Memory Lane. Why we need to record those moments….

Memory Lane…

How many photos do you have on your hard drives? Back in the day when we all shot film we had boxes of negatives stuffed in closets and trunks. These days we have all of our precious memories on a device that can fail us at any moment and POOF! There goes our memories. Hopefully, most of you have your photos backed up to a second hard drive.

I remember 8 years ago I had a hard drive fail and silly me did not back them up. I lost thousands of images. Mainly the early digital ones like the ones I shot with the old Sony Mavica floppy disk digital. Who remembers this one? I do because I owned one. I saw it at Best Buy when digital cameras were first coming out and hitting the masses and Sony was leading the way! It is amazing how things have progressed in 12 years. From a slow as hell floppy drive that recorded 640X480 resolution to the the cameras of today that use SD cards and record crazy resolution that is starting to get to high IMO.

Here is a cool page for some history on these Sony cameras and a youtube video below. Check out how SLOW this camera operated…

The quality was awful but at the time it was cool to be able to take a picture and see it on your computer instantly. I have to admit, I prefer the SD cards of today 🙂 My Mavica was short lived as it wasn’t long before the new models would arrive and eventually DSLR’s like the canon D30 which came in at $3500!

But getting back to the hard drive thing…it’s always smart to back up your photos and the price of external hard drives these days are so much cheaper than they used to be. Check out this affordable option…or this big mac daddy monster 🙂 For under $90 you can buy a 1TB External HD and have a place  to backup your digital photos. After all, you are either storing precious life memories or important images for your work so backing up is very important.

Speaking of Memory Lane….some old photos with random cameras

I was going through some old photos a few days ago on my external hard drive. Something I have not done in quite a while. I then realized…DAMN! Im getting old! Seeing my son so small made me realize how fast time goes by and seeing that we all only have one life to live on this earth. Some of the old photos below were the ones that sparked the fondest memories wether it was where I was at, who I was with, or maybe it was just a good year 🙂

If you are like me and have thousands and thousands of photos on your hard drive of family, friends, and great memories then you should spend some time this weekend looking through them just like we used to do back when our photos were on paper. Remember those days? I do, and it was always fun to sit around the floor and just empty out my moms big trunk of photos and reminisce about the good old days, which at the time probably weren’t all that good but we always seem to look back at  the old days with a feeling of happiness. At least I do. Probably because I really have no complaints or regrets about my life. Each step I have taken has brought me to another place, another adventure and new experiences but I treasure my past and my memories.

All of the snapshots below were taken during the past 10 years with various cameras ranging from a Sony or Fuji point and shoot to a $3500 (at the time)  Nikon D2hs. Goes to show that for family memories, any camera will do really, and thats what most of these are. I do not care to look back at job photos but it is the family memories that we all want to remember on as we get older. It’s fun to remember specific days that were special, pets that we had that may now be gone, and even trips that were taken. A photo can literally take you back in time and it is the closest we are to a time machine at this time 🙂

I have over 15,000 photos and I have just started to scour the drives. Probably would take me a while to get through them all, but I will eventually 🙂

Where does the time go? As you already know It goes FAST, so do what I do…always bring a camera with you and record those memories that you will one day look back on with a smile. Live for today but never forget yesterday. This is part of the magic of photography. Happy shooting!

Some site updates….

Road Trips = Great photos and great fun.

Some updates…I will be taking a few road trips in the next two weeks to review some cameras and to get out of the dull Phoenix area which is not very photogenic unless you travel out a bit. I need some inspiration and am going to follow my own advice on how to get some 🙂 I may even take a trek across the country..just me, my car and a bag full of camera gear. Head someplace I have never been before. Not only would it be fun, it would give me some time to do what I truly love to do…photography. I used to do these in the past more often like when I visited the Violin Annie gravesite, or the old abandoned Buildings in St. Louis MO and better yet, NYC for some street shooting with the Leica Noctilux! There was also the time I visited family I have not seen in 15-20 years in the hills of Kentucky with a Leica S2. So yea, traveling is fun, and can provide some great photo inspiration. I have been been thinking about taking an extended trip and meeting up with some of you guys to shoot with along the way. If so, details on that will be coming up soon.

Next week I will post my Ricoh GXR review. I have been shooting it with the 28 f/2.5 and 50 f/2.5 modules and find it quite interesting. It’s certainly more unique than the small mirror less cameras I have been writing about lately, but is it any better? I’ll let you know my thoughts next week but I see GREAT promise with this system. I guess it’s all in Ricohs court…but more on that in the review. I’m also looking forward to checking out the Panasonic GH2 but have not yet been able to get a hold of one. Soon I hope as it looks like the best Micro 4/3 to date.

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  1. We were using those Mavicas at work as recently as 2006! I guess they were originally procured so that photos could be taken and reports distributed far more quickly than film could be developed. The image quality was poor, but they did the job!

  2. Steve, thanks for the wander through your personal images. Love that photo of Brandon with water splashing on him, and the three dogs running together. It’s always fascinating to look back at all the photos that we’ve taken, to see where we’ve been and get an idea of where we can go.

    In 1998 I was in the computer department of a large retailer. We sold all of those chunky Mavicas, as well as Kodak and HP cameras. While image quality back then was lousy, we’d play with them from time to time and get photos that were fun and immediate. I have a number of photos from that time, mostly digital, very few taken with film. If it weren’t for those cameras I would hardly have any photos from what was a very fun time in my life.

