Life Simplified

Tackling my digital pictures

12:26 PM

Digital cameras have made our taking pictures incredibly easy. A statement none can dispute, because since digital cameras have become affordable, and even came as a default feature on our mobile phones we snap away without pondering the worthiness of the picture in question. And that translates into GBs of pictures on a hard drive, GBs of memories we find it hard to slash into, GBs that need to be transferred from one dying computer to the next, backed up on external drives, DVDs with only a tiny if at all fraction of them ever making it to print and a photo frame.

I am sure that a vast majority of you readers have grown up with good old film rolls, and cameras that were at first so expensive you would store them properly and use them with care. There was the big question of how many rolls of film to pack before going on holidays, and the careful thinking each time you were going to snap a pick: "Have I captured enough Greek temple columns to accurately represent my trip! or do I need to snap this one too?" Knowing too well that every snap you took would mean one less space on your roll, and then later meaning money spent to have it processed, which in turn meant that all the pictures on the roll had to be meaningful, valuable and good quality. Once the films were back from the print labs with both glossy pics and negatives in a neat envelope came the delicate matter of building a photo album, trying to remember which Greek column belonged to which temple in which city, then storing the unwanted pictures and negatives in a big shoe box while displaying the heavy letherette albums in your bookshelves, ready to whip out to share your moments with dear ones. And of course after many years have your kids find the out takes in the shoebox and commenting that these candid and goofed up pics are far more fun than the proper serious ones in the albums...come on we've all been there, us of what is starting to be described as yore by the next generation?

I did announce on my FB page yesterday that I was taking a day off blogging to upload a lot of my pictures to an online storage site, because let's face it, my netbook while making a nifty hard drive, there are just something's I want to have accessible from my tablet. With all my previous computer deaths I did back up thing on CDs and external drive, transferred some to the new comp, uploaded some on FB, some on Flikr, some on Picasa, then came the drop box, now the cloud...and yet I still have heaps of bites worth of picture on my hard drive backed up nowhere. I have now been at it for hours, and I am still not done, and I'm just talking uploading pictures, I haven't even bothered sifting through pictures to decide which are worthy of being kept, and which aren't, I'll worry about that part once my online storage limit will start running short. And in the spirit of that month long serie of simplifying life I wanted to share the epiphany I just came to this morning after realising I haven't even yet made a dent in my digital load:

Why oh why didn't I upload pics online regularly?

Would have made things far simpler, taking just a few minutes to upload 200 pics at a time, and be done, instead here I am writing on my pad! with th the netbook in front of me taking forever to upload my data while I keep an eye in it, ready to upload more as soon as one folder is done with...picture on FB to show it...picture that I now need to remember to delete of my drop box because it is actually one of these not really meant to be saved for posterity. The silver lining being that I was at least organized enough on my hard drive and all pictures have been put in specific folders according to themes, so this at least spares me the agony of sorting them into albums online, one at a time, because the albums categories are something I already created at the time of uploading pictures from my camera to the computer...relief!

So now it's your turn to simplify your digital picture storage, if you haven't done so already.


  1. apple8:21 PM

    There is something about old black and white pictures which make them timeless. There is less colour distractions so everything looks very sharp. You must have come across old black and white pictures at your MIL's place, the one in which the man is in his shirt or coat, his hair combed and the wife looking all beautiful in her 1960s/1970s type hairstyle, 'hair bun', I guess, and kajal filled eyes. Every Indian family has such couple pictures. There is something about such old black and white pictures, they made even ordinary people look beautiful. Maybe, because people could not afford cameras, so pictures were taken in studios with professional lighting to enhance the looks, or to celebrate marriages. The trick was in beautiful use of eye makeup which Indian women of 1960s-1980s used. Indian women often blended eastern and western influences to make them look beautiful. Your don't get such effects even from digital cameras these days.

  2. I have seen these pics at my in-laws, and my grand parents had professional black and white portraits and wedding pics framed too. Both my parent have photo albums containing professional pics and amateur pics of when they grew up, because they were among the few who could afford cameras back in the 50's, the professional pics are of course always of a much betters quality, but the family taken pics were good too, and black and white preserve much better over time than colour prints. I remember some of my pictures from the 80's that are really not looking too good, the colour faded and they are looking brownish. One fun anecdote from back home is that we have automatic machines for passport photos, you put the change and it takes 4 pictures, well at least the old fashioned of before the digital era did, the instant process and all made them really crappy in quality, but who care when they are going to be used for things like driving licenses, school forms and passports?

  3. Need to post in two segments...sigh. So anyway these photo machines were popular among teens to capture souvenir of an outing with friends, we would squish at 3-4 people in the cabin and take several set of snaps and share them with each other. There was ONE booth that was still there in 2003 that was the only one in the city doing square format black and white print of high quality, and it was also the cheapest at 1 CHF when all the others asked 5-6 CHF for the prints, needless to say all teens have gone there at least once, I still have some of the prints I took there, they look still great, while the prints of my colour booth picture are all nasty looking. And on top of everything, the black and white does indeed make one look far more beautiful due to higher contrasts. The reason why the pictures from my welcome hallway decode are in black and white, they make far more of a statement that way.


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