Monday, November 21, 2016

Cleaning out the photo closet

If I hoard anything, it's pictures. To me, a photograph is a moment in time captured, whether for today or forever. I have a hard time parting with pictures, because in some ways it's like deliberately forgetting a certain moment of my life that at one time I thought should live forever.

In recent months I've gone through prints from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Most of those I have tossed (actually, those I have put in a box to be tossed) are of people who once were friends but who have drifted away. Some I am Facebook friends with, and I have tossed fewer of those than I have of people whose whereabouts I don't know and really have little desire to know. I tend to keep pictures of friends who have passed away. If I knew how to contact their surviving family, I might offer the prints to them, but in some cases they have no surviving blood relatives. Most of them are people my children have never met, and unless they desire at some point in the future to reconstruct my life year by year, they will have no burning interest in who these people are.

That brings me to my river photos of the digital era. To get a good photo, you need to take a dozen. If you are disciplined and frugal, you keep the ones you really like and delete the rest. My problem is that I really like too many of them, even when there are only minor differences from one shot to the next.

Here are three pictures I took in November and December of last year.

The first one was a test shot for the one I wanted to get when the boat was about a half mile downriver. The vegetation in the foreground was in the way, and that empty at the head of the tow didn't help, either.

In the second one, dark was setting in and I failed to adjust my camera settings accordingly.

The third one was just off, perhaps because the image was not as sharp as it could have been.

Before deleting them (which I have yet to do), I decided to play with each image for a couple of minutes to see how they turned out. This is what I got.

Maybe they work better now, and maybe I'll keep them.

Instead of deleting 10,000 pictures, I probably could save up some money and go out and buy another hard drive and let my heirs worry about what to do with all of them. Yeah, that's what I'll do.