Car Trip

Kristy was on call the day after thanksgiving, and I had the day off, so I decided it would be a good time to take a trip to Rochester and visit my mom. We had a mini post-thanksgiving dinner, and took the opportunity to dig through a storage locker and rescue a bunch of old pictures that I should probably have had all along.

It was a bit of a treasure trove. All sorts of old pictures. Like some from our crazy first apartment in Cambridge with the nautical themed wood paneling in the front room, and the goofy huge chandelier above the bed in the bedroom, and the humongous kitchen. And also, I found the long-lost pictures of the u-haul truck towing our car behind with every bit of our earthly possessions contained therein. Of course there were even older pictures, like from high school, and trips to Australia, New Zealand, and England, and my old modeling portfolio and pictures from some plays, musicals and dance recitals. Maybe if I can get my hands on a scanner I can get some of these digitized.

Is this what happened to everyones old pre-digital photos? I mean, it’s nice to actually have a physical picture — but they can be locked away in storage lockers, misplaced, damaged, and they can also be hard to copy and distribute without additional tools. Scottoway may disagree, and will most likely offer his own two cents on the situation.

  1. #1 by MRhé on November 25, 2007 - 5:14 pm

    I’m sure the Scottographer will have endless fascinating things to say about analog photography.
    A couple points on each side of the coin, with the disclaimer that I’m not taking aesthetic considerations into account – the Scottographer takes amazing photos using film, while my parents, especially my Mom, take excellent digital photos – this is merely a comment on the practical side of things:
    1) I took a fair amount of film pics myself in high school and college. These are in the attic in boxes or in a couple albums in my bedroom at home; they rarely, if ever, get reviewed. It would be nice if these were taken digitally instead, so that I could easily review them. One could scan them of course, (as my Mom is currently doing with old family slides), but this takes time. The good thing about tangible photo media is that it lasts barring any disaster on the level of a flood or fire, unlike:
    2) A few months ago the hard drive on my iBook shit the bed, and I lost hundreds of pics and videos in the process. This is a cruddy scenario. Of course, one might say that backup would have been key, but I didn’t have it at the time (which reminds me now I need to get on that).
    My point? I don’t really have one.

  2. #2 by benoc on November 25, 2007 - 6:36 pm

    Ahh, the whole “tangible photo lasts” issue. True, digital photos are vulnerable to data loss issues that don’t necessarily affect pictures. However, one of the positive aspects of digital photography (or digital scans of analog photos) is that the data can be infinitely reproduced and protected.
    For example, the data volume where my iPhoto library is stored is actually a mirrored pair of disk drives, so that if one fails, nothing will get lost. In addition, that volume is backed up to a separate hard drive in the same machine — to protect against an accidental deletion or attack of some sort. The third level of protection is that that volume is also backed up nightly to a secret off-site location — to protect against some sort of disaster affecting the whole apartment, or the entire city of Boston and/or eastern seaboard for that matter.
    Although for most folks, these lengths aren’t necessary, people generally need to take better care of protecting their data. There are plenty of online/internet-based backup solutions available that you can use to protect your laptop’s data.

  3. #3 by Scottoway on November 28, 2007 - 10:26 pm

    I feel that I’ve been invited to comment here, so I will chime in on a couple of points.
    Longevity: I am of two minds. Digital media may offer the most options — after all, you can distribute perfect copies all over the globe. But it also requires vigilance to make regular backups to withstand failures, to make regular copies to overcome media lifetime issues, and to convert old media when obsolescence looms (Anyone have a Zip drive?). Film has a finite lifetime too, and unfortunately backup copies are lossy. But as my grandmother’s old box of B&W photos will attest, the average person can keep them for decades with no effort at all.
    Ease of sharing: I agree that digital photos hold the upper hand, but the problem is not intractable for film. Witness the incredible speed with which I am able to post vacation pictures on my web site.

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