I threw away a load of old slides.
I never thought I would do this, but that day did come. Let me explain, for all those who are feeling faint.
I have been scanning all my old slides and colour negatives, but doing the slides first. For a time I shot almost exclusively Agfachrome, then I had an Ilfochrome phase. Some of the slides, particularly the Ilford stuff, have not aged well. Neither have some of the colour negatives. I also seem to have interminable generic holiday snaps.
So I scan the slides at a reasonable resolution for later use. I don’t bother scanning the junk or duplicates. The good ones get scanned at the maximum resolution I can do.
Then all the slide boxes got marked and stored. And then I realised how much space they took. Having scanned them, I wondered if I would ever open the boxes again? At least the scans can be catalogued and searched – there is no practical way to search through all those plastic boxes.
So an opportunity arose to dispose of what was essentially a load of waste plastic. And now they are gone.
Do I miss them? Considering that they were in storage for years and, until I scanned them, I’d forgotten what was on them, then no. Do I regret throwing them away? Not yet. Do I have good backups of my scans? I hope so.
I can’t see myself doing this with my black and white negatives. Partly because they are much easier to store, but also because I don’t routinely scan every negative on the film. I have a scanned contact sheet and a catalogue description, plus the folder contains any images I have scanned or worked on. It works too: I wanted a particular old photo of a friend recently and I was able to find it immediately.
I know there has been some talk of people throwing away their negatives. I’m not there yet and I may never be, but I have taken one step on the road to tidiness.
What do you think? Do you throw away your slides or negatives?