Flickr is a pretty cool site. Unfortunately, my computer has been on the fritz this week so I wasn't able to play around with a lot of the really fun stuff. I experimented a bit with the Montagr and once I get my computer back up and running at full again I'll definitely be back to check out some of the other gadgets.
It got me thinking though about the technology of photography. I'm also taking a class on preserving archive and library materials and earlier this week the lecture was on paper and pictures, books, etc.-stuff printed on paper! We went over the history of them, the pros and cons of the different methods and how they evolved. I have a ton of pictures on my computer that I say I will organize one day, or, even better, print out and scrapbook. Pictures look really good on a computer screen though. The light coming through makes them really pop. But I'm sure almost everyone has come across an old album or envelope full of pictures and nostalgically flipped through them. Actually holding photos in your hands, seeing how they've aged over the years really takes you back to that time. Or, if it was before your time and there isn't anyone available to tell you about it, maybe your imagination kicks in and fills in the blanks.
Pictures inspire stories and recountings, gatherings of people to look and listen. If you're like me and can't throw anything away (or delete it for that matter) then you even like looking through the blurry, messed up ones. Life certainly isn't perfect and neither are memories. Pictures make up some of the glue that holds people together. Families, communities and countries have these shared memories embodied in photographs. These are the faces and iconic events of our past. So if your hard drive is loaded down with pictures, print them out or back them up! In fact, I'm going to sign on to a photo sharing site right now so that I don't lose all those memories and am left with a tangle of 1's and 0's. After all, photos are fragile, but technology is too!