Especially, my dad. So seeing pictures of him makes me wonder why I cannot give him a hug or call him. The pictures are so real. And they will not fade or yellow like the pictures in old photo albums. Those old pictures remind us that time has passed and the people in those pictures have aged or passed on. The crinkles and discoloration tell us that time has continued to flow. But Dad and others who have been captured digitally will never age. Their pictures will stay crisp and clear whether printed or just on the screen. They will continue to remind us of our losses.
I suppose that eventually, my pain will fade. Like pain from all loss does. After all, it is not digital. But until then, I will have a complaint or two about how real digital photographs are.
© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi
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