What Happens When You Die?

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#1
So this was a random thought tonight... And it isn't strictly a film thing but I was too scared to post in GenPop....

I don't think any of my family could operate Lightroom (or would think to do so), so in the even of my death, the 6,500 digital images taken over the last 13 years will be found only by a very curious someone trawling my C:\Users\Ian\Pictures folder. So (in my case) it's highly likely they are therefore going to remain undiscovered.... Same applies to my Instagram and even less likely - my Flickr (although thinking about it - Google Search may decide I'm relevant eventually)

However I also have a pair of large A4 binders full of neg sleeves that you can physically look through and at least guess what they once were (got to love slides at this point). Many dating back to the early 80s. And I have several boxes of prints I've made.

Will my film photographs and prints become my legacy rather than the photos I've 5*'d on Lightroom? There's the off chance that someone might find the books in my bookshelf, but other than that... Has anyone else thought about this or is it just me?

And in trying to buy karma in advance, this is my Great Auntie (leftmost) who passed away back in 1995. Don't know where she is or who she is with. But this photo is likely the only one on the internet, because I found her 127 negs and scanned them... Bonus points for guessing the location & date. More bonus points for guessing the camera.


Auntie D
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#2
Rolleiflex 3.5E or C? Bessa II?

We don’t have kids, and honestly, I doubt anyone else would be interested in my photos.

Bit sad when you write that down :rolleyes:
 

Asha

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#3
Will my film photographs and prints become my legacy rather than the photos I've 5*'d on Lightroom?
From a personal pov, I doubt that anyone will give a t**s about any photograph that I have, be it of film or digital origin unless they think there may be some financial value.

Does it really matter?,.....we won't be here to praise or criticise what folk do with our affaires and I shouldn't imagine it will bother us, the deceesed, too much either
 
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#4
Why not donate to a camera club and leave instruction what you would like done with everything
 
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Harlequin565
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#5
Does it really matter?
I guess that's the thing. I strive for work that matters. Problem is that I just realised that once I snuff it, the only person it matters to won't be around....

Nothing to see here folks...
 
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#7
Why not donate to a camera club and leave instruction what you would like done with everything
Sadly, my local CC is interested only in Photoshop talks and competitions where everything must follow the compositional "rules". Good idea though if your local club is different!
 
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#11
So this was a random thought tonight... And it isn't strictly a film thing but I was too scared to post in GenPop....

I don't think any of my family could operate Lightroom (or would think to do so), so in the even of my death, the 6,500 digital images taken over the last 13 years will be found only by a very curious someone trawling my C:\Users\Ian\Pictures folder. So (in my case) it's highly likely they are therefore going to remain undiscovered.... Same applies to my Instagram and even less likely - my Flickr (although thinking about it - Google Search may decide I'm relevant eventually)

However I also have a pair of large A4 binders full of neg sleeves that you can physically look through and at least guess what they once were (got to love slides at this point). Many dating back to the early 80s. And I have several boxes of prints I've made.

Will my film photographs and prints become my legacy rather than the photos I've 5*'d on Lightroom? There's the off chance that someone might find the books in my bookshelf, but other than that... Has anyone else thought about this or is it just me?

And in trying to buy karma in advance, this is my Great Auntie (leftmost) who passed away back in 1995. Don't know where she is or who she is with. But this photo is likely the only one on the internet, because I found her 127 negs and scanned them... Bonus points for guessing the location & date. More bonus points for guessing the camera.


Auntie D
by Ian, on Flickr
Buy a separate backup drive and ensure that it remains absolutely unencrypted, so that anyone can access its contents. Obviously this will only be photos rather than financial information, but will be the modern day equivalent of the bags and vanity case of photos left by my mum. In her defence, she used to look through them on her reflective days, whereas I don't even look back on my photos unless I need a photo for some specific reason.

And if we're going to get a bit philosophical/morbid, let's go beyond the photos. I visited a friend of some 25 years last summer, and talk got around to getting older (although she's only going to be 50 this year). She asked the slightly scary question of how she would know if anything happened to me (like death!), and asked if my sister would know to contact everyone I know on WhatsApp to pass on the news. She was taken aback to find out that my sister had heard of WhatsApp, but knew nothing about it and certainly couldn't access my phone to do it as she doesn't know the PIN. :rolleyes:
 
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#13
My family don't take an awful lot of interest in my photos now (except for the ones they appear in) so I doubt that anyone will care about my landscapes or pictures of rusty engines when I'm gone.
How about getting them to indulge you on Father's Day or your birthday by sitting around the table and getting them to look at your favourite/memorable photos and why they mean a lot to you? It's easier and cheaper than a present and means they have actually invested in you?
 

excalibur2

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#14
Well everyone should make a will...some solicitors, once a year, do a will for a reduced fee of £140 (when my wife and I did ours) and this goes to charity, of course they could eventually benefit by handling probate etc. With no children and If you know a keen photographer in the family you could leave negs and prints to them in a will.
For me having three sons and they knowing one of my hobbies is photography would hope they just wouldn't throw everything away without looking through them :eek: anyway have given them jpg's and my wife's family jpgs and dvds of shots that they might interested in, also would assume they would look on my computer (after my death) and nearly everything I've taken would be on there.
 
