Sorting out digital snapshots

Sorting out digital snapshots

Point and click has a lot going for it.

However, as people take masses of photos and videos on easy-to-use smartphones and tech devices, perhaps a little unease lingers for some.

How do people organise these digital memories that have been captured with gadgets and how well are the images archived?

Virtually all the parents interviewed by SundayLife! say they started taking more photos and videos after their children were born. But the extent to which they organise these family memories differs.

Some confess to having no system of organisation in this respect.

Ms Stephanie Chok, 41, who has a three-year-old son, says her photos, taken and stored in her smartphone, are "a giant teeming mass".

Adds the part-time researcher: "If I lose my phone, I'll lose my photos."

Civil servant Rachel Tang, 32, says her photos and videos have been stored in different locations over the years, including in computer hard disks, on online photo-organising sites such as Picasa, and on social network Facebook.

She also shares photos, including those of her 13-month-old daughter, with family members on private Facebook pages and on mobile messaging app WhatsApp.

Sometimes, nothing beats oldfashioned photographic prints. Ms Tang made a photo book, using printed photos of a recent family vacation to San Francisco, for her young daughter, because her husband, an American soldier, is deployed overseas.

"I was afraid she would forget who he is. There are times when you really need a physical copy for people who are not so high-tech. You also don't want kids to have too much exposure to electronic devices," she says.

"I haven't seen a need to centralise everything. I don't feel I'm going all out to archive or categorise my photos. I'm using these platforms as a communication tool."

However, Associate Professor Jude Yew from the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore, argues that "every home needs some form of centralised digital storage in the future because of the copious amounts of digital media that we generate."

While he warns that "there is no good way" to deal with the deluge of digital photos and images, the best workable solution is "a multi-part back-up plan for personal digital photos and videos, which should include a variety of storage mediums and services - from hard drives in your home to storage via a server or a cloud service of some kind."

venessal@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on October 26, 2014.
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