Life and photography having gone digital, I now have approximately 2000 photographs on my computer which I need to sort out. It is one of those jobs which should be enjoyable but there are so many to wade through. The whole process is fraught with difficulty.
The first hurdle to overcome is that the moment I start to look at old photos, the memories come flooding back and inevitably I start going through them slowly, smiling at how small and blonde the children were, or how young everyone looks. This then leads on to how young I looked (sob!) and the energy that seems to jump out of the picture as I am cheerfully dragging the children out for another extremely long hike when the poor things had only just learned to walk. Husband (again looking absurdly young) can be seen assuring them that the walk will only last half an hour. Unfortunately they learned very quickly that he has a very skewed idea of how long half an hour is supposed to last and we have struggled to get them to walk for more than 10 minutes ever since. So after hours of scrolling and clicking on photos, I have only managed to add the odd caption or merge the occasional file but have completely failed to put them into any sort of order or even better, put them into albums which is my ultimate aim.
The next problem with digital photos is duplicates. I have hundreds of examples where I have taken three or four photos of the same thing. Each photo is slightly different and I spend ages switching back and forwards between them, trying to decide which is the best one and which I should delete. Once I have decided on my favourite I then lack the ruthlessness to delete the rest, fearing that I might want to use those pictures in the future (I have no idea for what).
The one instance where I am merciless with the delete button is with photos of me. I actually appear in very few as I am generally the person taking the picture, but every so often someone offers to take a picture of the family and I make an appearance. Unfortunately most of these occasions are after I have been taking part in some strenuous or terrifying activity such as downhill mountain biking in the Alps or steep offpiste skiing. I am wearing no makeup, my hair has been encased in some form of helmet, I am wearing deeply unflattering clothing such as lycra bicycling tights or vastly padded skiwear and my expression is one of wild terror or soggy relief at having survived whatever we have just undertaken. It always seems that everyone else in the picture looks perfectly put together and completely unaffected by the near vertical descent we have just made on our bikes or the zip lining over a bottomless gorge. Needless to say, these pictures are swiftly consigned to the trash while I hunt for more suitable examples where I am at least dressed vaguely normally and perhaps even made up and wearing a heel. Sadly, these are few and far between, so some of the less flattering ones have been kept for the sake of having some family pictures where we all appear.
I think the solution is probably to use Photoshop to transplant my coiffed and made up head onto my body in some of the more exciting family pictures but I suspect that my relaxed and benign expression may look a bit odd in comparison with some of the earlier pictures. Hopefully only I will notice!