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Tuesday, 12 March 2019


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One sign of old age is repeating what you say:


Since this was less than a year ago, Mike, how are you doing with archiving all your prints? Putting my sarcasm aside, that really is the issue. It takes a lot of time to organize your photos. I’m guessing most of us start it in earnest but then other things become a higher priority.

Mike, as many freelance workers ultimately discover, you do more work than anyone with a regular job, and it seldom earns you as much. And I'm glad that you do that labour because I enjoy reading your stuff.

I suppose the message is this: what's fun when you're young and capable and quite convinced of invincibility turns around and bites your ass when you are old and suddenly realise you have to watch those few pennies that still survive.

Adding to your daily load the pressures of the new ideas you have proposed could kill anyone not made of steel. Let ego remain in its place, which it has naturally worked out all by itself, and accept that those who become famous in their lifetime sometimes deserve that fame and very often do not; insofar as post-lifetime fame, why would you give a damn? If there is a hereafter, speaking for my own set of priorities, better that it gives me back my wife in that hereafter than that I invisibly get to see some snaps of mine in a gallery or in a billionaires safe!

If one's offspring show little present interest in sharing the bounty of one's photographic journey, why on Earth are they going to think differently when there is less pressure on them even to nod and smile at one's quaint hobby? Let them be free of such imposed responsibilities. And if there be more than one offspring, then the complications of who gets what are even more stressful long before you shed your mortal coil. And some think the only child has problems or is one?

I guess it's all about natural selection, in the end, and what survives does so because of many factors over which the individual has little control, and gathering even more baggage in life and eventually dumping it on somebody else is hardly a loving thing to do; if you want to leave them something worthwhile, let it be the memory of a good parent, and a nice pile of spending power! Guess I might be able to score 50% - if I'm lucky!


I like the 3 box system. Unfortunately all 3 boxes might be #3's......
I am currently using the boxes that the paper came with the paper with 25 sheets each.

I was looking for Mike's post from last year that caused me to start printing. It was actually two …

Wednesday Open Mike: My Printing Problem

The Economics of DIY Printing
Guest post by Mark McCormick-Goodhart

Both are excellent and worth reading or re-reading.

I recommend clicking on "Printers and Printing" in the right hand column and spending some time reading or re-reading some of the posts. Mike's thoughts and "featured comments" from experienced printers and photographers in the resulting discussions are excellent.

And as often happens I just ordered two storage boxes and 480 sheets of archival tissue paper.

I certainly agree with buying good archival boxes to store your prints! But I do not agree with physically sorting your prints according to your good/better/best assessment. It’s too whimsical and will certainly shoft over time. Plus, it’s downright un-maintainable in any practical sense.

My alternates suggestion

Organize your prints first by SIZE then by DATE. Establish and rigorously maintain a consistent and logical image naming protocol. Label your prints as you make and file them.

Use the ultra-powerful features of Lightroom to manage your catalog(s). (Or choose another digital asset manager you might prefer.). This enables you to reorganize, rate, slice and dice your images however much or often as you need without requiring physical re-org of prints. You should be able to lay your hands on any referenced print in 60 seconds. (Be sure to replace it properly!)

C’mon, it’s the 21st. Learn to use dem tools!

I'd suggest also writing something on the print, maybe on the back, indicating the source - file name if it originated digitally. That way when you want to reprint something, you won't have to search for hours finding the file or negative.

Do be sure to write the file ID on the back! Otherwise you (or your heirs) will find themselves with this box of nice, small, prints, and no easy way to find the full-size file they derive from!

I'm reevaluating my print storage after a run-in with rodents, who really like the taste of traditional silver gelatin prints or anything made of paper. ( they enjoy the taste of Speed Graphics too )

If you want to go all out Tutankhamun* for your future Howard Carter, may I suggest something like this https://www.amazon.com/First-Alert-3050F-Hanging-Folder/dp/B000MPPVWK or this https://www.amazon.com/MMF-Industries-Fire-Retardant-Security-221615103/dp/B00006ICA9

Vermin proof , looks important , won't get thrown out with all the other cardboard boxes.

* I'm more that three times as old as King Tut when he died. If that doesn't make you feel old I don't know what will.

I also add some thin archival paper between each print so that when I pick up one to look at it or to show it, there is less chance of scratching or snagging the next print down.

Perhaps add a USB stick of each of the image files to the box too.

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