Our attitude to photographs has changed drastically over the years. As I was growing up, my father’s hobby of photography, was a reasonably expensive. It required good equipment whether using cine or ‘stills’. Discretion was needed as there was a limit to the number of frames available on the film. Care was taken in choosing locations and posing photos. When the photos arrived back from the processing laboratory, they were carefully positioned in albums, secured with little corner hinges. The photo albums sometimes had a tissue sheet interleaving the pages of the album so the photos wouldn’t get damaged when the album was closed.
Today we have a multitude of devices which will take photos or videos. Phones, tablets, cheap digital cameras, web cams, cameras on the dashboard of your car, to mention just a few. However, it seems that since taking photos is now so easy, we don’t take so much care over them. Most of the photos I see today are endless gurning and grinning selfies, or pictures of plates of food, uploaded to Facebook to show friends what you have had for lunch. It doesn’t really make much sense to me! The biggest problem with digital photography is that we don’t store these memories sensibly or securely. A few disk crashes, with no back up, or even a change of phone usually means these ‘markers in time’ get permanently lost.
But how to display these photos? As the digital age dawned, I continued to print out photos and put them in albums, keeping the digital files on disk as I was sure no one would want to locate a CD and view them on a computer. The idea of a dedicated web site, seemed to be the answer, where not only could I store photos, but also upload sound and video files together with a journal about when and where they were taken.