Certain eastern spiritual traditions adhere to the notion of "the transient nature of all phenomena." Things arise, and they pass, like feelings. Like us.
They also counsel against "attachment," some emotional connection to something that you value perhaps out of proportion to its actual worth.
I've been reminded of these things the past few days as I've struggled with what to do with my image library. I spent a couple of days and deleted over five thousand images. And I still have over 105K images.
One approach I'm considering is printing books of events or subjects, some to give away, others to hang onto. The question I'm trying to resolve is whether to then delete those images from the library, because they're reified into a physical artifact; or should I delete all the images not in the books because they weren't valuable enough to print? Hang onto the digital originals of the printed ones in case someone wants a copy?
The point is, I think I'm spending a little too much time thinking about what to do with this library. This is the snare we get trapped in.
When I was in BAINBRIDGE (CGN-25), we made a port visit to Alexandria, Egypt and I took a tour to Cairo and the pyramids. Took a bunch of 35mm pictures. When I got home, my daughter took them to school to show her friends and lost them.
It's harder to lose things today, which may not be a good thing. Nevertheless, we still lose some. I spent much of yesterday nursing a limping 1TB 7500rpm 2.5 in. disk drive, trying to recover the masters from an old Aperture library. Once upon a time, I had the brilliant idea of uploading only reduced images to iCloud, thinking I could always access the full resolution images locally. Somehow, I seem to have managed to lose most of 2012. But sometime in 2018, I just started letting iCloud have the "originals." I had been maintaining my system library on an external drive, so I wasn't worried about storage and I still had the "original-originals."
In 2019, when I got the iMac with a 1TB SSD, I started using the internal drive, allowing Mac OS to "optimize" storage, keeping only thumbnails locally, while the originals upload to iCloud.
Well, the first book I printed was a 2018 wedding, and I can't find any full resolution originals. Fortunately, it's a book, I'm not printing large. There was only one image I wanted in the book that the software objected to, but I included it anyway. We'll see how it turns out when the book arrives. It's supposedly on its way.
Part of yesterday's effort was to see if I could recover those 2018 images. Alas, no. But I think I've found most of 2012! I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.
I've been printing some at home as well. I just received a large order from Red River Paper. I hope to be printing a lot of cards. I made a couple of large prints of panos I stitched together from drone shots. I think they turned out pretty nice. The question now is, what do I do with them?
My plan, itself a transient phenomenon, for now is to print books of significant events with people I care about. Perhaps one or two of images that pleased me in some way that aren't necessarily associated with an event or people.
If I can accomplish this in a year (and afford it), I think my intention is to simply archive the Photos library on an SSD, stick it in a drawer and forget about it. Get rid of my 2TB tier of cloud storage with Apple. Process every day's images, share them with whomever or however I would share them. And then delete them.
We'll see. I'm not optimistic, but it feels right.
Originally posted at Nice Marmot 09:28 Saturday, 18 February 2023