Photos – Another Milestone

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There have been no blog posts for a few days but I have been beavering away in the background.

In my earlier post I mentioned that I was not ready to attack the large box of photos.  That resolve did not last for long and I decided that I needed to work on those as well as the digital files.  So, I began scanning.  This did not turn out to be as onerous as I had originally imagined.  The reason for this was that many of the hard copies in the box had, in fact, actually already been scanned.  Nevertheless, it meant that I needed to cross-check every photograph to ensure that it had been scanned and do those that had not previously been scanned.

Therefore, I am excited to report that all of my photos are now scanned and saved on the computer.  I still have a long way to go before I can declare that this project is finished.  The next stage is to work on culling any duplicates or poor quality images.  Once I have a curated collection for a particular folder they will then be numbered and named according the convention I have deemed suitable to ensure that the preferred sequence is maintained.

The last couple of weeks have been a bit testing as the various piles of photos took over the desk, the end of the kitchen bench and even some of the floor of the study.

One of the real highlights of this project has been the re-discovery of forgotten or rarely seen images.

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Photos – The First Step

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5 days ago in this post I unveiled my latest decluttering project.  I intend to have all of my photos culled, sorted and labelled in a digital format.

I started with the files that were already on my computers – yes, plural.  The very first step was to consolidate them onto one device for the purpose of this project.  That resulted in reducing the number from over 18,000 images to 17,300.

I then removed further duplicates as I placed the photos in 15 primary folders plus and additional one for some assorted videos.

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The categories I chose reflect my interests and priorities.  Yours may be very different.

Within those folders are sub-categories.  For instance, the one named ‘Animals’ contains photos of various pets we have had over the years.  Each pet has their own folder.  ‘Family’ which contains the largest number of photos has a folder for each year.  Within that folder may be folders for specific events such as birthdays and weddings with the remainder of photos for the year simply be ordered sequentially  and labelled with the person and place if applicable.  Some of the folders may be removed completely once all of the photos are dealt with.  The folders ‘Food’ and ‘Clothes’ are primarily for photos used in blog posts.  Once these have been checked against the folders for the blog and the photos referenced then the photos and other folders may be deleted.

Although this screenshot looks very neat, there is an enormous jumble within those folders that will take many hours of work to unravel.  I have plenty of time and intend to a little bit every day – a bit like eating an elephant!

The second part of the photo project is contained in a box.  The box on top of the filing cabinet contains all of the photos which have yet to be scanned, along with assorted other bits and pieces.  I dare not show you the contents yet as I am not ready to dive into that and the photos that need scanning until I have the digital files under control.

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The good news is that the digital files have now been whittled down a bit further to 16,500.

So, why am I doing this?

  1.  As with any decluttering project, I want to keep only that which is useful and of value.  This means removing duplicates, photos that no longer have any meaning to me and poor quality images where there is a superior one that is similar.
  2.  Having an organised and curated collection means that my family and I are more likely to peruse and enjoy the photos.
  3.   When I am gone it will be easy for people to choose which photos to retain and which were only of value to me.
  4.   My descendants will not be left wondering as to who was in a photo or where and when it was taken.

Like many people, I have left this task far too long but I am now determined to complete it.  I honestly have no idea how long it will take.

Far From Perfect

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2019 is nearly upon us and although I am not one for New Year’s resolutions it is a good time to start with a clean slate and perhaps set some goals.

While we were at the beach for a week I had plenty of time to give this some thought.  I have already started but my goal for 2019 is to have my photos sorted, culled, labelled and catalogued.  Any long-term readers of the blog will know that this is not the first time I have tried this but in 2019 it will happen.  I fully expect that this project may well take most of the year.

When I mentioned my goal in an online group I received a request ( a little tongue-in-cheek) about doing the same thing for other people.  While I will be well-occupied doing my own I can offer a few tips that may help you get started and assist in avoiding some of the pitfalls that have tripped me up on previous attempts.

Photographs are a way of preserving memories and we will all do it differently.  There are digital files – most common these days, prints in albums, a digital photo frame and photobooks.  They probably all have their place but whatever you do, you need to be able to locate and enjoy your photos as well as sharing them with others.

1.  Ask yourself what you are aiming to achieve.  This may determine how you approach the task.

I want to create a pictorial record of our lives which will be of interest and potentially useful (eg: family history) for future generations.  It needs to be accessible and fun to look at also.

2.  Decide on categories.

My broad categories include Holidays, Family, Blogs

3.  For digital files, create a naming convention which works for you.  It is important to remember to remember how digital files are ordered.  For example, if you number things as 1, 2, 3, 4 etc it will end up being 1, 11, 12, 13……………….19, 2, 20, 21 and so on.  To avoid this you need to know approximately how many items will potentially be in your sequence and number as 001, 002, 003 etc which will give you up to 999 in correct numerical order.

