I have been spending quite a bit of time in the last few months going through the photographs that we took on a recent (June-July, 2014) trip to Australia. It takes a while to go through 8,000 images and some videos as well. The first step was to cull out the ones that I don't really need to see again. They may have bad exposure or bad focus or someone who walked into the frame. There are many ways for something to go wrong. After making the first cut, I then chose some to be shared on Facebook with friends. The next step was to choose shots that were representative of each of our stops and make portfolios out of those. I will also be printing some to use in shows next year as well as putting some on this website. The final step will be to choose the shots I want to use in a book that I am going to self publish.
The beauty of going through all these shots is that I get to take the trip all over again. I spend time laughing, looking in wonder, remembering, and missing the country and our friends that we visited. Going through the photographs brought back such great memories. Having them is like having slices of time in my computer. At the time, I tried to strike a balance between taking photographs and looking without the camera. I usually would look and try to burn it into my mind, then get the shot. Later, the computer would help me make it look the way I wanted it to look. It is one of my great joys in travel to know that I will have images of my memories. Taking photographs is really fun and later, it reveals what I thought was important or beautiful about wherever I was visiting.
In this day and age, photo albums are a bit like the Model T. They were really cool, but they are a bit faded now. I have stored every single frame that I took on our trip in digital form. Some of them I will never look at, but it makes me feel good that the entire trip as I saw it still exists. Native Americans have a saying that you can never step into the same river twice. Everything that I photographed on that trip is changed in some way or another. I, however, have our trip frozen and it will always be there for me to see. Get those photo albums out and take a look. Take a moment and savor your pictures from long ago trips. Take a look at family albums. It may bring back some bittersweet memories, but there is some sort of peace in knowing that you still have something in your hand that is an important part of your life. And you always will.