Save Your Photos

September has been “Save Your Photos Month”, so I’ve been going through my digital storage media and the physical systems used to store snapshots and more serious photographs.

I’ve come to distrust thumb drives and most disc-based storage media; however, they are about the only readily available storage types beyond “the cloud”. The most dependable conventional method for me has been to store conventional paper and emulsion photographs in archival-quality physical albums.

There are still a half-dozen or so “iOmega Zip Disks” I need to peruse, thankfully the Zip reader/recorder is in good condition, as are the disks I’ve already looked over. The problem is that the format is obsolete and comparatively slow. Of course, there is the cloud, which I’m reluctant to use at this point, because I prefer direct control and ownership over as much of my archives as possible.

brother Mark, me, dad, and Chip the Sheltie (taken in the 1990s)

Of course nothing is absolutely permanent–even the cloud, so all one can realistically utilize are the methods that are available to us at the time. I won’t argue the merits and demerits of the various storage media because I’m not an expert. Professional and more skilled photographers than me are probably better sources for such judgements. I will say that it is important to save our meaningful photos of family, friends, events, scenes, and so forth. It’s also helpful to keep them in readily accessible formats.

step-mom’s nephew (taken in the early 1990s?)

This past week, has been a time of reminiscing via the conventional, film-based slides and prints that were taken several years ago. Yes, I still have a slide projector and two spare halogen bulbs. I had tried digitizing the slides a few years ago with disappointing results, so I’m glad the Kodak Carousels in their original boxes are keeping those images safe.

I like to keep a few of my favorite snapshots more readily accessible and on display. I prefer Lucite acrylic “sandwich” frames. I have three that contain photos that I want to view more often. They are portable so they will stand wherever and whenever I want.

The importance of archiving and saving our valuable photos cannot be overstressed. We are saving snippets of our personal histories for posterity–ours and our descendants.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes The Covert Comic, John Alejandro King. “The statement ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is worth 0.007 of a picture.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in art, cultural highlights, Gadgets, photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Save Your Photos

  1. I have so many, many pre-digital photos. Some are in the envelopes that the developing labs placed them in, so the approximate dates they were taken are known via the processing dates stamped on the envelopes. Some are out of envelopes and undated. But only on the backs of relatively few photos, in envelopes or not, did I notate who, what, where and when. Trying to organize and straighten out all of this daunts me.

  2. bloom|time says:

    You are so right. I need to make this a project… perhaps over the winter. I would hate to lose the memories!

  3. I totally agree with the importance of saving photos. My sister is the family photo saver. She even has managed to save a few photos from our childhood. I need to go through my piles of photos and slides as you did.

  4. rkrontheroad says:

    I’ve organized my digital photos to some extent, but the older images are in media that are so dated now. I have boxes of negatives from photos of earlier days that I expect no one will ever pick through, but I’m reluctant to toss them. The ones that were printed can at least be looked at.

    • swabby429 says:

      It’s the older ones on obsolete media that will interest future generations the most. I have a half-dozen Daguerreotypes and Tintypes squirrelled away. The image quality is primitive, but fascinating. The fading black and white Kodak prints from before my time are time travel snippets to enjoy on a cold Sunday afternoon. It’s a matter of scarcity. I’m cataloguing the digital images; but I rarely look at them once they’re filed away. But those old photos in the shoeboxes–I look at them over and over.

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