And how, you ask? He (occasionally a “she”) who controls photos controls the depth of your friendships, your job security (what profession doesn’t need photos anymore — if only to prove that your arch rival leaves the building at 4:45 PM every day) — the needs today for all the things a camera can do are unprecedented. Why, with Photoshop you never even have to update your business picture!
No one uses film anymore. Film — If you’re over 40 you know the stuff; you take it out of the camera (or have someone at the shop do it), he “processes” it and presto! You have pictures! Well, forget that ever happened, because the Martians have landed!
If you can’t figure that little electronic gizmo out, if you can’t follow the path from the camera to the computer and back out again, you are a Luddite. Google it — you’re an anachronism and, depending on the circles in which you travel, a social pariah! But those of us who fall into that category avoid public humiliation by never admitting that we are digitally impaired.
“Oh, I got the cutest picture of Dog. I’ll send it to you in a few hours.” (After five, when George gets home.)
“Uh, right — I meant to send you the vacation pics.” (But Jennifer has been away on a business trip).
We suffer in silence … and cling to “The Gatekeeper.”
Every family today must have one. That supreme (in his/her mind) being in whom has been vested the preternatural gift for making pictures. At my house it’s MyHusbandTheEngineer.
For my birthday, MHTE got me a camera. I needed this camera like I needed the fourth TV set he got me for Christmas (in response to my constant complaint that I wish I had a TV I could operate).
“Oh, thank you, sweetheart. Now how is this an improvement on the one I already have?” (Which is pink, which this one is not, which is the first rule for buying me any piece of technology – it must be pink because that makes it less intimidating.)
“You need this for real estate.” His rationalization for spending hours at his favorite hobby — research.
He did get me “the best.” But his definition of “the best” and mine are about 200 apps apart.
First I tackle taking the photo.
“I can’t get the whole dog in the picture,” which is my motivation to learn this camera. “Now, why did you get me this particular camera?” I ask.
“It was the best one for houses.”
“Houses don’t move – I need one as fast as the dog.”
“Well, you’ll have to read the manual,” he says, evaporating into thin air. That’s my last resort. I hate logical. I consider sneakily buying a pink camera and having them show me how to work it at the store where, I was told, Circuit City once sent someone to buy digital camera film. But then I remember, I don’t need another camera. I just need to make the one I already have work.
Every night at dinner I comb the business section of the newspaper, scanning for articles on photography — with a glass of wine in my hand. I diligently read every story, hoping they’ll open the gate — give me the key to pictures. But all they talk about is how cool the camera is, and for sure they don’t divulge the secret of how to get my pictures from point A to point C.
It shouldn’t be this hard. But then I remember — technology and software are designed by geeks for geeks. Fortunately, I have one of those … who never withholds love, but loading my photos is a whole other thing.