Whether you take pictures with a cell phone that has resolution just a bit better than an old-time, homemade pinhole camera, or with a state-of-the-art, many megapixel SLR that costs as much as my first car, the age old question remains as what to do with the thousands of pictures we take and tend to accumulate.
A photo sharing get together yesterday of my recent Indonesian SCUBA trip prompted this question to float to the surface like my gas bubbles on a dive.
Old School (from the early dinosaurian era)
Sometimes the prints might find their way into organized photo albums and sometimes the slides might find their way into carousel slide trays.
The slide trays and appurtenant projector provided a great opportunity to sit around the living room with relatives while reliving recent vacations to places like Yosemite or Disneyland.
Reliving for hours; sometimes it seemed for more hours than the actual trip entailed.
My dad also took 8mm color movies and the spools of film would end up in a closet, hopefully with the film boxes labeled as to what was on each roll.
(We had only one television–can you imagine our poverty–so watching something else was out of the question.)
Like the good son I was, I eventually got my own 35mm camera; my first was an Olympus OM-1 SLR.
So I, too, ended up with piles of color prints, stacks of film envelopes with 35mm negatives, and enough boxes of unlabeled color slides to fill up a moderate-sized mini storage unit.
Modern Day (after Bill Gates organized the world)
Not to be left behind in the march of progress, I ultimately graduated to digital cameras–I think my first one was measured in minipixels.
And instead of piles of pictures and boxes of slides, I now have gazillions of picture files stored electronically in multiple locations and on various digital media, including hard drives, CD’s, thumb drives, memory cards, and other forms using the magic of electricity utilizing millions of “0’s” and “1’s” that almost guarantees we will never see these pictures alive again.
For some people, digital pictures get organized into Power Point presentations that allow mass treatment of insomnia by bringing together family and friends on cushy sofas immediately following a big meal and multiple glasses of wine.
Also, with the advent of the Web 2.0, photo sharing sites such as Flickr, and the many similar variants, allow for storage of your digital pictures on someone else’s computer with the assumption that a) you can figure out how to upload your pictures; b) you will be able to find them someday in the future; c) someone else is interested in looking at them.
Sulawesi Dive Trip Photo Sharing (Keeping the photography tradition alive, one picture at a time.)
While I took hundreds of pictures topside, I do not dive with either a still or video camera.
I have enough SCUBA equipment to futz with and try not to run out of air without keeping track of any more stuff.
Luckily, picture taking is a HUGE attraction of enough divers that, if you are lucky enough to hang with a generous group, you will get copies of their hundreds of pictures and minutes of video.
Yesterday almost twenty of us hung out in the living room while watching CD’s and DVD’s of the dive trip.
In reality, other than the technology, not a lot different than I remember back home some 50 years ago.
So, be honest; how much time do you take with your digital pictures right after a trip by culling out the bad ones and organizing them into computer folders with clear names? (I sure as hell don’t.)
And if you will admit that you really do, are you available to organize my closet?