Bloopers, Keepers, and Wowsers


Midnight sun in Alaska

Last week I posted photos of my plane ride above a glacier and into one of its deep crevasses. I hope you took away from that post and those photos what a beautiful state Alaska is. I hope you also felt the respect and love I have for my son.

But my trips to Alaska left many impressions on me. They helped to shape the setting for one of my books, Fireweed. In Better Than Dessert a good half of the book is set in Alaska. And most recently, More Than A Trifle has several key chapters which are set in that beautiful state.

So today, I’m posting photos—some prompted settings for these books. I hope you enjoy them.

Within the last few months I’ve read that Kodak Corporation has ceased making film which was used to capture sights and scenes that became photos such as the ones I’m posting. Then that film was developed through a process that most people with cameras couldn’t replicate, so they took their film to be developed somewhere the developing process was done.

2 AM Early June

Today we can print up our own photos or have them printed from a digital file.

Today’s process is very different from the “old-fashion” process that produced today’s photo selection. I scanned the original photos into digital files. I’m in the process now of scanning many old photos into digital files, but I’ve really enjoyed going through the albums and looking at the bloopers, the not so greats, and those that become more wondrous as years past.

And of course, the wowsers—those photos that take one’s breath away.

Early morning calm

Which makes me think that perhaps this new age of photo taking photos with its instant replay and delete or keep and print after manipulating them in multiple ways has its drawbacks. Those not so greats, the ones that time makes more charming—those may never be seen again. Lost forever in the trash bins of the computer age.

Maybe this isn’t such a very good thing. For example, several years ago on a trip to Alaska, my hubby and I took our 4 year old grandson to the zoo in Anchorage. I’ll never forget that day. I even built on my memories of that day for a scene I loved writing for Better Than Dessert.

But while I was writing that scene, I hunted up the photos we took that day. Along with the good ones, the wowsers, I had also filed in a separate envelope several that were at best bloopers. But time lent them a charming patina. One in particular our grandson insisted we take because he was fascinated with the elephants, the feeding process we witnessed, the bathing, the process of the elephant eliminating. He wanted that photo of a pile of elephant poop.

I have no idea why I didn’t tear that up when we got the photos from the developer. However, seeing it prompted a detail to add to the scene. I chuckled, smiled, and decided it would be perfect to add to the zoo scene in Better Than Dessert.Readers who’ve contacted me say they’ve chuckled also during that scene.

More Than A Trifle Alaskan wedding scene

Serendipity at work.

Bloopers in photos and in life can be very beneficial. That’s my take-away for readers this week. Don’t dismiss out of hand the bloopers with your photos or your experiences. At some point they may come in very handy.

Have you found this to be true lately?

Alaskan rainy day

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12 Comments on “Bloopers, Keepers, and Wowsers”


  1. Beautiful pictures. I agree on the digital photos. I’m bad about not printing mine, though, and I don’t want them all lost on a fried hard drive some day. I will say though, I don’t delete many of the bloopers unless they’re really fuzzy. I will admit in the past it’s been laziness and knowing I’ve got tons of room on my memory card. Now I’ll know to keep them for a better reason. 🙂

  2. Sandy Says:

    Another wonderful post, Casey. I have another thought. Print pictures often deteriorate over the years, and wouldn’t it be nice to retake the picture digitally, and then reprint it like new. Smile.


  3. Sandy,

    Your idea is wonderful and if you have the negative I think this can be done. It’s one of the reasons my older photos have less defined color, I think, though maybe my camera was at fault though I had a very good one at the time.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Edie Ramer Says:

    I rarely print my digital photos. When my old digital camera stopped working, I lost all the pictures on it. And I lost my new one. It’s in the house somewhere, but we can’t find it. 😦

    Great pictures. Funny story about the elephant poop.


  5. Stacey,

    I’m not printing as many digital photos as I should either but those I do print I don’t bother to do myself as it’s less time consuming and easier just to upload the digital files to an online print source and then pick them up locally if I’m in a hurry or have them mailed when free shipping is offered.

    Hope you have a productive week.


  6. You know, Casey, I’ve posted pictures that look like digital photos when in reality I find a print photo that I have in a frame, get out my iPhone and take a picture of it, then upload that to my Mac, then post it on FB or wherever and you’d never know it wasn’t a digital photo I’d taken with my camera or iPhone.


  7. Great post, Casey. I love going through old pictures, and especially the pre-digital camera pics. Lots and lots of great memories. Even with a digital camera, I still manage to get some bloopers, and once in a while I even keep them – must be my nostalgia coming through.


  8. Edie,

    Amazing isn’t it? How 4-year old boys love checking out poop from finned, furred or feathered creatures?

    Sure hope you find that digital camera soon.


  9. Patti,

    First of all, I must apologize for not commenting on your comment from last week. I just found it in the SPAM folder a few moments ago. You’re right about the trust in my son. I think he really believed I thought he was grown up then.

    Thanks for today’s tip about taking a photo with your cell phone of an old photo. I’ve never been comfortable using my cell phone for anything other than calls but then I don’t have one which takes really fabulous photos like the new iPhones.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  10. Jamie,

    Thanks for stopping by. I figured you must love going through old photos since I enjoy what you post on FB. Thanks for your comments.

  11. Anne Parent Says:

    You are so right that the new digital age also has drawbacks. My husband has a camera that you can actually adjust the focus, which can also make for some interesting photos. I understand photographers love to get their hands on these old cameras which will allow for more creative photos.

    Thanks for your beautiful photos and the memories you have shared.


  12. Anne,

    Tucked away in some closet I have a variety of old cameras, some of them used by my neighbor when she was a Time Life photographer. She gave a couple to my hubby and I before she died. She had developing equipment and all that jazz as she liked to do her own developing.

    Thanks for sharing my walk down memory lane and the photos which inspired scenes for books.


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