Photographic memory

Back in the days when I still used a camera that took film, the first thing I did after going on a holiday or to a party was race out to a chemist or photo lab to get the film processed.

Remember when one-hour photo services popped up? Remember the delight at poring over the photos with friends, and the annoyance at getting finger prints all over prints accidentally ordered as glossy instead of matte finish?

These days we have instant gratification on our iPhones and smart devices. Photos can be instantly viewed and instantly shared on social media. The days of printing photos and painstakingly putting them into albums, for most of us, is a distant memory.

But what happens to all the dozens, hundreds, even thousands of digital images that weren’t able to be shared or worthy of sharing at the time? Or ones taken before we started to really embracing social media? Or had the data and ability to easily upload images?

I’ve recently started trying to locate all my holiday photos to unite them on one portable hard drive. Most of them are backed up on my PC. Some are backed up to our NAS. Others are on DVD-ROMS. Anything taken pre-2007, or on an old phone, who knows.

Having had a digital camera of some sort of other since the late 1990s, there are probably thousands of photos unaccounted for on old hard disks…and very few have been printed due to the cost of printing/ink back then (my poor children also have incomplete baby books thanks to digital cameras!)

Over the next few weeks I hope to upload assorted travel photos, partly to keep my family holiday memories alive, and partly to inspire anyone else planning a holiday to somewhere distant and exciting.

The photo below is a street somewhere in Amsterdam. I’ve been to Amsterdam three times, in 1989, 1998 and 2007 but hadn’t really thought much about the city again until last year after the characters in the teen weepie The Fault in Our Stars went there.

Somewhere in Amsterdam, 2007
Somewhere in Amsterdam, 2007

Then it crossed my mind after the shooting last month on an Amsterdam to Paris train (we’ve done the reverse trip from Paris to Amsterdam).

We were in Amsterdam for a friend’s wedding and a group of us stayed in a bed and breakfast called Mae’s B & B. We had the top floor attic, accessed up a very steep and narrow staircase. We had great breakfasts every morning and a couple of nights, had delicious Indonesian take away from a restaurant down the road.

The city was easy to get around by foot or by bike, although that was not a mode of transport open to us with a pram.  One of the things I remember about Amsterdam and Oldenzaal, which we visited in 1998, was that people often left their curtains wide open, giving passers a glimpse at how they live.

Certainly a place I’d like to get back to one day…

Houses, Amsterdam
Houses, Amsterdam
Amsterdam canal by night
Amsterdam canal by night

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