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    Posted January 7, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your Kodak Moment

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    Our Lives Through Pictures


    Just as with the passing of an old friend we mournfully and fondly reminisce in shared memories, so too it goes with Kodak’s imminent demise. Kodak has held its rightful place in our photogenic lives for well over a century. For my eleventh birthday my parents presented me with my very first camera, a Kodak Instamatic that used disposable flash bulbs. I have enjoyed accumulating frozen frames of time throughout my life ever since, a passion shared with my father. In preparation for the writing of this article I flipped the numerous pages of my pre-digital era photo albums. As I strolled down this memory lane I concluded that a picture is indeed worth much more than a thousand words; it possesses a power to evoke the emotions of that one captured moment in life.


    Photographs offer us glimpses into not only our own past, but also into the history of generations before us. A couple of years ago I was viewing formal portraits of my maternal grandmother, my mother and myself. They were each taken when we were all roughly the same age. By having the ability to lay them all out on the table before me, I was able to marvel at the striking resemblance that carried through from one generation to the next.


    We photograph the landscapes and architecture of vacation destinations, because their unique settings will be sites that we will not likely see again soon, except through our pictures. We photograph beauty, as in a glamour portrait, a butterfly’s respite atop a summer bloom, or a glorious sunset over a seashore locale. Macabre images of a murder scene are snapped for crime investigations; tragedy is made more poignant through the eyes of the victims featured in the news coverage of disasters worldwide. Photographs educate us, as when an informational article relating to a specific topic is enhanced with the visual aids provided by the wildlife photographer, for instance. We recall the smiles of a child triumphantly riding a bicycle for the first time, as well as the tears of an apprehensive toddler who has just been reluctantly plopped into Santa’s lap. Photographs capture all of the firsts in our lives: first steps, first birthdays, first cars.


    Through imagery photographs allow us to relive all of the joyous milestones of our lives, such as graduations, weddings, new homes and the arrival of children and grandchildren. The topmost photograph shown above depicts one such momentous occasion. My husband and I had gotten engaged late on Christmas Eve. This picture was taken before the dessert course on Christmas day, posed with my father, my fiancé’s and my faces beaming with the news that we were about to reveal. I look at this picture years later and fondly recall every detail of our engagement and our big announcement.


    Photographs also showcase our triumphs and achievements, as does the above central one in which a group of college music students cluster around Rosemary Clooney. My college choral group received a special treat that Christmas, in the form of an invitation to perform with the entertainment icon on the revolving stage of Westbury Music Fair. It was a rare opportunity for us, and Ms. Clooney was gracious enough to pose for this once in a lifetime memento.


    Lastly, photographs remind us of the humor in our lives, whether in our pets performing silly antics or the humans partaking in amusing rituals, as evidenced in the above lower Halloween shot. Call us bewitching, beastly and bovine, it was all in fun, an entertaining social gathering of friends that we can all remember and share laughs over years later as we pore through our photo albums. Come now, he does have nice udders; no one can dispute that without a chuckle that ensues.


    Photographs capture it all, every aspect, emotion and milestone that chronicle our lives, creating a pictorial trail of memories that Kodak has left us in its wake. Although the phrase may be clichéd, it seems only appropriate here: Kodak, thanks for the memories!

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