Sunday, December 16, 2018

Photography & Legacy in a Digital Landscape

Digital imagery: left is phone capture, right is taken with my camera.
At a dinner time discussion with our teenage sons, I brought up the topic of digital photography and storage in the ever changing world of technology. And as background: my husband and I have recently been handed an overwhelming treasure of family photos at a time when we are beginning to downsize our belongings for an eventual move into an easier living situation. And as an added weight, I have always chronicled our life's journey, which has included outdoor adventures and the growth of our children.

For many years I have embraced digital photography for it's merits: to capture and keep the best images then store them on a CD while printing a few for the album. Of course, technology advances and soon - if not already - that system is obsolete. Instead of transferring to the latest, greatest storage system, and revamping, worrying, etc. I thought I'd revisit my role as photographer, from the view point of our children who will eventually become the heirs of family "photographs".

As it turns out - as I expected - children of the digital age could care less about stacks of family albums. They take lots of photos for instant sharing then keep their images on Google Photos or transfer the best to Google Drive - our eldest son claims Drive has lots of free online storage while keeping photo resolution intact. I am concerned and skeptical of online storage, yet also realize continually printing photos for their legacy is a moot point.

After condensing the last two years of photos from my laptop - the keepers that I would upload to Google Drive - I realized that it's the human connection, ie. photos of loved ones, that are worth keeping for the long haul. I snap a lot of photos, especially to illustrate topics for Anniebikes, but sadly I've decided they're not worth holding onto well in to the future.

Lately, I've been using my phone more to record blogging images because I also use Instagram (annie.bikes) though the quality suffers a bit when transferring the same images to my blog, but only because my digital camera currently has better quality. I still like the physicality of my camera (touching buttons, the sound of the lens opening) plus it's much easier for timed shots, and for processing through software, though I suspect in the future I will eventually resort to solely using a phone camera.

Reconciling the past and present through a legacy of photographs, images, ephemera - heck even furniture - is a difficult journey for any family. And when you throw in technology advancements and the younger generation that has only grown up since it's evolution, it's reasonable to expect the tech savvy youngsters may have a different take on what's important to keep going forward.

I have accepted that my husband and I will need to make some difficult decisions in the future when we move, not the least of which is what to to do with three feet width of photo albums on our bookshelf.
*Lately, I've had a high instance of spam. If you comment as Anonymous I may inadvertently delete your comment. I'm considering changing the settings to only accept people who comment with a Google address.

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