After studying and practicing photography for just over 20-years I have done my best to balance the technological advances with my traditional background. One of the main complaints I hear from other photographers is, “no one cares about prints anymore”. It is true that the way we experience and appreciate images has changed. Many prefer to share their images online and use that as their “photo gallery”. I too enjoy sharing my work and looking at the work of others online. It is so easy to share images with someone on the other side of the country, or world. I also enjoy experiencing images in person. Being able to live with an image on the wall and reliving the memory it represents day after day. As technology has changed, the way we store images has changed as well. I have binders full of negatives and transparencies on shelves in my office, the result of years of school and life. I will admit that unless I need something specific I never open them and browse the contact sheets. I also have enormous amounts of images stored on disks and hard drives. These are much easier to pull out and explore on occasion. It is nice to be able to look back and see things I missed or relive events from a year or two ago. The problem with technology is it has a shelf life, therefore we have to constantly be on top of backing up our images and making duplicates of already backed up work.
I work with a computer that has a “Raid” option, 2 internal hard drives that are mirrored. I am so glad I have that because recently one of the drives failed. Without the mirrored drive I would have lost anything not backed up in another location. It really drove home the importance of backing up images in multiple locations. It also made me realize that while it is nice to be able to open images on the computer or experience and online gallery on occasion it is even more special and important to have that print sitting on my desk for those moments when I am lost in thought or stuck on something. In those moments I can just glance over and see my wife and remember how special she is and how grateful I am for every tangible photographic memory we have.