I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

VHS and Instant Film Coming to an End

I read two articles recently that made me feel rather old.

The first article was about the end of the VHS video tape. The last shipment from the last major supplier went out recently. The remaining stock will end up in a landfill according to the article.

The other article was about the end of Polaroid instant film. Avid users of it have been anticipating its demise and have been buying up reserves—causing prices to go up to nearly $2.00 per photo.

Technology has rendered both video tapes and instant film irrelevant. They will be gone, but not forgotten. Like most people, I was an avid user of both.

My grandmother used to have one of those huge camcorders—the kind that looks like the cameras that television news crews use. I recorded Christmases and birthdays for the better part of a decade with it and I still have those video tapes. I pop one into my VCR/DVD player once in a while. Some of the people in the videos are gone now, so the videos are priceless. I need to take the time to figure out how to get the videos transferred to DVD before all of those memories are lost forever.

I also recorded many memories with my Polaroid instant camera. I remember one instance quite clearly. I was 12 years old. My sister was 9. My grandparents took us to the Black Hills in South Dakota. I snapped several photos of my family with Mount Rushmore in the background. I still have those photos. I also still have a photo that someone took of me holding my niece shortly after she was born. I still had long hair (see photo below). In 1998, I took my instant camera to a family gathering. I ran through a package of film quickly and my Dad handed me the money to get more film saying that capturing moments like these were important. You can see him and my sister in one of the photos below that I took that day (he’s in the jean jacket and my sister is in the grey shirt with a maroon stripe). Over the years I captured moments such as blizzards, church plays, birthdays, and various other moments on instant film. Thankfully, I flipped many of the photos over and wrote the dates on the white strip at the bottom.

Dad turned out to be right by the way. Even though the film was expensive, failing to capture moments like these would have been a huge mistake.

DVD technology and digital cameras are far superior to VHS tapes and instant cameras, but you have to use the technology that is available at the time, and I used it for all it was worth.


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