The Technofile Web site has moved.

Technofile is now located at
Please update your links, bookmarks and Favorites.  

Father of the bride, without a camcorder in sight

technofile  by al fasoldt

Columns and commentaries in a life-long dance with technology

Simple gray rule

Father of the bride, without a camcorder in sight

By Al Fasoldt

Copyright © 1990, The Syracuse Newspapers

I walked my daughter down the aisle the other day and gave her away to a guy she first met walking to kindergarten 15 years ago.

Theirs is a storybook romance, and the wedding was lovely.

It was matchless. And, for me, it was video-less, too.

My friends were aghast when I told them I didn't tape the ceremony.

But was I supposed to stand there holding my daughter on one arm and a camcorder on the other?

I was not an observer. I was a participant—a nervous father of the bride. I was happy to let others do all the picture-taking.

And from what I could see among the guests in the packed church, VCRs might never have been invented. Still cameras, simple and fancy, were everywhere, but I didn't spot a single video camera.

That was a relief. All the videotaped weddings I've ever seen have had one common feature: They were boring. I even fell asleep once watching a replay of Charles and Diana.

Art, after all, doesn't do a very good job imitating life. At a real-life event like a wedding, we can fidget and whisper and maybe even pull out a pencil for a little behind-the-pews checkbook-balancing while everything is droning away up front. When something interesting happens, we can train our eyes and ears back on the action.

But the television screen is not a church, and a tape of a lovely lady and a handsome gentleman saying "I do'' is not a wedding. It is just another moving picture on the screen. It has to be a lot more exciting than real life just to keep us from switching it off.

Still pictures have no such limitations. They linger only as long as we want them to. When we don't want them around, they rest politely in albums on the shelf.

And still photographs reach farther than video, too. They take the essence of a scene and grasp it, so it can never escape. Video allows it to fly away.

Hollywood's moviemakers have known this for a long time. That's why some shots linger, without movement, for a dozen seconds or more. The director is trying to turn his motion picture into a still photograph, if only for a short time.

The mind's eye works that way, too. I can see my daughter and her new husband sitting in their rented, two-horse carriage after the ceremony, waiting for a ride to one of their city's big parks. The picture in my memory is a snapshot. It doesn't move.

And I can see the bride and groom standing in front of the Civil War statue across from the church. She was holding her flowers and he was straightening his tux.

"Let's take a picture!'' somebody said. A half-dozen cameras began clicking.

Thankfully, nobody aimed a camcorder. It just wouldn't have been as good.

 Image courtesy of Adobe Systems Inc.technofile: [Articles] [Home page] [Comments:]