Friday, July 11, 2008

Negative round-up

I am really thankful that beyond my family's safety, our collection of things weren't burnt or close to danger. It is convenient.

I've re-discovered my negative collection: Destruction Derby night at the Stanislaus County Fair, 1999. Wow! These weren't in tidy black negative binders with the others I packed off.

I was at peace with and resolved that our house would not be when we returned. All that was irrelevant compared to our safety.

I spent a week following our return unpacking and otherwise rounding up all of my stray negatives, a photographer's gold mine of images: China, Cambodia, Japan, France, Internment, thesis research, and these demolition derby images. I guess didn't even grab my 'important' Internment project pictures. It wouldn't have mattered that they were destroyed, a minor set-back, they continue to exist to be photographed again.

I came away from the experience with a new appreciation for our 'things' and am making with preparing for a future evacuation, much like our neighbors. I have also examined my attachment to material goods... I had everything I needed, even if we didn't return to pack; my family's safety was all that mattered. Everything in our house could be replaced, it's just stuff.

Just like these derby cars: repaired, repainted, destroyed. It's just stuff. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Close proximity of forest fire and photography

Recent fires near the house, closest was the Martin fire, has given me a new appreciation for digital photography. We had about 20 minutes to evacuate our house: important stuff only (cats, kids, cameras, clothes, papers, wine, negatives, hard drives).

Our house was safe, as were my family and I.

However, this event has given me food for thought.

Upon sane review of my 'saved' materials, I got most of the goods but I found that the cream of my negatives were hiding out in the nooks and crannies of our funky mountain house. And I was immediately much, much more thankful that our house was spared any damage.

Our digital images, on the other hand, were ALL safe and sound in a big external hard drive. That thing took about 1.5 seconds to disconnect and put into a box, done; full stop. Just more to consider while I grouse about camera prices, sensor sizes, and drive capacities.

My final thought is one of thanks. Thanks to fire crews: air and ground for stopping the blaze; two houses lost is two too many, but lots fewer than could have burned. Outstanding effort folks!