A Dearth of Photographs



Yesterday, I was working on a deadline project so I had both my desktop machines going and my laptop as well. But I was spending most of the time on my desktops, so I set the screen saver on the laptop to run through all the pictures I’ve got in my My Pictures directory. This would be four years or so of pictures I’ve taken with my little point-and-shoot Kodak camera.

As they flashed by out of the corner of my eye, I realized just how many there were. Or maybe not. I left that screen saver run for several hours and did not reach to the end of the pictures. I was somewhere around 2006 when I bumped the mouse and turned the screen back on.

As those pictures flashed by, I realized that I probably could afford to delete some. The ones that are crooked, are pictures of the back of someone’s head, etc. That would probably get rid of about a third of them.

But still, that’s a lot of pictures, trapped on my hard drive. I’ve printed some, and sent them around to people via email, and put them on my blogs, but most of them sit, in digital format, where they will always sit and may never been seen by anyone but me. It’s rather like the five ginormous boxes of photos in my basement storage room that will never see the page of an album. After all, I’ve been taking pictures for nigh on forty years. I got my first camera at age 10 and never stopped clicking that shutter.

What to do with all that, whether they are digital or printed? Do I just keep accumulating and let my kids deal with it when I’m gone, like my parents have done?

I’m thinking I need to be more proactive in cleaning up this stuff and making it more manageable, not only for myself, but for my kids someday, since they are the ones that are going to have to clean it out. I just spent the better part of a long weekend going through an entire trunk of my mother’s photographs. I don’t want to leave that legacy for anyone.

What are others doing with all of their digital content, especially pictures? I’m curious.


2 thoughts on “A Dearth of Photographs

  1. My worst photography habit that I have exhibited in the ten years that I have owned a digital camera is the phenomenon of multiple shots of exactly the same scene / subject.

    Surely my hands are not THAT shaky that I really need to take two or three shots ‘just in case’. It wouldn’t be so bad if I quickly deleted the additional shots when I uploaded the photos but nope, they are all there until I am feeling aggressive enough to butcher my collection.

  2. We too keep way too many bad photos of really nothing memorable. Photos are great to see every few years but keeping an unhealthy number of photos is a waste of time even though we have plenty of space to put them now.

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