I use a numeric prefix for each photo before the description, otherwise they will be sorted alphabetically.  My London folder from my UK holiday might look like this:

01 Tower of London
02 London Bridge
03 Houses of Parliament
04 Paddington Station

4.  Specialised naming conventions may be relevant – or not.

All of my blog photos are in separate folders from the general photos and are named as follows yyyy-mm-dd 00.  The date relates to the date the post was published and the number is the first, second or third photo in the post.  This way I can locate them in the future if necessary.

5.  Decide what is really worth keeping.  Refer back to point No. 1.  Remember that the photo you took 1, 5, 10 or more years ago may simply not be of any value to you or others now or in the future.  Be prepared to be ruthless and discard those images that are duplicated, very similar to another or that you cannot remember the details.  If you can’t remember or identify a photo now it is not going change in the future.

6.  Make sure you identify people in your descriptions – memories fade as the years pass.

7.  Photographic negatives are not required if you have a print.  Discard old negatives.

I am sure there are many more things to consider but these are a few to get you started.

Once I have sorted the digital files which include hundreds of prints that I scanned a few years ago, I will then move on to the various piles of prints which are semi-categorised and stored in packets in a shoebox.  I am aiming to only have digital files which are all named and sorted.  Your goal may be a little different.

Here are some examples of what you may want to keep.

This is a perfectly pleasant scene but it does not really hold any specific memories for me and it would not be of any benefit to future generations.  As an aside, it is overlooking the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and was taken in 1982.  I only know this because of the other photos in the series and the particular trip was taken when our elder daughter was about 3 months old.

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On the other hand, the photo below is one of the first photos taken which includes all of my siblings.  This holds a special place in my heart and with the addition of the names and a year would be both a special memory as well as a valuable resource to my descendants.

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Some Statistics & An Upgrade

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It is hard to believe that I have been writing this blog for over 7 years now.  A couple of years after I began I had a hiccup and lost all of the photos.  I had be able to reinstate most of them but a few seemed to have been lost forever.

One post that was affected in this way was my Worcestershire sauce recipe.  This morning I started a new batch so decided to take the time to photograph the steps and I have updated the page for you – Worcestershire sauce.  If you have never tried it, I can highly recommend this homemade version.

As an added incentive, it is budget-friendly.  I used home-grown lemons and homemade chilli powder but spent up big on local organic garlic @ $50/kg.  The final cost was 99c/250ml.  This compares very favourably with the cheapest home-brand version for $2 for the same quantity, Holbrooks brand for $3.60 and I have it on good authority that artisan/gourmet offerings are in the vicinity of $8 – $12 for 250ml.

Apart from over 7 years of blogging, the other statistic I wanted to mention today is that this little blog has 597 followers.  That is not a huge number in the scheme of things but I am pleased that you have found me and hope that you will discover something of interest.  Since many of you have joined in more recently, there are probably many posts that you have yet to discover.  So, in the interests of sharing some of the wealth of information lurking in the depths, I will be sharing an older post each week for Throwback Thursday.

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The Best Laid Plans……..

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…..can sometimes go awry.

Today I planned to deep clean my pantry – wipe down the shelves check for anything that needed to be discarded, wipe the outside of all of the storage jars and lids and generally make sure everything was in working order.

I had removed the contents of one shelf, cleaned about half of them, discarded empty oil bottles and an empty bottle from apple cider vinegar when the phone rang.  It was my daughter and she suggested that she come to visit and we could sort out the photos of the grandchildren that she and I have on various digital devices – computer, laptops, and phones.

So, the pantry actually looks worse than when I started.  Although I have not finished sorting all of the photos of Miss O and Izz, I am well underway.

Apart from the 3 empty bottles from the pantry, I have also manged to declutter 2 large lidded boxes that were in the cupboard in the guest room.  I had kept them from when I acquired them at work a few years ago.  My intention was to cover them with contact to make memory boxes for Miss O and Izz to store the schoolwork that they wanted to keep.  My daughter happily took them to finish the project and hopefully the girls will appreciate having a designated space to keep their work.

One thing leads to another and I found 2 large block mounted posters – of an echidna and a wombat which we have owned since our daughters were at primary school and I intended to hand them on to the grandchildren.  However, my daughter pointed out that she simply does not have the space for them so we decided that she is going to offer them to the class teachers at school.  The pictures are still in the cupboard at the moment but may be on their way to a new home before too long.

Here are a few photos that we enjoyed ‘finding’ as we sorted them out.

It could be next weekend before I get back to the pantry but that can wait.

 

Something Has Changed

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Have you noticed something different in the last couple of blog posts?

Every so often WordPress seems to upgrade parts of the site.  It is usually in the actual platform of how bloggers can view stats or in the way editing is done.  I have never seen it affect the actual layout of a blog before.  However, there have been changes to how images are uploaded but most importantly, it seems that the images appear much larger on the blog than before.

What do you think?  Good idea or not?  Regardless of what you or I might think, it would appear that the changes are here to stay.

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