Monday, April 2, 2012

Gratitude Monday -- Now and Then

I've had a camera since sometime in my teens. I've taken photos as often as I thought about it and I am happy I did.
When I went to journalism school I learned how to operate a 35mm SLR and my pictures improved. I took my camera everywhere, as we were told to do, for many years.
I'm glad of it as I have pictures of places and friends and things. I can look back on them as see how much the person place or thing has changed over the years whether it's apparent to the naked eye or not.
Today I have digital cameras and while I don't take them everywhere, I do see that they get out and about fairly often.
I like them, although nothing can take the place of a hard-copy print and the negative from whence it came. They're great to find again and hold in one's hands. I find it easier to go back to the moment when I hold a print rather than when I see it on my computer screen.
Yes, of course I can make prints from digital pics, but I don't. It seems a waste for some reason, mostly because it is easier to play with them on the screen and make several copies at no cost.
All that's great, and I am grateful for it. But it is not today's point.
Photos are a great way to keep track of the passage of time, and growth and change, but more than anything, they are anchors for us. They are reference points from which we can hang a memory, an occasion, a life.

Below are two photos taken nearly a quarter-century apart of a place in the Sandhills near Fort Assiniboine. It is known locally as Horseshoe Bend for the way the Athabasca River bends in the valley. If you wanted to find it today you'd ask for Athabasca Lookout.
This is from an August of about three years ago. In the left hand corner of the picture you can see a bit of the river if you know where to look and you know that it's there.

This photo from October 1985 was taken from about the same spot on the hill. The bend in the river is obvious. The hill is still mostly sand.
In the upper right hand corner I can see where Clearwater Creek, which ran by our farm,  joins the Athabasca River. I am grateful I took these photos then and now for the record of time, and for the memories they bring me.


Laurita said...

Photos are such treasures. You take lovely ones, and I can see why they mean so much.

messymimi said...

Beautiful place, i can see why you would want to go back.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, Laurita.

Messymimi, it is.

the Bag Lady said...

The trees have certainly grown up, haven't they? (or you've gotten a lot shorter....)
The time of year the photos were taken makes a difference, too.
This is a great 'then and now' post, cousin! Thanks!

Crabby McSlacker said...

I love looking at old photos! Somehow having them actually collected in albums is a lot more conducive to browsing then having big hunks of digital information cluttering up my hard drive and never looked at.

Thanks for the reminder to do some grateful digging through old memories and landscapes!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, BL. While the time of year does have an impact, one could still see over the trees in the 1985 pic.

You are most welcome, Crabby.

Red said...

Thoughtful comments on how visuals assist our memory. Journal writing does much the same thing so you do both of these.

Hilary said...

Lovely spot and so wonderful how you show your gratitude.

I find it interesting to see the then and now in photos for the second time today. Blogger Deb from Talk at the Table and I recently discovered that we lived one street apart from one another briefly (in Montreal). Today, she posted a photo from her childhood and I recognized the street as being hers. I took a wander along the street via Google Maps and found pretty much the same view about 45 years later. So I quite enjoyed your then and now shots. :)

Frank Baron said...

Nice, thoughtful post, Leah. I've been a camera junkie for a few decades too, and while I miss many aspects of using film, I sure don't miss the cost.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Red. Each augments the other.

Hilary, thanks. How very cool about finding someone from the neighborhood.

Frank, I appreciate your comments. Great as film is, I can't say as I miss the cost either.

Bossy Betty said...

I totally understand your love of photography and the memories it preserves. Love that you document such beauty and change! Thanks for coming by my blog this morning!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Betty. I think it is important to keep track.