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#15
So this was a random thought tonight... And it isn't strictly a film thing but I was too scared to post in GenPop....

I don't think any of my family could operate Lightroom (or would think to do so), so in the even of my death, the 6,500 digital images taken over the last 13 years will be found only by a very curious someone trawling my C:\Users\Ian\Pictures folder. So (in my case) it's highly likely they are therefore going to remain undiscovered.... Same applies to my Instagram and even less likely - my Flickr (although thinking about it - Google Search may decide I'm relevant eventually)

However I also have a pair of large A4 binders full of neg sleeves that you can physically look through and at least guess what they once were (got to love slides at this point). Many dating back to the early 80s. And I have several boxes of prints I've made.

Will my film photographs and prints become my legacy rather than the photos I've 5*'d on Lightroom? There's the off chance that someone might find the books in my bookshelf, but other than that... Has anyone else thought about this or is it just me?
That's a very good question, Ian. But let me point out that, although some aspects are new, the general principle isn't. Some years ago, my sister and I found a large wooden box in my late father's estate. Jammed inside are many thousands of 6*9 black and white single cut negatives (plus a dozen packets of DufayColor 6*9 slides that I've written about here before... I'll put the link in later). The negatives sit in little nests of paper, each with a faint pencil-written name on it. These negatives are pre and post-war, but luckily my elder brother was able to identify the names... though they're not much help! The list starts "Wales, Sarafand, Beirut and Damascus, Nalch el Safa...". Well it's better than nothing I suppose. I took the box with the intention of a long term project to scan the negatives...

... and got interested in the DufayColors (see above) where at least I could quickly inspect them and see if (that) they were interesting. Eventually I made a small photo-book of some of the images for my family, and a print of one of the images for my sister (who still has the vase pictured in the shot, from Palestine during the war).

I'd still like to scan those negatives, and probably should while my much older brother (86 this year) is still around to help identify some of them. But it's a big project, for now they remain rather more inaccessible than JPEGs on a hard drive.

On the larger question, I've heard it suggested before that the best approach is to make a photo-book every year or so. It's a bit more durable (literally, not figuratively) than JPEGs on a hard drive, it does represent selection on the photographer's part, and gives an opportunity to provide context and other potentially interesting information that may be missing from JPEGs (especially of scanned images), or even from a print portfolio.

I should just say that from a preservation point of view (and I used to work in this field), both the physical and digital formats have issues. For an image in physical form, unless in a distributed form like a book, they are at real risk from being destroyed through accident (eg fire, flood), neglect and abandonment. The digital form is easier to keep in multiple places, so it's resilient to the first of those threats. Considering the parlous state of our planet, I think it's reasonably safe to assume the JPEG format will continue to be easily readable while the electrical power needed to do so exists (not so much for RAW files, though). But of course neglect and abandonment are probably bigger threats (the "big box" of potentially interesting JPEGs is comparatively invisible, so less valued). I tend to worry about the lack of metadata (titles, captions, camera etc details) in my JPEGs, but looking askance at my father's big wooden box, this clearly isn't a new problem (and he was obviously much better organised than most!).

By the way, annoyingly we have not found the 6*9 camera he used, which I suspect was a Zeiss Ikon folder. Nor have we found his later photographs (although they might also be hidden in the box), on some of which he based many paintings he made, including many that were lost in a Pickford's Warehouse fire where my sister's possessions were stored between house sale and house purchase. One of those paintings was of the church in St Keverne in Cornwall, in the blue hour with light through the stained glass window, all framed by bare winter elms. I loved that picture, and would really like to have his negative and attempt to make a large print from it (in black and white). Failing that, a long term project is to go take it myself, although the trees have since been cut...
 

TheBigYin

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#17
I've a feeling that this is going to be one of the hardest things I've written on here... but, dammit, I kind of need to get it off my chest.

As some of you probably know/remember, I had a "bit of a health scare" september 2016. What I may not have admitted to was that what actually happened was I had a cardiac episode, ever so slightly short of a full heart attack, whilst at home alone, in bed, at 3am. I'll not go into details, but I was in hospital 6 days before I stabilised enough for them to operate on me and remove the blockage in my Left Anterior Descending artery (that's the one that blockages are called "the widowmaker"... go figure) - the artery had been damaged 6 months earlier when I contracted Pericarditis as a Side-Dish to the main event of Pneumonia... Basically, I was in a mess.

