Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Sacred Family Photo Album

In the previous post, I got onto my soapbox and began to praise the traditional, printed, family photo album. Since repetition is said to be the secret of learning, I want to beat this drum a little bit more. What I want to do is to persuade you to print and properly store your digital photos. Soon! It’s very easy to do on most printers and with most printer software: (i) buy a pack of 4x6 photo stock and insert paper into your printer; (ii) fire up your software (the software that came with your printer should work fine for most of you); (iii) click the print button; (iv) have a cup of coffee; (v) and, return in five or ten minutes to admire your quality prints. Then you are ready to stick the suckers in an album!

I understand procrastination; in fact, I minored in it — took a few courses anyway. But it’s time to take action. For those in northerly climes, bad weather is only about two and a half months away. It will last for the best part of five months or even longer. So, isn’t now a great time to make a plan to deal with your backlog of somewhat neglected digital photos that nobody ever sees? You and your family will appreciate it in future if you make this your winter project.

If you are really pressed for time, don’t even print your own. Pick a hundred shots; upload them to a memory card or CD; and, take them to a processing lab — or email them. There’s actually an advantage to this: your prints will last longer because lab photos still last longer than ink jet photos which tend to fade more quickly. In time, this fading problem will … well it will fade away because the technological wonder-folk will invent better inks and dyes. Even so, I have had a number of prints out and exposed for several years now and have yet to detect noticeable deterioration.

I like to think that I have the best photo album in the world. I don’t print 4x6s, but I arrange collages on letter-size sheets. That way, I can get anywhere from three to nine photos on a single piece of paper. I am saving paper and being semi-creative at the same time! I can easily add a caption and/or the date to assist my recall as I slip into my dotage. Take a look at this photo where I have merged five photos onto one sheet. This one contains six photos and also allowed me to indulge in my zany sense of humour.

Most of you aren’t ready to try this kind of stuff yet. Even for me, it takes time, and I sometimes feel burdened down if I get months behind, but wouldn’t it feel great to stick a hundred 4x6s from the past year into an album and know that you and yours will have something to enjoy for a long, long time to come: something that future generations can look back upon and connect with? My mother left us photos of her grandparents and also my dad’s. This is the only way I have of meeting these folk whose genes I carry (and I’d like to speak harshly with some of them about some of those genes :). These photos intrigue me, seeing what they wore and thinking of tribulations that they bore.



Cuppa said...

I for one love the printed photo album too. It is nice having the digital pictures on the laptop, but I look at the printed pictures all the time and relive the events over and over again. I just don't do that with the ones left on thelaptop. Long live the "printed" page.

Butterfly said...

Well you've talked ME into it. I'll be printing fool this winter.