When you are a young photographer who has taken tens of thousands of photographs in a 5 year stretch, it seems at times, you have an image for everything and nothing at all. I have found nothing has improved my memory like photography ever will. I do feel at times I’ve had to had an eidetic memory. Only yesterday I saw a competition sponsored by Virgin Balloon rides and I knew exactly last August I had taken the perfect image to match the theme. My memory for an image goes deeper especially if pressed. I have had people from publications and galleries request higher resolution images from years ago.
Moments like this could send me into panic as in 2010 I dealt with a highly disreputable local business who promised to recover data and failed to do anything at all. All for an expensive sum of money I will never see again as they sneakily changed their name in an event which seemed to happen overnight. Along with them locking me out of my own computer and the original virus I paid them to remove still being present! I’m not one to name names but I felt even if I did they would change their name yet again. In those days when I was asked for one of my “lost images” from that time frame I racked my mind and found my own solutions.
The use of inverted commas is a godsend with the use of gmail. If I know a sentence typed that stood out I can search exact search terms dating back to when I very first got my account as well as search by attachments. I’ve also been a longtime user of Submishmash and Dropbox which also works as a safety net.
One way my memory plays a large part is that I often remember the sequence of images taken on said day say even if it was in 2011. Went to the park, saw a rusted sign, walked past a playground, saw a nice orchid. If someone requests the sign picture and I can easily find the orchid I can track the date that image was taken to find the other needed image very quickly. I have tried tagging but often using irfanview and downloading the images off a server destroys some of the original data recorded when capturing.
My image disaster in 2010 means my memory is strengthened duly as well as the fact that these days I often do three different records of the high quality image on different drives… just to make sure. A memory in my mind today could be the profit I need tomorrow. I’m glad that my misfortune happened before now as It was an important experience to comprehend.
There are images I will never see again but attached a few from that time frame that were uploaded to servers during submittal processes and as competition entries and therefore saved forever digitally.