Winter is wet and wild and often a time when one prefers to huddle indoors. This makes it an ideal time to think through how you have archived your photographs. In the digital age we live in, most of us have more files and folders than photographs. I am frequently amazed at what I find when I open folders that have lain dormant for a few years. When I have time on my hands this is a treasure hunt of note, but when I am quickly looking for something I know I have, but cannot remember where it was taken or when, then it becomes a lot more frustrating to have this abundance available.
Each photographer has favourite software that can be set up to store images with custom filenames. I find it worthwhile to download my photographs onto an external hard drive immediately, saving space on my laptop; especially as I tend to shoot in Canon RAW, which gives me memory intensive files to work with. I give the external hard drive the name of the year in which it was first used. I give each folder a name that indicates the date and place of the excursion, and keep these all under an overarching umbrella called… wait for it… Pictures. The simple discipline of keeping photographs archived in an easy to maintain and reach format is, for me, part of the joy of watching my skill develop and grow over time.
The image that I excavated for this article comes from my first external hard drive and was shot during August 2007. It is a cold, blue shot of broken shells, taken on the Yzerfontein main beach. The “feel” of it matches my sense of what winter photography can produce. It was shot with a 200mm lens at f16 and an ISO of 200. The 1/15 shutter speed indicates that it was likely to have been taken in the shade, although 8 years down the line I do not remember the exact moment or circumstance of the shot. In spite of the closed down aperture there is only a small part of the picture that is in sharp focus, this being a feature of macro photography.