How to preserve your digital memories and not lose them?


This article invites you to spare some moments on thinking about how you preserve your digital memories and how precious they are for you. Plus, what you can do to make them last…

We all know that time flies. What happens to our memories when we don’t save them? What happens to all the pictures you take digitally and forget to copy/forget where they are? If they disappear in the abyss of your home, or worse, if you never get to find them again, are they lost?

This is the case with digital photography. Before it became widespread, and certainly before smartphones, people used to preserve their moments in colourful albums, with captions and descriptions, dates at the back etc. A material remaining of a time that has passed.

Nowadays we don’t do that; we can share stuff in seconds, but how much of it is actually time-proof? How much of it will remain? When I once bought a hard drive, a friend told me it was future-proof. But was it, really?

I wonder what would happen if some day our computers and networks collapsed. Just hypothetically. All the shots taken would be lost forever, wouldn’t they? Only a fire could do the same thing to paper photos… On the other hand, no matter what the current device, we can still see the photos taken by Cartier-Bresson in 1940s or pictures of our ancestors, little yellowed, but still, can’t we? What if we found them instead hidden for a 100 years on a device that is broken and not compatible with anything of our times? The pictures might never see the light again…

There is some magic about digital photography, and its fragility. And such pics are more than ever susceptible to a disc crash. Not like your grandma’s paper photos? She could probably recall a person and a time even if it was taken 50 years before. What if the photo never existed? We know the incredible power of photography to bring back emotions, memories, smells…

In this digital era we often cannot recall each of the 700+ pictures we take on holidays (if not many more!), and do we really watch them all afterwards? When we had analog cameras, each picture was physically made on a film, and therefore felt more precious… There were 24 or 36 pictures to be made, so I was more careful to capture only the most memorable moments, instead of everything that caught my eyes. But how do you know upfront which moment will be memorable so that you can prepare your camera? You don’t. In this way digital photography certainly has many benefits. And I won’t even mention uncomparable editing capabilities, automated options and other amazing features right at our fingertips. In this article it’s all about memories that last.

I sometimes print my pictures on paper and put them into an album – just to preserve the most important moments. It’s hard to choose which ones of the hundreds to keep – but it also dignifies them, making me preserve the most representative ones. NOT the most beautiful ones. Only the most meaningful.

What’s the solution? Well, it’s certainly up to you. My role is not to advise the come back to analog photography. Nor it is to tell you to not trust its digital brother. I wanted to only highlight its fragility and to maybe make you think twice when you are archiving your precious memories… And to keep them safe… And to copy them to a newer means of technology that emerges, before they become too obsolete to revive… We all know the digital landscape changes quickly. So, be aware!

photo credit: 2,000,000+ views Thank You! via photopin cc




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