As a retired archaeologist, travel writer and photo-journalist, there is rarely an occasion when I do not have camera in hand – or at the very least nearby.
My current photo software shows over 7,000 saved images presently in my computer! I would have at least double that number saved on disc. But here the story ends! Thousands of images that were originally on film or slides have been lost in a number of ways. This was brought home to me recently during my Children’s Picture Book workshop.
One of my students created a children’s picture book that she had titled “The Friendly Alligator”, but her only image of an alligator was from a poster she had photographed and intended to use as the cover. No problem I assured her ‘” I did a photo shoot in New Orleans some years ago and had some lovely pictures of a ‘˜friendly alligator’. My problem was where were the pictures now!
Some of them I knew were stored in my Associated Content on line gallery where Yahoo allows me to store all my article pictures, and some time ago I wrote a feature on New Orleans and their amazing Super Bowl win!
But, to the best of my recollection there were no alligators in that story!
I of course eventually found the disc and was delighted to offer the pictures for her delightful book.
It did prompt me to think however, about all the pictures that over the years we can’t find or never saved.
My very favorite picture of all time, taken in 1957 ‘” one of myself with Dr. David Trump and Fr. Victor Camilleri at the entrance to St. Agatha’s Catacombs, was actually sent to me by my granddaughter in Australia.
I had apparently sent her mother a copy many years ago and she had passed it on to my granddaughter who had framed it and hung it on her wall! I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present that year. It has since been featured on the cover of one of my books “In the Image of His God” and in hundreds of articles that I have since written over the years.
Another incident comes immediately to mind ‘” many years ago whilst living in Australia I lost my home and all my possessions in a raging fire that engulfed my home. As has always been my habit I had photographed every aspect of my home, particularly as we had undergone substantial renovations since buying the home.
It was with the aid of these photographs that the insurance company was able to identify and replace almost all that we had lost! Without the use of the pictures that would not have been possible ‘” there were items in the pictures that I had long forgotten.
All this hopefully brings me to the outstanding solution that is available to all of us today! The ‘˜on-line’ photo services like Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, and Shutterfly to name but a few!
Not only do these web sites provide an amazing array of products ( I purchase at least two photo books a month) more importantly they provide a storage facility for all your pictures ‘” in the case of Kodak you can download any of your stored pictures in full resolution at anytime, anywhere! There are minimal costs or usage requirements involved, but these are more than reasonable when you consider the service they provide.
I still try to back up everything on CD or DVD but membership in one or all of these on line services is not only encouraged ‘”it’s mandatory for anyone of us who is serious about capturing those ‘˜forever’ moments!
Dr. Peter J. Shield PhD ( http://picturethedifference.com )