I love digital photography and the immediate way we can all share images on the web. It makes competition entries easier, it makes giving talks easier, it's even better quality in many respects.
Ah, but just recently I was invited to join a new Facebook group (Irlams o'th' Height) which is all about the place I was born and raised. So, having been asked if I had any photos, it was back to the albums. And there are the pictures, many if not most in black and white, good ones, poor ones, rejects. But suddenly there's a new context. The image of a tiny person in front of the buildings is suddenly a good image again, because it shows all the old demolished shops in their prime. And the person in front doesn't intrude...the actual subject matter has reversed because of what we want from the picture.
But even the holiday shots are now special. I've annotated them all, the dates are there, I've even noted what cameras and lenses were used. Wow, there's a lot of history in these.
Now fast forward to the present day and there's barely a print in sight. OK, there's stuff on Facebook, ePHOTOzine, etc., by the bucketload, but there are no prints. No albums. Nothing a visitor could pick up out of curiosity. We don't usually wander up to other people's computers, boot them up and have a look to see if there's anything interesting.
There's been huge progress, but in some ways we have lost our way. Very few of our artistic, wondrous creations will stir even a twitch of interest in 20 years time, even if someone bothers to look at them. Personal, family pictures, local scenes of long lost things, those are the stuff that will be wanted. I wonder where they will be?