you must remember this 1

“Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Sydney April 2012 – September 2015 (5 photos)

Photography has always been a powerful medium. Seeing an old photo can bring back powerful vivid memories and emotions. Good times, bad times, it doesn’t matter.

I read an interesting statistic online. Using film industry statistics, digital photography estimates and numbers kept by producers of silver halide, an important chemical for analog film, researchers calculated the number of photographs ever taken.

It’s estimated only a few million pictures were taken in the 80 years before the first commercial camera was introduced.

By 1930, about a billion photos were taken a year.

It’s estimated that by 1960, 55 percent of photos were of babies.

you must remember this 5

By 2000, about 86 billion photos were taken a year.

Today, we take more than 380 billion photos a year.

Every two minutes, we take more pictures than the whole of humanity did in the 1800s.

And it’s estimated that mankind has taken 3.8 trillion photos in total.

you must remember this 2

That’s a whole lot of memories being recorded for future generations to see. But I wonder how many of these photos will be forgotten – lost amongst a folder of sequential file numbers or on an antiquated hard drive that technology has rendered useless at some time in the future.

I print important photos. If you don’t, you should do it. A printed photo is somehow a more powerful and memorable medium than a jpeg on a screen. As time goes by, you don’t want those memories to be lost.

you and me 1

“Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.”

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

you must remember this 6

“Play it again, Draco.”

This week, the topic at The Weekly Photo Challenge is Time, and I’m honoured to be the guest host. I hope you’re enjoying the challenge. There’s still plenty of time to join in.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

You must remember this


76 thoughts on “You must remember this

  1. Love the photo of the two hugging in that vastness of space. It looks like the world is theirs. Wow, we do take so many photos today, every second of the day as a whole world :O

    I agree with you on printing out photos. Holding a photo in its physical form sort of feels like I’m holding onto that memory more closely than ever.

    • Thank you. Photos should be an aid to the memory, not a replacement for the memory. One well timed photo may be all that is needed to stimulate vivid memories of an event. The rest is insurance, so to speak.

  2. A good way for parents to keep their baby photos is to create a photo book each year. Cheap enough to do and at least they have a record of their kids as they grow up. They make great gifts for grandparents too 😉

  3. The stats are astonishing, and poor kids don’t get a break… I agree on printed photos, I lost hundreds of photo on Yahoo photo when they moved photos to Flickr.
    I saw my favorite photo up there. 🙂

  4. mfryan says:

    Seriously no pun intended, but your post and this week’s them is so timely! I am just finishing up digitally organizing my life’s work in photography. It feels great to get it done, and now on to the next project, which I’ll take your advice on and select some to print! 🙂 Thanks for all of this!

  5. Those statistics are overwhelming, but how many of them will still be accessible in a 100 or even 50 (maybe even 10!!!) years time as inevitably systems fail and data dies. (or I do!!!) I look at the cupboard filled with my albums of pre digital times. So easy to pull out an album and browse through the memories of times gone by. Now with thousands of uncatalogued digital images on a number of external hard drives they seldom get looked at (unless I am searching for an image for a WP challenge) Your advice to make prints of the best is very timely…

  6. graydaysandcoffee says:

    and photos of man hands are necessary to get into the forbidden city. (my favorite Seinfeld episode…Bizarro World)

  7. Excellent idea for the theme, LD. And your stats on photography over time are fascinating. I agree…photos on a HD are vastly different than in a box where they can be held and cherished. All those pixels and so little time. Congrats on a great response to the theme.

  8. That’s a staggering amount of pictures per day! Just think how many more we’d take if we could have a camera inserted into our eyes, blink and you have a picture! I wonder where the picture would be processed though – weird thought! 😉

    I guess all those little ones being snapped will mostly end up on Facebook. The very thought of my family photos ending up on Facebook back in the 70’s – noooo, terrible idea!! We hardly took very many pictures at all in those days, just couldn’t afford to. I’m sure we had a roll of 12 film and sometimes even 12 pictures may not have been taken in a year. I’m amazed we have any good pictures of us at all at that slow rate.

    I really like the couple standing on the edge of the sea, full on drama that one! Have I seen that before? It looks familiar and says 2013 on it – I can’t decide. Is it one picture or a blend of two? Just trying to figure out exactly what they are standing on. I’m sure that would make a great advert – not sure what for though.

    • Thanks, some people post nothing but selfies – I guess whatever makes them happy. 😉 Yes, with film I shot a lot less. Now it’s anything and everything. I even photograph potential gifts for my niece and sms them to her mother so she can tell me which one she wants me to buy. 🙂 There is a practicality to it all. 🙂

      The couple are standing on a rock ledge overlooking the Pacific Ocean. And yes you’ve seen it before. It was one of the earliest photo posts on my site. I reuse for storytelling purposes. 🙂

  9. What a great post and some very sweet moments you’ve captured. Love your musical accompaniment. One of my favorite movies of all time “Was that cannon fire or is my heart pounding?” 🙂

  10. I love that first shot and the flooring is almost worth a shot on its own. The statistics are extraordinary but the point you go on to make is the one that I should worry us. There is a whole generation growing up with a huge library of images that are not properly backed-up, archived or copied. And so few are printed. Far too much reliance is placed on the reliability and longevity of media.

  11. LB says:

    “Every two minutes, we take more pictures than the whole of humanity did in the 1800s” – I don’t know why this surprised me, but wow.
    I’ve intended to print more images … need to get on that.

  12. All beautiful shots Lignum and what fascinating stats. Personally I’m grateful I had my babies back in the film days when there was no question of not printing, not that I took that many because of the $$$. And they all look so much more domestic and messy than some of the beautiful ones I see now online . . . I have no baby photos of me. As my mother always told me -“we were far too busy for that.” 😕
    Great post!

    • Thanks. The perfect baby photo is a business/artwork in itself today. I much prefer a more gritty realistic photo. Today’s children will have hard drives full of photos of their growing up, compared to our handful of shots.

  13. “Will I ever look at these photos again?” This thought has come into my head. I also think about where my photos will go, and how I will view them in twenty years from now. My hope is that there will be a way, to preserve the beauty in a picture that a pixelated screen cannot compensate for. If your photos look this good through my computer screen, I honestly can’t imagine what they would look like as prints, something physical you can display with the utmost pride. Please never let the memories your photos hold fade away. 🙂

  14. I have exactly 6 photos of me from the first 6 years of my life, one for each b-day 🙂 and I have less for then next 33 years lol 😀

    it is a good point to print photos… believe it or not, I have printed only 3 photos of all my photos so far, all three of the boyz… and I was amazed how much more powerful they are as compared to the computer files… I should print more, thank you for the inspiration, Lignum!!

    the photo of the couple kissing always leaves me speechless..

    • Because digital photography is so easy, we overuse it. I have very few photos of myself as a child, and even fewer of my parents. But a tattered faded photo can evoke such strong emotions, it’s worth printing them. Today’s “perfect” photos seem to lack soul at times.

      Sometimes I think I should be more aggressive in culling my digital photos, because many of my photos (particularly street) will never be seen. They’re just on the hard drive, faded from memory.

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