Tuesday, August 25, 2015

compromise and consultation

It is very satisfying seeing the pile of empty packets piling up as the negatives get sorted and filed. Well mostly. I'm beginning to wish I hadn't decided to keep August's non-recyclable plastic waste as well though! There is a sizeable bundle of those pocketed sheets negatives sometimes came back from the developers in. Part of me breathes a sigh of relief when I come across one of those as there is far less chance that the contents will have somehow got mixed up with a different film, but once the negs have been transferred to a filing page it is with something of a harrumph that the same frustration saving item is consigned to the box of plastic.

There is also a broken slides box in that collection now too, and I'm very aware that the pages I'm transferring things into have yet more plastic as part of them. But what are the alternatives? At least digital photography means the amount of plastic being used in this way has been drastically reduced, but I'm sure there are other environmental impacts just as great, they are just less in our faces. This article about the need for legislation to reduce the amount of plastic was both reassuring (I'm not the only one struggling with plastic!) and saddening. I hate that I'm adding to the landfill by clearing out, but again it is that clash of priorities - having less stuff vs the problems of throwing stuff away!

I'd called in at the local photography shop to ask if she could check with their suppliers if they still stocked such things as new pages or folders for them to go in. She rang back to say the bloke had laughed and said they'd gone out with the Dark Ages and the best thing to do was scan the negatives and put them on cds/usb sticks - a service they offered. That's all very well I pointed out, but I still have to organize them first to decide what is worth saving in that manner! Also how long will cds and usb sticks work for? Having just found a stack of 3" disks I'm realizing that whilst I have an external disk drive (somewhere...) I don't know that I have any programmes that would be able to open any of the files any more! Technologically obsolete already. At least negatives can still be turned into prints.

I've got one more pack of filing pages via TradeMe and found a supply in the UK so there is hope of eventually completing the mission. Simply transferring the negs into pages is one thing, filing them in a sensible order however is a whole different ball game! It has been great though as putting out requests for help on Facebook to identify at least what year things were held in has resulted in some collective reminiscing and conversation that probably otherwise wouldn't have happened. I'm still somewhat taken aback by the disagreement over which decade something was in though rather than which of two years in the early '90s, that I really didn't expect. And I thought I was the one having memory problems!

I dare say I'll need to pick a few more brains over the coming months as I sort out the rest. I'm just hoping that the various Pardshaw events have other things on the films as trying to decide which event of those was which is pretty tricky as you can't even always tell if it was Easter or Pre-Christmas from the number of layers we're wearing! Plus certain jumpers are almost as ubiquitous as Ken's Summer Gathering one, albeit usually more tasteful and timeless... The fact that digital photographs are automatically dated is something I'm appreciating more and more as I work through these, although the chances of me having done the equivalent of writing the names on the back of photos are even slimmer.

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