    In 2002 I got my first digital camera, the Canon S45, and I was absolutely hooked. Fastforward to now and I’ve got at least two cameras with me at any time, the M9 and whatever compact I happen to have at hand from Ricoh, Canon or Sigma. Now I make my money from photography, something I’d only ever dreamed about years ago. And ever since I got that first Canon, I’ve been steadily recording my life and that of those around me. It is the best feeling.

  3. Steve, Just want to highlight that no backup strategy is fundamentally sound unless it includes 1) a second local copy for the case of drive failures, 2) an off-site copy for the case of fire / theft, 3) a regimen of making these backup copies on a regular basis, preferably automated. Each component can be scaled to an individual’s needs, but you always should have addressed all three components.

  4. This thinking of images and the need to record things, to hold on to them and keep them safe for the future, makes me think of a subject I think too many photographers ignore – getting skilled and understanding the printing of our cherished pictures.

    I think many photographers find the process of printing quite intimidating and frustrating. Getting the best out of a printer, using the right settings, choosing the right paper etc. It is a massive subject in its own right. Strangely, it is also something few people bother talking about. I guess this may be because too many of us only keep our pictures on our computer..

    I admit that I have a lot to learn about how to make the most of a printer and the right settings to use..

    Why is’nt there a masterclass somewhere in learning to produce fantastic quality prints to keep and archive, or hang on the wall? It all seems a bit hit and miss to me and, I suspect, for most people..

    • Rufus, generally speaking, normal printing inks can fade – at different rates for different colours – within a few months if the printed paper is constantly exposed to light.

      Using *pigment inks*, instead of normal inks, will give far longer-lasting images. But look up “pigment inks”, or “archival printing”, in Google or elsewhere to find out the differences between those and normal (usually water-based) inks, or see here:

      You may need a printer that’s dedicated to pigment inks, as they don’t usually happily co-exist with normal inks in one single printer.

      Look, too, for “archival paper”, as you won’t want the paper to curl up and die while the ink stays permanent (or near enough!) ..Google is your friend, as my friend Lennart says..

  5. We were on holiday in 1997, and my beloved wanted to buy me a Christmas present: we looked at digital cameras – there were very few to choose from, mainly Casio – but the small-capacity memory cards cost almost as much as the cameras themselves!

    The Mavicas, though, recorded 22 pics onto low-cost (35p ..50cent) floppies, so I chose one of those, with an ‘unheard-of’ 10x zoom (as the lens was inside the camera body) and close focusing down to 1 centimetre! (I used it to take pics of film frames, to use on flyers for my cinema normal distances you didn’t notice the low resolution – 640×480 – of the photos.)

    I’d tried the prototype Mavica 16 years before (that’s how long it took to bring it to market!) when Mr Morita’s mini-roadshow came to London to demonstrate it to tech journalists. I said that I couldn’t publish pictures which it had supposedly shot, but would have to take a pic or two myself with the camera to be sure that it really did work (much to Mr M’s surprise), so became the first person in the UK to actually use it. The results were great – for their time – and I’ve still got my ’97 Mavica in the cupboard, and use it from time to time: it takes standard ‘L’ (large) rechargeable Sony batteries. Trouble is, floppy drives have almost disappeared by now..!

  6. Right before me and my mom moved to Germany for 4 years she bought a 3 megapixel fuji camera, the most expensive one the damn store had. Those images are still fine, I recently printed the whole lot, most of the 4 years as 4×6’s. 30 years down the road, my children will still be able to see those prints, the digital files though… not so sure.

    long live film. But my dslr aint bad either.

  7. Great post. My first digital camera was a Kodak DC 215. 1 (one!) megapixel and 2x optical zoom. That was in 1999/2000. Its crazy the advances in just a decade. I sure wish I had the pics from that cam. Maybe they’re in the old zip disks I have somewhere in storage. Thanks for making me remember about that. I’ve been using your links for the various black Friday amazon deals. Hopefully they start to add up.

  8. Steve, that is the most amazing looking cat in one of your photographs. Was it one of your past pets, and if so what attracted you to this particular breed?.

    Very interested in your opinion of the Ricoh GXR and the two A12 modules you are trying out. I have used the Ricoh GRD 111 for some time and it is a brilliant little camera you can put in your pocket with very impressive IQ, and to top it off the build quality is very high. I thought very seriously about buying the GXR, but was put off by the very slow auto focus, but I believe the latest firmware update has rectified this to a large extent.

    Very true what you say about the family snapshot, and the way they bring those moments in time back to life – even though they may be viewed through rose coloured spectacles, but they are important memories all the same.

    Love your site, and keep up the good work.



    • Hey! Yes, that was my Cat and she was AMAZING! She is no longer with me but she was so photogenic. I have over 200 pics of her and they are all very unique 🙂 The GXR….The new firmware GREATLY improved the AF. I tried it before and after and it is like night and day. If I would have reviewed this camera before the firmware…I would have not been so kind. BUt with the new AF speed it is nice. Review next week.

  9. I remember when my 7th grade science teacher used an old sony floppy disk camera just like that one to take photos of our science projects. And that was in 2003. I hope she has upgraded since. 😀

    Thanks for the memory.

  10. Nice article Steve

    I remember my first digital camera – around the year 2000 – it was a Casio with a 300k sensor and it cost $500 ! (terrible results though)

    Thanks for sharing your memories

    Kind regards

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