Photo Albums Are Better Than Online Collections Essay

Where Do We Put All Of Those Pictures?

When I was growing up back in the 1970’s, my grandparents lived nine houses down the street from me. My grandmother wad born in 1922, and my grandfather in 1917. My great, great grandmother was born in 1879, and I knew her as a child. There is a great family photo of me standing next to my mother, her mother, her mother, and yes, her mother. This picture showed five generations standing next to each other. My great, great grandmother lived to be 97, and passed away when I was eight years old. She was healthy and mentally sharp all the way until the end. I know this, because I have paper pictures of myself with all of these family members, now gone, except for myself and my own mother. Having real photographs gives us a quick connection to the past. Digital pictures become lost in the various formats we have all saved them in over the past two decades. They are only really lasting, if they get printed, and placed in books, or hung on the wall.

I have noticed that digital pictures, which were printed 15 years ago, are already fading and losing their tone. I have professionally printed pictures from the 1950’s, in color that look much better than those early digital prints. I have black and white photos from the 1930’s that still look crisp and like new. I have a few tin photos from the late 1800’s that look like they are brand new. I guess those old photos used silver in the process, and it just does not degrade very easily. It is depressing to think that photos of my teenagers, when they were little kids, may not be distinguishable when they are in their 50’s.

Printing photos professionally, seems like the only reasonable way to ensure that even with the changes in technology, we will have access to these memories for our entire lives. Just think of how difficult it is to watch that old VHS, or Super 8 tape you have of your family from that trip that you went on back in the 70’s or 80’s. Technology is moving forward now even faster. Try putting that CD of photos into your new laptop. Oops, there is no CD reader on your new computer. You can have photos converted, but the time and expense sort of defeats the purpose. Building photo albums and scrap booking is really the only way to ensure that you can have these photos available when you want to look at them. These are your memories, and in the end it might be all that we have.

House Fires and Photos

Everyone knows that if you have a house fire, once you get the kids and pets out, the next thing you grab is your photos. Maybe not so much anymore, because you really don’t need to save them if they are digitized, unless you can do so safely. I had a house burn down and it was an ugly affair. Luckily, I had gotten all of the Super 8 movies out of the house before it happened and sent them in for digital conversion. I was not so lucky with the pictures. Many of the ones I have now, were given to me by relatives, and others were ones I copied from what they had. It is a good idea to keep picture duplicates with other family members, and they really want them as gifts and on special occasions.

We were lucky that I had started an account with a company that stores images on their cloud long before. I had loaded thousands of pictures to the cloud and was able to order new prints of literally hundreds of pictures. Some people would have just left them there, but to me, a picture is really only enjoyable, if I have it in an album. Part of the fun, is going through the album and looking at the old pictures of ourselves, our kids and our families. I was glad though, that I had digital copies of so many photos, from over the years. The earlier pictures were taken with a digital camera, and the newer ones with a cellular phone. It is really hard to beat the photo capabilities of a modern cell phone, without spending a lot of money on a SLR digital camera.

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