This morning over on our sister station WDOS AM730, Big Chuck and Dan discussed old photos and the death of the 1-hour photo.

Listen to the conversation and tell us what you think in the comments.

We got started on this topic when Big Chuck sarcastically asked if I thought the Hubble Telescope was using film or if the photos were digital.

Here's your answer:


That conversation, of course, transgressed into a general discussion of 1-hour photo labs and times of yore. I remember sitting in the car as a youngster, thumbing through the pack of 36 double-print photos my mom had made up at the drug store lab. Those days are gone.

Today's equivalent is spending a few moments swiping your thumb across a smartphone screen and seeing picture after picture slide by. If someone else wants to see a photo, you have to hand the whole phone over, leaving you with nothing left to see.

Anyway, I spent about 15 minutes at a 1-hour photo lab -- one that I didn't even know was in operation -- and had my photo, taken from a thumb drive, printed for a piddly $0.25. It was oddly satisfying to hold something.

But, as with anything, there's an app for that old-time feeling. It's called Instagram. What this nifty feature for iPhones and Android phones allows is the user to take any everyday photo and turn into art. It's a hipster's dream. Here's my latest photo, using the 1970 filter:


The only reason I thought of it at all was because of that glass bottle of Coke. It is one of those treasures of American life to enjoy a cold Coke out of a glass bottle. It has been many years since I had the pleasure.

So I whipped out my phone, snapped this gem, set the 1970 filter and away I went. Sure it's not the sharpest image, nor is it the most beautiful.

But whenever you look through a family album, you see it littered with photos of this quality. For me, it evokes memories of family and life before I could create such an image.

I think that's why applications such as Instagram are such a hit. We want so badly the things that have evaporated from daily life. We want material things; we want to look back someday without having to digitally slide through pictures. These applications give us the false sense that, hey, someday I'll still have this great photo of pizza, when days were warm, girls were innocent and a cold Coca-Cola came pouring from a glass bottle.