Digitizing my old contact sheets is like taking a walk through a life I don’t even recognize anymore. At the same time, deep down in the recesses of my mind I can remember being in those exact places, taking those exact photos.
What are we losing when we only shooting digital photographs? What will be left behind when that hard drive with our entire library of photos finally kicks the bucket? What happens when your phone breaks (or is stolen) and you never thought to back it up? What happens when that file format is no longer recognized by your desktop device 10 years from now?
I can honestly admit that most of the images I’m seeing on my old contact sheets leave a lot to be desired, but they are evidence of my creative development… for better or worse. And that alone imbues them with some value, probably only to me. It is good to be reminded where I’ve come from, and how far I’ve progressed.
To that end, the self-publishing bug that has bit me over the past few years has brought some sense of permanence to the fleeting stream of digital images I’ve been creating. And I hope I’ll pull one of my books off a shelf in ten or twenty years from now and see how much further I’ve gone.