During the 6 days of bed rest, I was (ahem) advised that I really aught to make a will... So, I lay there, and mentally disposed of everything I had in the world... Mostly easy enough, some crucifyingly difficult, and then... My Photography...

That was the first time in 5 days of being completely scared s***less that I actually cried. I lay there in the hospital bed and wept like a 3 year old child.

I realised that, no matter how much the photographs i'd taken had meant to me, most of them wouldn't mean jack-s*** to anyone else on this whole bloody world. At that point I just felt completely and totally alone - worse than I'd felt when i'd lost my Mam, worse than when I'd lost my Dad - just completely adrift.

I think I've taken maybe a dozen proper photographs since I got out of the hospital. I've done a fair few "record shots" for myself, or for various cycling challenge things I've organised, but as far as my normal planned and crafted images... Nothing. Why? I think it's because I realise they're just dust in the wind.

A shameful admission for someone who's so involved with a photography forum I guess... but the Mojo has gone, I hoped it'd return, but it hasn't yet.

So instead of taking photo's, I've started clearing and disposing of the stuff I've accumulated over the years - at least it'll be less for the house clearance people to have to throw in a skip when I'm not here to care...

I'm keeping the camera gear, or most of it at least, in the hope that when I can finally pack in the day job, i'll get a new inspiration come along... keep your fingers crossed for me guys :(

(got to stop typing now... think i've got something in my eye again...)
 
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TheBigYin

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#19
oh - and to answer the actual question posed by the title... "What happens when you die" - in my case, everything just faded out to grey then black. Then I felt an almighty pain in the side and middle of my chest, and my back and head hit the Cat Lab Slab from about a foot above it, as they restarted me. Apparently I was out for about a minute and a half, and the blast from the jumpleads that I felt was the third one...

When you Dead, You Dead. Mostly.
 
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#20
I have a friend who died in hospital and then came back some minutes later who tells an interesting story, but that's plainly not on-topic.

As with so much I do, I know it's temporary, and although I hope some people like my work and want to hang my pictures on their walls, I don't actually *care* that much about the photos. Our son is determindely non-sentimental, and I really doubt he'll be interested to wander through my stuff, even if he knows the passwords.

But I'm glad I have some stuff up in Flickr for others to find - a lass who worked for me in the past (as a scientist) took her life last year, had both flickr and instagram accounts and left a substantial collection of photos that have been good to remember her by. https://www.flickr.com/photos/94927419@N05/with/36030558355/ https://www.instagram.com/gemmolyneux/?hl=en
 
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#21
oh - and to answer the actual question posed by the title... "What happens when you die" - in my case, everything just faded out to grey then black. Then I felt an almighty pain in the side and middle of my chest, and my back and head hit the Cat Lab Slab from about a foot above it, as they restarted me. Apparently I was out for about a minute and a half, and the blast from the jumpleads that I felt was the third one...

When you Dead, You Dead. Mostly.
Glad you're still with us Mark. :)
 

Asha

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#23
no matter how much the photographs i'd taken had meant to me, most of them wouldn't mean jack-s*** to anyone else on this whole bloody world.
Mark, who gives a t'oss about what others think about your photos, be it from years gone, the present day or in years to come…..It doesn't matter, it really doesn't. It changes nothing about the pleasure that any given photograph satisfies you personally.

Shoot scenes to lift your spirit ( with no concern for other opinions) with kit that you're going to enjoy using on that particular day, process the images to your liking and share them with us if you want to.

I for one have enjoyed viewing some of the images that you've posted and wouldn't be opposed at seeing more, preferably 'new' ones shot in 2019 !!!
 

simon ess

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#24
I had a moment on my 50th. birthday. I looked at my collection of CDs and vinyl and thought. All that will end up in a skip.

I now think that's quite amusing. I shall be one with the cosmic consciousness and "stuff" will be in a skip.
 
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#26
Interesting subject - some friends and I had a discussion a couple of weeks ago in which the question was asked "What have you done in your life that will be remembered outside your immediate family or people you've worked with/for in 50 years" - I've taken one pic that people will still see and remember when i'm long gone.
 
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#27
What have you done in your life that will be remembered outside your immediate family
Heh, and this is another discussion I think. But it's particularly relevant to me because that sole question is what prompted me to get a teaching qualification, and start to teach photography (part time to adults). My photos aren't that great (no pity pot - just a simple fact) but my feedback forms suggest I am a good teacher. For me - finding something that would make a difference over time has had a real positive effect on my outlook. (My OP wasn't intended to be a maudlin post - just a genuine question.)

