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Digital Photos and Video Clips

When I bought my first digital camera back in 2003 (HP PhotoSmart C850) new digital era started for me and beginning from that date I currently have about 6000 photos and 1000 videos in my collection or 67.7 GB of storage space occupied on several computers or HD media. Comparing to sum of up to 500 analog photos I scanned from pre-digital era this is really a milestone in everybody's family collection.

Early color photos - Analog SLR, Polaroid and Point&Shoot

Pushed by my father's old analog photo laboratory when I was a little kid I got interested in photography. We always tended to make some not so ordinary photos - nice black&white and early color photos with having not only people on them. There are plenty of out of ordinary staged photos. I remember we even made montaged photos including couple of UFOs we made out of kitchen plates, modeling clay and fishing strings. It looks like photoshopping today destroyed all that productivity, since there is no need for that kind of "production" nowadays. Anyways, to conclude this analog era, I can only say I miss it very much. Those images have something more comparing to digital photos simply because they always trigger some nostalgic memories. At least with me. However, back to digital stock, over time it increased in both way, quality and quantity - firstly because every next generation of photo cameras is simply better than previous one. I have more and more difficulties to keep it safe with couple of backups on different places, it requires more and more efforts and time, but this is important - loosing photos is like loosing your life work or special diary, so I am maintaining photos and videos on two computers and one external hard disk and soon I will have to do something more and buy another storage media.

Besides simple fact that photos and video clips will outlive us, there is one exceptional use if they piled up over the years in enormous number. I am looking at my son how he, every now and then, is watching clips from previous years and how his memory is better than ours. We "analog people" don't really have much memories from early childhood comparing to modern kids who now have this possibility to constantly remind themselves by watching old photos and clips and this activity simply keeps them from forgetting things, events and fast fading of old memories. On second thought, within couple of decades or centuries, evolution will definitely react by making changes in human brains, just because of large stock of digital photos and videos in everybody's family collection.

Current color photos - Digital compact, Smartphone and dSLR

Presentation of family photos and videos is also one big part of digital era. When I started with this I owned my web page with selection of all my images and clips. However, this was really a big effort and after couple of years I simply realized that it took me lots of my free and professional time and I don't mean just uploading material to the server. I had to maintain my own web page, later I even wrote a web application to get shorten this time, but maintaining slide shows, design, publishing activities etc. was simply the drop that overfilled the glass. So I abandoned all that and move them to social media. That was nice for some time, but I never lost the feeling that this is not the right place where this public media should be kept so the most of the photos are now located within this blog. Finally, one more thing is also important and that is constant learning of new technologies and improving photography skills. I don't think for this I need to be some technological geek, this is just a matter of watching other people's photos and clips, following professional photographers, reading and watching interesting articles in specialized magazines, blogs, paper and online media and the result is always satisfying.

In conclusion the question "Is this a hobby?" triggers immediate answer "Not anymore!". Taking family and artistic photos is one simple social activity, just like phoning or emailing or watching TV. It requires money and time, but the result is always there for you to enjoy daily.
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