Once Upon a Time… On a gap year before college in the mid-1990s, Jill made an epic journey from Hong Kong to Frankfurt via the Trans-Siberian Railway.
That’s eight time zones—and umpteen rolls of 35mm film. Some of them are still packed away in a box someplace, undeveloped, deteriorating, nearly forgotten.
She couldn’t afford to have all the rolls processed immediately upon her return. She keeps the ones that were developed in a photo binder, also packed away in a box someplace… deteriorating… nearly forgotten.
Many of Jill’s best photos were never taken at all. Somewhere outside Omsk it became clear she should have brought a few more than umpteen rolls. But finding more 35mm film somewhere outside Omsk was easier said than done in the mid-1990s. She had to conserve.
She chose each shot and set it up with frugal care. There was no way to erase a bad photo. Once exposed, each frame became a fixed reminder of a beautiful landmark, a friendly face… or of a bad angle… or Jill’s shaky hands. She couldn’t know which until the film was processed.
When she was still 1,600 kilometers from Frankfurt, Jill had less than two rolls of unused film left. She divided the remaining exposures, holding them for Warsaw, Berlin, and Frankfurt. She also reserved a few for points in between and even bought a couple postcards at a tourist center outside Potsdam.
Twenty Years Later…
Today Jill has a new digital camera. If she took the same trip again, she wouldn’t have to deal with rolls of 35mm film numbered one through umpteen. She can capture many times more images on a memory card that fits into a fraction of the space used by just one roll.
And she doesn’t have to pay the high cost to develop every single photo, either. She can review and delete the shots that turn out poorly and retake them on the spot. Or she can save them for digital editing later. Then she is able to choose which ones are print-worthy without paying to have them all processed.
When her camera does run out of storage space, Jill can upload everything on its memory card to a computer and keep shooting. Later, she’ll back up her images using an online cloud storage service. She can view, edit, or print photos using the available tools and services. Or she can simply store her collection in the secure and unfading memory of remote servers, unforgotten and undamaged by the ravages of time.
Do you use an online cloud storage service for your pictures and videos? Leave us a comment below.
PS – Nick and I have used cloud storage services for several years now. We use Flickr, Amazon and Dropbox, they’re all equally easy to use and very secure.