Today I finally finished compiling my Tristan da Cunha and South Africa photo albums. It took me twenty months to do this, for a variety of reasons, not all of them happy ones. In mid-August of 2013 I had just come home from a vacation with Mark to Iceland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Norway and I was off again two weeks later to Tristan da Cunha. So I really had no time even to look at my European photos, although I did do a lot of photo editing on the ship travelling to and from the island. The death of my mother in November last year put a halt to my free time spent in front of the computer editing photos. In fact I was doing just that on the night that I discovered her. Just weeks after her death my computer broke down and I did not get a new one until late May, only weeks ago. Once I got a home computer I resumed my photo editing and finally finished my third and final Tristan photo album today. I edited and printed out 1699 photos at the best photography store in the business, Black’s. Their level of customer service is the best I have ever encountered, always printing off my pictures to my own quirky specifications. That’s the store policy, and their friendly service kept me coming back.
How ironic, how devilishly cruel on the very day I finished my last album, that after inserting the 1699th photo, I heard that all Black’s stores will be closing in August.
Oh well…I guess only dinosaurs get their photos developed and we all know what happened to the dinosaurs. It is a shame that the printed medium is so much in decline. I am a late convert to digital photography, only getting my first digital camera in 2010. I am not a fan of digital frames. What can be more boring than staring at a little screen looking at pictures one by one? A photo album, on the other hand, can be displayed wide open with eight prints on view at a time. My multiple albums can be passed around and shared among friends.
I still have 1638 photos loaded onto a Black’s print card. Mark and I are off to Iceland for sixteen days from June 26 to July 12. While I might not take 1638 photos during that trip, I sure will take as many pictures as I can since they’ve already been paid for. Companies that close or otherwise go out of business tend not to refund the values on their prepaid cards or gift cards; they just tell their customers to use them up as soon as possible. Good thing I have a vacation coming up. I can see that the three weeks after I return from Iceland will be spent in front of my new computer, editing those photos. I’ll spend all my free time doing it if it means getting them done before the stores close for good on August 8.
What am I going to do now if I still want my photos developed? Go to Henry’s? I’d rather go to a proper photography store, versus a place like Walmart or Shopper’s Drug Mart where the staff there are more interested in selling me Gravol versus hearing about my quirky lighting preferences.