Did it get better?
You get better with age and experience. Unfortunately, at the beginning you know squat. And the early mistakes will always follow and haunt you. My database was on index cards transferred to an Excel spreadsheet.
It is parsimonious for key words and information. You will not find slide cabinet as a key word to look up.
Equally, my slides are stored in drawers. The rolls are consecutively filed. One set of drawers resides in a closet stacked one upon another impossible to comb thru easily.
Digitized with a dedicated (out of manufacture) slide scanner, the images reside on multiple redundant hard drives. Good? Eh? No, the slides were scanned in batches on different dates and reside in multiple places. Try to find and follow consecutively, only I know how to look. Oh bother!?
But everything is preserved – except my earliest black and white negatives. They live in my brother’s house somewhere.
Meanwhile I know where my stuff is. No one else does. And it can be pretty near impossible for me to find things too.
Wander thru my mind
No! No Freud today! It’s merely an exercise and lament. When I’m dead, someone looking thru the image catalog will have no reference to time and place. I have a database that will inform. Sure. But, I look at a series and piece together my past memory. The waterfall? I haven’t a clue to what or where. But the adjacent images on the same day, tell a story. I was in Amish country. Someone told me an eagle had nested among the powerlines. There was an image in an Amish market. The African daisy was on sale outside the door. I got some. And the clincher was an Amish farmer plowing the field. For me, in my mind, an image is the trigger for memory. By itself the image might mean nothing to the viewer. To me? it is the anchor to a memory of the day. It’s not photographic memory in one’s sense of genius and it is, most definitely, in my own mind. Convoluted? The brain is like that.
… and counting, since 2003, when I started using a digital camera until now. Oops! Database miscalculation – make it 526,183 images not counting my iPhone pics. Aren’t you impressed I have kept track thru a database? This image is nearly the last to date (as of a month ago). It’s all cataloged (very roughly) in a database, and, in Lightroom. It would be a monumental task to look thru the Lightroom catalog too. I’m not bragging. And, you might well shake your head. Too many, too many pics. And what for? Throw away the duds. (I did, a few) That’s just digital. There are more than 100k of slides too. I did not count print negatives. Those were too hard for me to track. (Read: lazy) … I like the symmetry – the roof, the sky (who sees such a clear demarcation), and the sun poking thru the clouds. … I ‘ve been thru at least 15 different digital cameras. Favorites come and go as the model changes and the technology improves. Would I, should I, upgrade? Of course! I don’t drive/lust fast cars. (thank $$$ goodness) Cameras have been my weak spot though my camera envy has been well controlled. I have held a Leica but never shot one. I am permitted my passion. There are far worse things… Some days, it’s good to glance back at the legacy I have made. And, I shall keep shooting. Why go thru all of this? I am able to locate an image – in not too much time – upon request. Organization in the midst of chaos, imagine that!