Now Playing: laptop hum
Topic: 100 people
AKA Dad and Mum ;o)
Whilst some people talk of how much they dreaded and were bored by the traditional family slide night, I was always a fan of those evenings spent in a darkened lounge room, the curtains closed, watching colourful images from my parents' and our collective family's trips away.
Whether photographs from the trip to the USA my parents took when my brothers and I were in early primary school; a trip that brought us each various souvenirs including t-shirts, before souvenir t-shirts became all post-modernist and declared themselves uncool (mine was from San Francisco and said "Go climb a street"). Or photographs from Antarctica and other strange far away places my Uncle John traveled to. Or even the photographs from the travels we three children ventured on with my parents around the Northern Territory when we lived in Darwin.
Slide nights are up there in my list of favourite memories, along with nights spent lying rugged up on banana lounges in the backyard of my maternal grandparents' house in Northbourne Avenue in Canberra whilst my Granddad pointed out constellations and my Grandma brought us out warm cups of Milo. The hum of the projector, the clacking of the slide tray turning or sliding as the corded remote was pressed, the delays when a slide got stuck or the attempt to go back to the previous slide caused a technical malfunction, and the dust particles floating around in the projector's light.
The projected images contained amusing memories of places we'd been, or acted as portals into intriguing places we hoped one day to go. And, of course, played an important part in inspiring my love of photography.
For a couple of decades slide nights in our family died off. My parents, like most folk, started taking their holiday and family snaps with negative film instead of as transparencies; and the act of reliving our family holidays or experiencing each others' was relegated to sitting around a table, possibly as a group, and passing around 6"x4" prints; or in the case of my photographs from the UK, viewed by my parents online long distance on my website. Perhaps, given that by this time there were five of us recording our holidays in photographic form, this was a good thing.
However, with the advent of digital photography, "slide nights" are back with a vengeance in my parents' house. Now they can be enjoyed in the morning and afternoon, not just the evening as they don't require darkness; and there is (somewhat) less pfaffing with the cycle of images played through the DVD player.
After viewing my parents' photographs from their trip to Africa last year and from their travels around the Eastern Rockies, USA, in 2006, I persuaded them to set up a RedBubble account for their travel photography. You should check it out.