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As technology advances, older analog media is always in danger of becoming antiquated. Those slides, film negatives and prints from historical family events, rites of passage and vacations, the VHS tapes of your kids' first steps, or your favorite cassette tapes from the late 1970s have all been rendered obsolete by digital media.
Have you ever glanced at a mound of unopened snail mail and wished it were just a bunch of files stored on a hard drive (or tucked away invisibly in the cloud)? With a scanner and a little effort, you can make piles of mail (and all of your other paper documents) disappear.
In today's world of large-capacity memory cards, we tend to snap the shutter button more liberally than in generations previous. Our archives fill up quickly, and we forget about the images that we've shot. Upon registering for 500px.com, I read about their emphasis on including only your best work. Since it was a whole new start for me after having been on Flickr for a while, I booted up the external hard drives in a quest to find hidden gems.
In this second part of a two-part blog entry, I will be talking about the technological strategies I use when I organize my image archive. In the first segment, I explored the thinking points I had in mind when I was first organizing my archive. One important point I tried to make was that image archiving is one area of photography where you should never let the perfect get in the way of the good.
Every serious photographer has an archive of some form. Some of those archives become important libraries at the heart of our collective visual culture, holding significant imagery that historians utilize and the public enjoys. Others disappear into obscurity, and with them go potentially important images, never to be seen by the public. As photographers, we want our work to fall into the former category. Most photographers neglect image archiving to the point that most of their work will sadly end up in the latter category.