It’s Tuesday and unusually, I’m writing next week’s Monday Post.
Posts don’t usually get written until Monday morning and after an intense struggle to find something interesting to write about.
That’s so, but I’m about to leave for several weeks on the road and might find myself, or the Interwebs a bit scarce in coming days. Anyway, a post on PetaPixel jumped out at me this morning and it was the work of seconds – my effective attention span period – to wonder just what would happen to the thousands of photographs I have, when my time is due.
And of course, the rest of the Susans and our readers and all the other photographers, good and bad, who are busy shooting daily.
I was shocked when recently, Pascal admitted he had little use for yesterday’s images, preferring to shoot anew for today. Of course, he’s been through the Unbacked-up Great Disk Crash and survived. That must have taken care of thousands of images for him. Now, it’s a cycle I’d guess will continue for him until he too, is called to the great darkroom in the sky.
But for us mortals, us anally inclined photographers with thousands of images, carefully edited, star scored, metadata-ed and fanatically backed-up? What of our lifetime’s work? Will a backup disk be discovered in a cardboard box in a junk shop? Will anyone be able to mount it on their computer and read it? Will they care?
Or, will our digital history be discovered in an attic. Stored lovingly on a shelf on a bedroom, no longer is use?
I think we can all be certain that the promises of cloud storage being ad infinitum in both time and volume holds as much credibility as a politician’s election promise. The clock will be ticking from the moment your last monthly tithe is paid and thirty days after that your photography, like your digital remains will be gone.
That means chances are, you won’t get a Vivian Maier moment.
If I can find some ink jet capable paper here in Cape Town, I plan to continue printing some of my better images. Mind you, that will just mean a bit more to jettison when the final house clearing is done by either my wife, or children, depending on who leaves first.
Having waded through my late parents’ life recently, I can tell whoever gets the job not to be fussy and save this photograph for some reason and that one for something else. Dump the lot. In the end, it’s better for your psyche.
In the interim, I’ll keep shooting. It gets me out of the house into some of the world’s most interesting cities and breathtaking scenery. It’s good mental exercise and can be deeply satisfying. It also ensures I can participate in debates about good and bad, get GAS and generally pursue a hobby that makes me content.
One day, someone might discover one of my images in a bin and hang it in a gallery in some city, use it for a front page, or illustrate a book/magazine with it. I doubt it, but either way, I won’t be here to see it or rake in the kudos, so what the hell am I worrying about anyway?
This week’s photographs are from the archives – various road trips around South Africa 2008 – 2011
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