Preserving Photographs

A task in the OU/RPS Photography Course TG089 asks, “Will your great-grandchildren see your photographs? How will they have been preserved?”. This is my response.

Since 2006, I have uploaded over 30,000 photos to online repositories, mostly Flickr. Only a very few of my images have ever been printed, mostly because they are of only transient or marginal interest to anyone except me. I don’t curate much of my work and think that a new image is only of passing interest: photos I post online gather a few “likes” over a day or so then fade into internet oblivion. I do carefully back up RAW files and some of the JPGs I create to a USB disk, “just in case”. Of what, I don’t think I really know.

Ultimately, all memory will be lost: it is futile to deny that.

He picked up a pebble
and threw it into the sea.

And another, and another.
He couldn’t stop.

He wasn’t trying to fill the sea.
He wasn’t trying to empty the beach.

He was just throwing away,
nothing else but.

Like a kitten playing
he was practicing for the future

when there’ll be so many things
he’ll want to throw away

if only his fingers will unclench
and let them go.

“Small Boy” – Norman MacCaig

Message in a bottle

A task in week 1 of the OU/RPS online course TG089 is to take three photos of a bottle in different ways, each shot trying to focus on colour, light or viewpoint. Here are my three, taken on an iPhone 6.

Till we meet again

This is Audrey Bourne, my mother, in her younger days singing one of the wartime favourites I grew up with. She sang, standing on top of Letchworth fire station in 1945 on VE Day, home after her stint with the Land Army (having lied about her age). The photo shows her around that age. She sang all through my childhood and now, at 87, sings no more: she has lost none of her spirit and even if her vocal chords have failed her, her mind has not.