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Where Did All the Color Go?

     The colors were gorgeous – deep reds, sunny yellows, spring grass greens with lavenders and pinks and cloudless-day-blues. What a perfect setting for a photograph! Inside the flower shop – which was also a gift shop – customers mingled, coffee and tea awaited those who wanted to linger and fresh breezes blew in from the sidewalk.

     I took fifteen pictures. I took the pictures with my fairly new - as in “I’m still learning” - digital camera. On the mini-review screen at the back of the camera, the photos showed as tiny rectangles filled with brilliant colors. I almost had to put on my sunglasses.

     On the computer screen at home, the colors were even more impressive. I saved all the photos to a file and could hardly wait to print them.

     That evening my dad stopped by and I decided to print the photos to show off to him. Such beautiful pictures - he hadn’t been able to make it to the event at the flower shop, now he could enjoy it through the photos.

     While he was talking to my spouse, I sneaked over to the office, quick turned on the computer, pulled up my Kodak photos folder, put Premium Photo Paper in the printer and tagged all fifteen photos to print. Hit the “print” icon and rejoined my dad and my husband.

     Mistake. While I sat, relaxed and confident, my computer and printer were plotting major harm. Innocently, I waited for the moment when I would, ta-dah! Show off my photos with the brilliant riotous splashes of color.

     Half an hour later I went into the office, eagerly hurried over to the printer to find… a stack of black and white photos lying by the printer. Vivid, brilliant black and white. No – more like fifteen photos in umpty-nine shades of gray on expensive Premium Photo Paper. Not a color in sight.

     I showed them to my dad, because he was getting ready to leave. But I was oh, so embarrassed. Such pathetic pictures. He murmured nice things about them and I swore I’d show him the “real ones” the next time he came by.

     That’s the first time I ever left the room before checking to make sure the printer was doing the right thing. That’s the last time I’ll ever leave the room before checking to make sure the printer is doing the right thing. I might spend the rest of my life checking to make sure that the printer is doing the right thing.

     Except last night I was checking my computer and it didn’t help a bit. I was sitting right there when my computer got tired of all the numbers in my month-end financial reports and blam! Smack in the middle of revising the report for the fifteenth time, the screen flashed. Said oops, I crashed. But don’t worry, I’ve recovered some of your files.

     It recovered some files all right. Shot me a list of eighteen recovered files and told me to save the ones I wanted. How did I know which ones I wanted to save? I didn’t know what crashed. But I was scared not to save them, so I saved a bunch of them until my mom told me it was time to come home… I mean, when there were only four files left.

     The black and white photos – with those, I knew what had happened. I have a new printer. It’s specially designed to print high quality - color - photos. In my line of work, I tend toward high quality - black and white - words. Well, I try…

     Anyway, when I got the new printer, every time I printed something I had to go in and change the print specifications from “high quality color photo print” to “fast print black and white text.”

     Every time except this time. This time it printed in black and white text all on its own.


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