Friday, April 25, 2014

Thanks for the Memories - Photograph Albums

 Creating photo collections takes time, so do it in stages. As you go through the photos, ask yourself these questions: Do I recognize the person? Do I find the photo of the subject(s) flattering? Do I like the person? Do I have fond memories of the event? Do I  have more than one copy of this photo? Have a family member or friend assist you. It can actually be fun as you reminisce about old times, cry a little bit over lost friends or family members, and look back at the places you lived and visited, etc. And cackle all you can when you deep-six some images of yourself that you would rather not bestow on posterity.  

As you create your photographic album, try not to eliminate the accidental, the blurred the botched, faded and crumpled photographs. These images document ordinary life and are windows to the past.

As we are now in the age of the download and the hard drive, the photography book is currently thriving as a medium, making the old-fashioned photo album a thing of the past. Yet, many people still desire a physical object that can be held, paged through again and again, and shown to others. Today, the photo album has given way to the self-published photo book, an online publishing phenomenon that means you or I can create our own album using preordained templates and printed from digital files.
The thing about digital is it allows us to take many photos cheaply and then view them on a PC or TV, making it possible to have a whole family archive on a single flash drive. But what happens to stored images when computer systems change? A picture is always a picture, a digital image is
just so many 0's and 1's. So what happens in years to come if computers can't "read" today's
binary notation? You make digital back-ups of old photo albums to preserve them for future generations. Too often photo albums are lost, damaged, or dispersed. With digital media, a person's many descendants can all  have a copy of old photographs.    
Still, the photo album survives. They have an integrity that digital storage cannot capture.

Goesel Family Albums
The process of creating an old-fashioned, hand-crafted albums is an abiding desire to tell a story with photographs which will keep album-making alive. When you hold a photo album, you sense that you are in possession of something unique, intimate, and meant to be saved for a long time. As you turn the pages and look at the images, you take in the maker's experience, invoking your imagination and prompting personal memories.

So as you find packets of photos in drawers and boxes throughout your home, spend a few minutes recalling the moment. Then preserve them. And for those digital images, once they are edited, don’t forget to look at them.
Here are a few pages of photographs from my family's albums. 
Charlie at Walt Disney World, FL
Tiffeni & friends by the pool
Lizzie's long-ago pictures
In a future post, I will offer
suggestions & products for
archival storage.
Keith's Navy Days

Next Week’s Posts: Antiques



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