For a long time I’ve had a split Aperture library - The “original” library on an external hard drive, 500GB of dedicated space just for my photos.
The reasons for that are historic, from a time when I didn’t have endless gigabytes of space for RAW files on my desktop. I maintained the distinction for a long time, dragging a hard drive and power supply around with me on trips.
Much to the irritation of my back, and finally to the irritation of my self, and I stopped doing it soon after I moved to New Zealand.
One Aperture library, on my laptop, and no where else. And for a long time, I did that, ignoring my older photos except in rare cases when I cared enough to find the external drive, hook it up, look.
On the rare, rare occasions. Those photos ended up being next to dead for me, barely remembered and mostly ignored.
Months passed, and memory fades, greying around the edges into blips and highlights, ending in that final itch that says “Hey, import those pictures.” So I did. And it’s weird.
I see how my photography has changed so much since then, the types of photos I take. And how many photos! Today, I take a few snaps, and delete the ones I don’t like as soon as I get home.
But then, back then I would take 20, 30 of the same thing. A stream of nearly identical images, taken just because I could. Barely any framing, no adjustments, just.. there.
But that’s not the weirdest part.
The weirdest part is looking through a stream of photos I haven’t edited, pruned back into a reasonable band. A set of hundreds from a trip to Oregon from 2008, capturing nearly every blink, moments between moments, and the pieces of an event I barely remember from a life I no longer have.
It’s weird to wander around those memories, to see pieces from a time when I was so different, when the people I was around were so different, to have all these little captured pieces, just, available.
It’s weird to have such a stark contrast between then and now, how I take photos, what I think is interesting. When I took photos to capture everything, instead of the one thing. Through that everything, feeling standing on that beach again, feeling the water rush over my feet, suck the sand from beneath me. The cold wind, and the biting mosquitos, ships at sail distant on the horizon.
Bright white of sand, bits of detritrus, and captured memories.
I actually meant 2009, not 2008.