Iâ€™m not a professional photographer by any means, but I do enjoy taking pictures. Iâ€™m the default family photographer, and for work, I shoot almost all of my own photos.
Thatâ€™s why I wasnâ€™t too surprised when I noticed that iPhoto on my new iMac was running slowly. It does have to look after 20,454 photos that are sitting on its external hard drive. Couple that with the 3,349 photos and 266 videos on my iPhone, and thatâ€™s a lot of media â€“ some 217 GB on that little portable drive.
Believe it or not, Iâ€™m reasonably judicious with the photos I store on my computer. Every so often, I go through and trash the very similar pictures, and even if I shoot 100 photos for an article, I delete all but a handful.
On my phone, itâ€™s a different story. I snap so much, then forget to go back and weed out the bad ones. My phone used to fill up, but now that itâ€™s more integrated into the cloud then ever, I can keep shooting and shooting and shooting.
This canâ€™t be good.
In my defense, I curate the best photos into several shared photo streams. I print out the best into photo books for framed gifts.
But Iâ€™ve been shooting digitally since 1998. Thatâ€™s 17 years of accumulated files. They started out as one megapixel files and are now up to 16. The quality and file size will only keep growing.
What am I supposed to do with all of these?
I remember helping a friend out in college after his grandmother died, and one of our tasks was going through her old photos and deciding what to keep and what to toss. This was a really sad task, and I felt like I was intruding on someoneâ€™s life, throwing away memories that meant nothing to me.
What will it be like for our generation? If everything fits on a tiny hard drive, or in the cloud, or on Facebook, will anyone bother throwing it all out? Will anyone care?
These are some deep thoughts, but Iâ€™ve been considering our collective digitized future a little more lately. Maybe itâ€™s time. How many photos do you have si…Read more...