I’ve fallen behind

and I can’t get caught up.

I am having a hard time balancing my compulsions lately. About the only thing I’ve managed to do regularly is to get to the Y and exercise for an hour or two each day so at least I don’t sacrifice my health to my other obsessions. You need to be healthy if you’re going to try to clean up past mistakes.

My main obsession, as I mention recently, is trying to clear out old photos that are filling up nearly two very large hard drives. I don’t even want to think about how many CD’s full of even older shots I might have waiting on the shelf. And we won’t even mention all the old slides that really should be converted to digital copies so that they don’t get thrown out when no one has slide projectors around to show them.

Conservatively, I’ve been locating and deleting nearly a thousand photos a day. Before I can delete many of them, I need to find them on backup hard drives because they have become disconnected from Aperture over time. Many of them became disconnected when I had to buy a larger hard drive to back them up. If I just delete them from Aperture without first locating them, they never actually get deleted from the hard drive, and that certainly defeats the purpose of what I’m doing.

So far I’m just tackling the easy part, deleting photos that aren’t as good as photos taken the same day or photos of subjects that I know in my head that I have better shots, common birds like Great Blue Herons, American Bitterns, Kingfishers, favorites that I can easily remember.

It will take me probably another 40+ hours just to finish this phase of the job. The harder job will be identifying all the photos so that I can then eliminate all but the very best of the shots, and the ones that have personal value because they remind me vividly of particular experiences.

It’s hard to remember that this is merely an extension of another job I started recently, trying to clean out my office so that I can paint, lay a new floor, and move the furniture around so that I can spend more time doing artwork.

Luckily it’s winter and I don’t have any plans to go anywhere until spring. We’ve descended into the winter rains here, and it’s supposed to get even worse in the near future. So, maybe I will be able to get back to reading and writing sooner rather than later.

Of course, I suspect I originally started this cleanup to avoid writing about Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. I have given both a lot of thought, though, and I’m not willing to throw them out until I have finally written something about them.

4 thoughts on “I’ve fallen behind

  1. Here’s a thought: Why not just identify your “best” photos in your Aperture Library – flag them or tag them, create a new smart album and export to a new library. Instead of deleting images, since storage is cheap, just let them be on the backups. When your new library is completed, delete the old one and you’re done.

    I just decided to start a new library, moved the old one to an exernal drive so its there if I need it, and now I’m much more ruthless (though perhaps not enough) about what I keep.

    It is a challenge.

    • I will do this with all the family pictures I’ve taken. In fact, I’m putting them on CD’s and giving them to each family.

      The problem with having that many pictures stored is that you can’t find the really good ones even if you want to do. It’s impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff when you’ve stored them all together.

      In retrospect, rating each picture every shoot might make the process much easier when you want to go back and look at them. At least you’d be able to ignore all the ones with low ratings.

  2. I am still, from time to time but not very often these days, going through my mother’s stuff. She died at 100. She had a refrigerator magnet that said, “I’m so far behind I think I’m first.” Now it’s on my refrigerator. I think I am about 10 or more years older than you, Loren, and I have given up thinking I’ll finish before I die. And if I did finish, what would I do then?

    • Noticed that you just got back from England, Anne.

      I know that I tend to fall behind than rush to catch up; so, I’m not really expecting to ever be totally caught up. Just like to keep the chaos at manageable levels.

What do you think?