I want my pictures and I want them now - Todd DeFeo

It used to be that a few days were quick enough; then it went to an hour. Now, a few seconds is just unacceptable.

It's interesting to watch the transformation of cameras and how photo processing has changed over the years. Now, developing film has become obsolete for many, who instead opt to "develop" pictures themselves on computers at home.

I take a lot of pictures whenever I travel. It used to be a dozen rolls of film on a weekend getaway. But developing costs added up pretty quickly, especially when I was impatient and wanted my pictures developed on CD and in an hour.

So I made the transition: I went digital. I haven't looked back since.

Most of the pictures I take are for a digital medium - the Internet. So personally, I didn't need prints of every picture I took. And quite frankly, when you consider how many pictures I take, there are bound to be a few duds. Make that a lot of duds.

When I was shooting with a film camera, I certainly took a lot of pictures, though I would try and limit the number, keeping in mind I still had to pay to develop these pictures, no matter how they turned out. I'm the type of person to go to a film developing location and pay for all of the prints, that is, I typically don't turn down any of the pictures I have taken, no matter how atrocious they may be.

That usually adds up to at least $50, usually more. Luckily, I had some restraint: I usually didn't pack more than about 10 rolls on any given trip, knowing it was not financially wise to develop 20 rolls of film for about 20 pictures I really wanted. Had I not done that, I might have had to take out a loan just to cover the developing costs.

If there's any drawback to a digital camera it's the "unlimited" pictures I can now snap. There is no developing cost, for all intensive purposes, so I can now take as many pictures as I want. And believe me I do: That funny sign over there, the sky, perhaps a few of a nearby squirrel, even though they're hideous animals. But hey, it's something to take a picture of and besides I may want it someday. For what? I have no idea.

And if a train happens to pass by? Forget about it - I need another memory card for that; luckily there's an electronics store on the way home. Perhaps, while I'm at the store, I should also pick up a new hard drive. These pictures aren't small and considering I take at least 200 pictures on any given trip - that's a weekend trip - that can add up to at least a gigabyte. Good thing for that CD burner.

I guess I can take my picture-tacking affinity one step further and buy one of those camera phones. How many mega pixels do those things have?

Todd DeFeo is the education reporter for the Daily Herald. His column appears on Wednesdays. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at tdefeo@henryherald.com .