Our family’s unofficial photographer died recently. Since his death, I’ve become the family photo repository because I love photos and I’m the only one still alive who has a hope of figuring out if the young woman in a white dress and floppy hat—penciled lightly on the back of the print is “Summer 1902”—is my Great-Aunt Myrtle, Great-Aunt Marie, Tauntee, or my grandmother. I may be the only one left who actually met all four sisters.
Family members have been very generous, sending me CDs and prints they’ve had hanging around a long time and were never sure what to do with. I’m saving the photos and CDs for later this year because a much bigger project comes first.
A relative sent me two thumb drives, in total 65 gigabytes of photographs, from the unofficial family photographer's computer. The only problem was that, while I had a working, every-day ability to deal with my photo program, I’d never tried to use it for a project of this magnitude. Just before Christmas last year downloaded all those photo to put them in order and make DVDs for the family.
Life lesson: it takes a long time to transfer 65 gigabytes from thumb drives to my computer’s hard drive. The best course would have been to busy myself elsewhere while the transfer happened, but I didn’t do that. Since nothing seemed to be happening, I pressed the “copy” button a couple of extra times to see if it was working. Fortunately I figured out how to stop the multiple downloads, but not before I ended up with approximately 25,000 photographs to cull. Thank goodness I’d had the good sense (and the technical ability) to download them into one album.
Yesterday was a Monday holiday, Family Day. What better time to spent a lot of time with my family, even if they are in digital format? I discovered a lot of things about a man I hadn’t gotten to know as well as I would have liked.
Probably the most important thing I discovered were five photographs of a grave marker. Almost everyone in the previous generation was buried in the same cemetery, but one person died and was buried some distance away. Family lore said there were never photos of his grave, but there are. I don't know why he kept quiet about having them, but he did.
|We have the same eye for light, shadow, and form, and we both love to photograph odd places like parking garages.|
|He thought dogs more photogenic than cats,|
but his absolute favorite creatures were bright tropical birds.