Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
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Greg A A
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Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
10 months ago

I've pondered the best ways to make photos available to others now and later on. I'll explain my current thinking on this, but I'm most interested in what others are doing.

My Lightroom database will continue to take effort to migrate to the next computer and OS. This is the chain that binds me to my digital images. The technology is awesome as I can usually find something between the file structure and keywords. This is much more effective and faster than sorting through slides, prints or negatives. Lightroom is nice for me, but what for the future if I'm not here. There are some photos that others would want.

The first question is who cares. People who want to have a visual memory of a fun event are certainly interested in current photo displays. Old family pictures have a special meaning to the family and friends. I have boxes of old pictures, slides and negatives from our families. Just sorting through these has been en enormous job, not to mention scanning the keepers. This is a job that only a dedicated photographer would have the slightest interest in attempting.

Here's what I'm doing. For current photos, slideshows and video I'm using Smugmug.  Facebook is too haphazard and has no security. Online sites have a limited lifetime, essentially for as long as I keep paying for the site. For anything to have long term availability I'm printing, most of which will be in book form. All my old slides and negatives will be more of a burden than anything else for my children and grandchildren. Those old film relics will find their way to the dust bin or garbage can. Unless anyone in the family really has a technical interest my computer and raid drives will in a few years become useless. Perhaps my old cameras could be put to use as decoration in a hobby room.

The bottom line here is that with thousands of photos I've taken, I'm the only one that can sort down and present those photos in a meaningful way. Printed is the only way that they will be viable for decades. More is not better. I've seen a wall full of albums as one method, one not very nice for someone to inherit. In my opinion thousands of photos needs to be cut down to something manageable and valuable.

With so much effort put into the photography it seems a waste not to have a good plan for the photos others would like to have in the future. Everyone takes thousands of pictures, most get displayed once on Facebook, Instagram or something similar and that's it. They will be randomly tossed away with old phones, cameras and computers. The boxes of photos and slides from my that I'm sorting through today don't occur in the digital age. Maybe that's a good thing.

If you are on Dpreview you probably have a passion for photography, for the memories saved and for images that inspire. With the thought, effort, travel, processing and archiving of all this what are you planning for those few valuable images to be preserved, at least for a few decades? Perhaps is this not even a concern of yours?

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