The More Things Change…
As I mentioned previously, I recently presented a talk to a retirement community photography club. I could tell my talk was way over most members’ heads. At the same time, having taught college and corporate classes, I’m always loath to “dumb down” my talks for several reasons. First, I don’t like being insulted and I don’t like to insult others. Second, people rise to their own level but will sit and rot if the water never rises. And, third, I dislike baby talk. If the audience doesn’t understand, it’s their responsibility to ask questions or simply ask me to repeat myself.
As I was writing this post, I read an article about photographs of the Chuckwalla Mountains and desert from the early 1900s by Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves. The photos themselves are just mildly interesting only because I’ve driven near, by or through places like Desert Center, Mecca and the Chocolate Mountains. However, the backstory of how the photos were saved was what caught my eye.
Susie Keef died in Leucadia, CA in 1988. Subsequently a county estate administrator threw her life’s work into a dumpster. A quick-thinking archaeologist saved it. Today’s cell phone photos are lost every day, every minute. The parallel struck me as the current equivalent of tossing photos into a dumpster. As each cell phone dies or is replaced and cell phone owners die, how many photos are irretrievably lost?