Like dust and cobwebs

Sweeping away yesterday to make room for tomorrow.

That best describes my afternoon.

I just deleted almost 10,000 photos dating from 2005 through 2008.


They will never be seen.  They will never be posted.  They will never be shared.

Over the course of my digital photography experience (approximately six years), I’ve taken many thousands of photos.  To wit:

  • 2003: 2,537 photos over 24 days
  • 2004: 1,387 photos over 29 days
  • 2005: 306 photos over 17 days
  • 2006: 1,918 photos over 87 days
  • 2007: 6,325 photos over 115 days
  • 2008: 23,036 photos over 128 days
  • 2009: 7,359 photos over 24 days

That 424 days contained 42,868 photographs, or 287 GB (309,915,540,318 bytes) of data.

As I’ve become more comfortable with taking pictures and as I’ve fallen in love with the idea of photography, the volume of images I capture has grown exponentially.

Many of these images languish in that place that will never be seen, that place of cold storage that holds innumerable moments that others will never experience.

It began in 2003 when I purchased a digital camera for no purpose other than to photograph The Kids in order that I might compile a CD of pics and vids for Derek.

He’d already spent many, many months in the hospital, and his greatest lament was that he so terribly missed these cats that it broke his heart every single time he thought about it.

What better gift then, I thought, than to give him at Christmas a CD full of photos and videos showing the crazy felines in their usual antics?

And so I did just that.

He loved it.

For those brief weeks when he returned home in 2004, he was able to see them again in person, live and in the flesh.  Then he was whisked off to the hospital yet again to let his final days unfold in the absence of the creatures he so adored.

That original Canon S50 was one of the most humane purchases I ever made, one of the most magical things I ever did for someone else.

Then Derek died.

And I felt I died as well.

I spent the next year wandering an emotional wilderness barren of hope and companionship, a time empty of promise yet rife with terror and desperation.

Although I tried to use my little Canon as much as I had the year before, I felt great loss and desolation each time I aimed it at one of the cats.  So I tried to use it for other purposes, yet then I felt great horror even holding it in my hands.

The following year I left the camera on the desk more often than in use.  It almost offended me to pick it up, power it on and snap pictures with it.

But then in 2006 I found my stride: a fantastic, unimaginable relief when out and about in the natural world, the evolutionary equivalent of Advil for the soul, and once again taking photos became a passion.

However, my poor Canon S50 had already been used so much that it began to fail, began to suffer from electronic arthritis that afflicted its many controls, controls that became stiff and, ultimately, unusable.

So at the end of 2007 I purchased a Canon S5 IS.

What a marvelous piece of technology!

I felt empowered and enabled.  Suddenly I could reach out and memorialize in bits the magic of a world that had eluded me for too long.

Like gas thrown on a flame, that camera pushed me to get back out in the world more often than I ever thought possible, it pushed me to photograph The Kids more often than I ever had when that was the only purpose my camera could claim, and it pushed me to wonder about all the beauty that lay hidden beneath the cloak of a universe concealed to our feeble sight.

Throughout 2008 I used and abused that camera.  It became an extension of my flesh, a thing always at the ready no matter where I was and no matter what I was doing.

It revealed to me that passion of sight borne of observation easily could render in digital form all manner of spectacle and splendor that to the unaided eye represented little more than background noise in a visual crescendo of sounds.

By December 2008, however, Mom needed a new camera and I reached the end of my ability to use the S5 to its fullest potential.  At the behest of growth, I gave that camera to my mother and delved into dSLR with the Canon 450D/Rebel XSi.

Which brings me to the present.

And this photographic predicament.

Each generation of camera drew me forward, and each step forward created a larger collection of photos.

Relatively speaking, only a handful of those pictures have been shown here.  Only a handful more could be shown.

So it behooved me to discard that which will not be seen in favor of that which will be seen, that which is to come, and that which more rightly deserves to waltz upon the stage of this blog.

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