Funny how one thing always leads to another, and most often than not, this is never a good thing. I was poring through some old photographs I saw inside a drawer when I suddenly remembered, there used to be a whole batch of them somewhere.
Alas, while other people may have the truly-admirable patience in converting all their photos into digital copies nowadays, and then saving them in their hard drives, laptops, phones or external drives, I am an old school at heart, and patience for such fussy chores had never been one of my strengths.
One may have seen me taking close-up pictures of flowers, which is actually one of my faves besides smelling them, but if I had to file these under “flowers” in the family PC, then no thanks. I would rather leave them in the phone or whatever device I had used to shoot them with.
Most often, that is the case, the shots I have taken are left where they were originally stored, forgotten unless I decide to post them or transfer them after. I admit, however, that there are those lucid moments when I try my best to be techie-to-a-T, but these are few and far between. In these hyper-techie moments, I become like everyone else, taking digital pics, then saving them (and meticulously filing these even) in, you guessed it, hard drives, laptop, my phone, and several external drives. Then at other times, I am like a sleeping dog.
Even then, through the years, I must have collected thousands of photographs in hard copy, in negatives, and in digital format. Problem is, I can’t seem to find out where the rest of them are. Which leads me back to the first problem. Where the hell is that batch?
Not too long ago, before digital cameras, keeping negatives and filing them was a serious task, if one were to ensure recopying older prints later on. Almost everyone, from the serious photographer to the day-to-day shooter knew this. As for myself, the closest to filing I got was having contact prints made, from whence I could later choose which pics I wanted printed, either into 3×3, 5×5 sizes or whatever. From there, I just must have retrogressed, being content on just placing everything in an envelope and putting them in a box. In all, I thought there was a certain discipline in that. Now, with the facilitation caused by this digitization of pics, it has made it very easy to be more careless, especially in the storage of our file pics. That could only be me of course. I have some really exceptional photographer-friends who’ve mastered filing into an art (I secretly call them librarians).
Only about a few years ago, I had all my digital pics categorized according to year, event, family, friends, music, etc. and I transferred them in an external drive for storage. I never got to update them again as I have forgotten where I kept it. My new batch of pictures, saved in our personal computer, now all fall under miscellaneous but I probably will have some time for that later.
In retrospect, I can still remember visiting relatives in the provinces and as you wait in the sala, you’re given a whole stack of photo albums to while your time. That was a delight then, and such was the practice. One felt that with each album you viewed, there was labor and dedication involved there, with every picture meticulously-placed and in chronological order even. I wonder if that’s still being done in some houses today. Guests would busy tinkering with their phones and hosts would surely find it awkward to offer “would you like to see our pictures on my phone?”