May 22nd, 2014
"I uploaded my 60001st picture just before writing this post."
My first camera was not a digital one. But the first image I took is still in my mind as fresh as it was at the click of the button. From that day to today the chain of this loved action is alive. The pictures of today are equally important as the one that marked the beginning. The cameras changed, the methods changed yet the desire to keep all the memories saved kept increasing day by day. My parents had no trouble of saving my photos when I was a child. They shot the pictures and then used to develop them into prints which have survived the horrors and joys of time over the years and I scanned them to have them saved for time to come even when people would forget the persons in the photos and just laugh of the dress codes we have today. Every newer generation makes a mock of the ones gone by and wonders how orthodox the early beings were. But I don't find myself that comfort of life which the early ones had. They didn't find the trouble of seeing, remembering, commenting, taking, saving, archiving pictures at a speed and volume we are facing. I remember the pain I faced in moving the eleven thousand pictures from my iPhone to PC and then to archives. It wasn't easy. Every picture we take even if that be of a stone or a dog has its value increased with time. I look at a picture from the day one at university and I miss that time. It is an expanding universe. Hence establishing the flow organized and mannered asks attention and input.
Pictures keep flowing in from multiple sources, the phones being the biggest players. As screen sizes and megapixels have increased the computer's hard drives are getting smaller for the need. Every year has added two hard drives in the collection and every time I promised to upload all of them to an off-shore archive. But thanks to Pakistan's pathetic internet service providers the upload speeds are one of the worst. I remained way behind in uploading all the data. But it didn't break my spirits. Recently Flickr alloted a terabyte of free space to all its users. So slowly I keep pouring all the pictures into one of the target cloud. After this I intend to opt for another service just in case Yahoo decides to axe Flickr in future. Every image and every video can never be equally interesting or important. But even a little thing of now at a later time becomes a piece of nostalgia. I still have an attachment to Flickr itself. Years ago a friend told me about a wonderful site named Flickr that allows users to upload and share images. I had a phone that took very low resolution pictures so I decided to give a try at Flickr. It was cool by that time. But that cool was short lived because it allowed only the recent 200 images to be seen by people. One could keep uploading way more but the latest 200 were the ones that stayed publicly visible. Or you opt for a paid plan which I couldn't due to equally worse banks in Pakistan who don't put the customers first. Madarchod banks like UBL and HBL. After joining a university, I did finally upgraded my Flickr account. But that was too late. Many new kids were on the block then including Instagram and Facebook. Another reason why the joy was short lived was that Flickr killed the subscription model and gave everyone a terabyte of space to upload images. Years ago, Flickr was undoubtedly the best photo sharing service in the world. No one could beat it. Now, no more. Even now Flickr is still a place which is a great resource for people who love photography. It can be a blessing for someone who just has a lot of images scattered around hard drives and machines and wants to pool them at a single place. Flickr still has an atmosphere that none of the social giants like Facebook and Instagram can provide. There are millions of pictures, all organized by names, titles, tags. What else would any art lover want. And for archiving which happens to be my interest, it is a great free one terabyte space.Cameras are not just the pictures. It is about the memories. Time that can never come back. So why not freeze the moment and save what you have frozen. I uploaded my sixty thousandth image to Flickr some minutes ago. But even saving all data in an organized way demands attention. Patience, time and good upload speeds are necessary ingredients.
Some days ago I was messaged a picture of a cousin who just started going to school. His mother called me and asked me how to save the little angel's pictures which keep increasing at alarming rate. I feel relieved in helping her save the precious memories then. He would be a man in some years and then each picture would be a priceless treasure. Flickr isn't perfect. It has its flaws. But it is one useful place for saving all the memories at least as dump. This dump will surely be a mine of gems after a a couple of more years. I still visit my archives of such gems and in those moments of solace I fly back in time to do fooleries once again.