my most important pictures and videos

In highschool I was very into photography. I appreciated the art behind it, and I valued the memories I created with them. My dad lent me his Nikon fully mechanical dinosaur camera, and I learned how to develop my own pictures in art class. I was just as happy using a disposable camera though. Learning the "rule of thirds" helped me compose some of my own personal all-time favorite pictures.

However, as phone technology advanced, taking pictures became a tremendously easy excercise. When I got my second iPhone (3G), my style of photography changed. I progressivelty became less worryied about the composition of what I was seeing. The art of my pictures was lost, though the desire the keep memories remained. Some of my all time favorite shots are from my iPhone, but my photo album became a terrible mix of art pictures, redundant family pictures, screen shots, memes, and pictures I have no idea how I obtained.

The years passed, the size of the pictures increased, and my storage requirement went up. It also became progressively hard to keep the pictures for myself, my local phone storage could not hold all of it. So, for a few years, my logic was just to buy a bigger phone with more on board memory. That eventually, with the advent of amazing video capabilities, filled up very quickly as well. Ultimately, I was paying Apple $10 every month, to keep all of that "safe" for me.

I feel really uncomfortable with that these days. I mean, large volume terabyte SSD storage is cheap. Why can I just not keep my own data? That was question one. Question two: How many of these repeat pictures, memes, gifs, do I really need?

the purge

I have spent the last week and a half going through more than 15,000 pictures and videos that are currently all stored on iCloud. I downloaded an app my friend recommended called swipewipe, because I was struggling to bring myself to scroll through the pictures in my iPhone. Somehow I find the iOS interface hard to use for deleting pictures quickly. I didn't find the web based iCloud any better.

Anyway, I did it. It was a grueling 10 days, but I did it. I was a cheapskate and basically ran through it as much as a could, swiping, day and night, while I was on the app free trial. I am so relieved after going through that. I really feel the end of paying Apple monthly to keep my pictures in a cage, under the illusion of keeping them "safe". I have already stopped taking new pictures with my phone except for a few. When I do take them, I will delete them promptly if I don't need them long term.

How am I taking pictures now? More deliberately and intentionally, with a 10+ year old Fujifilm point and shoot.

Totally offline.

Totally good quality.

And arguably, totally styling.