Why? I think it's because I realise they're just dust in the wind.
This whole post made me feel sad Mark - and must have taken a lot of courage to write. This exact point above is something I've struggled with in the past. In particular with regard to gardening. I used to be an ardent fruit & veg grower until I got into a discussion with Fred, a very regular shield winner for flowers at our village show. "Why bother with flowers? They just die & they're pointless" was my abridged opener. He just smiled and explained about how he enjoyed it, and loved the challenge of it. It was the gentle approach and the fact that he didn't give a stuff about winning competitions or awards that made me step back and consider that even though flowers are transient, they can give a large amount of joy. The following year my Gladioli came 3rd!! Heh. I'm far from perfect.

I'm quite confident that my hard drive will remain unexplored once I'm gone. Both my girls have the attention span of bored gnats and that attention is focussed only in one direction (themselves). Perhaps that'll change once (if) they have kids but I'll continue to make big (A2/A3) prints and stick them on the wall, then store them in a box. But not for the hope that one day someone will discover them. It'll be so that one day I can look back through them and remember the moment I pressed the shutter.
 
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#29
If people are fortunate enough to have family that love them, then I would have thought that when you're gone they would realise that photography was a big part of your life and they would have at least some interest in what you did with your time and what you're passionate about.

I'm still fairly young so I haven't experienced many deaths in my family, the closest was my grandfather who lived with us for his last years. He fought in the war with the RAF, looking through his stuff prompted me to start having an interest in that part of our history and I'm now really interested in wartime history and enjoy reading about it and watching documentaries.

He also loved playing cards, he had quite a few nice decks of cards from different places in the world. I couldn't care less at the time about playing cards when he was around (I was about 18) but they are some of his possessions that I took when we were clearing out his room. My wife and I often play cards in the evening with those decks rather than watching Netflix.

Perhaps both those things could be said to be tedious links, but I think that they are direct influences. I regret not spending more time with him when he was around playing cards and talking to him about the war.

Don't underestimate the influence you have on your family, even if they don't show it.
 
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#30
I must have 100.000s of negs, dozens of folders and boxes full of the things and a few dozen hard drives full of digital shots. My best guess is they are not that important to anyone other than me and my customers (many of who are probably dead by now). One of my sons is interested in photography and shoots with me some times, so he may go through some of the digital, but the sheer scale of looking through them would take years. My guess is he'd be more interested in family pics.
Am I that bothered? Not really, you come into life with nothing, you take only knowledge when you go (if your lucky)
A very dear friend was talking about death a long time ago. he said you never really die if you have children, a little bit of you lives on in them.... Mind he had dunk about 12 pints when he said it. But he does have a point.
 
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#32
Referring to the heading. I had a bad episode a couple of years back when after a year (going back into hospital 2/3 times). Finally admitted and they discovered not only my gall bladder was highly infected but also caused my blood to be the same. Before they could do anything they had to sort out the blood infection before they could operate on me. My wife was told how serious it was and be prepared for the worst.

Needless to say apart from the extreme pain the only thing I thought about was how to shut up a bible thumper in the bed opposite who fell of his trial push bike and cracked a couple of ribs. He kept on and on for 3 days until I told him where to go in no uncertain words , he then shut up

The last thing on my mine was what would happen if???? All I wanted was a knife to kill myself as the Ketamine( strongest pain killer a human is allowed) had no effect. It took weeks before they could removed the gall bladder, don't even mention my weight loss.

Back to the heading, Not once did I ever think about dying and what would happen, All I was concerned about is getting better and my determination to do so. Looks as if I achieved it !
 
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#33
This thread has made me think I need to print my photos. I've probably printed less than 10 in my life!

When I pop my clogs my family is very unlikely to look through my computer at my photography. They wouldn't even know how to use Lightroom to view anything. But if I had some of my favourite images printed then they would probably hold on to them. I don't care what happens to 99.99% of my photos, but there are maybe 5-6 I've taken over the last ten years that I really am proud of. The thought of no one ever looking at them again is really sad.

When my grandfather passed away 7 years ago, I kept his small pocketknife. It's worn and blunt and couldn't cut anything, but I'll keep it forever. If he'd been into photography and left me a box of his best photographs, it would certainly have been my most cherished possession.
 
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#34
I expect all my Photographs and stuff to end in a skip.

As to the two cameras shown the first looks like a an Ensign Selfix ... probably an 8-20 and the other camera is a MPP Microcord.

Hard to guess the camera used as there were not that many 127 square format cameras of reasonable quality. but it could be a baby 127 rolleiflex.
If it was post war the picture could not be before 1957 when the baby grey Rolleiflex came out. other wise it is likely to be the 38-41 model. but I would still put the shot in the late 50's.. no Idea where it was taken but North Wales or Germany as a guess.
Yours was a very camera literate family.
 
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#35
I've a feeling that this is going to be one of the hardest things I've written on here... but, dammit, I kind of need to get it off my chest.

As some of you probably know/remember, I had a "bit of a health scare" september 2016. What I may not have admitted to was that what actually happened was I had a cardiac episode, ever so slightly short of a full heart attack, whilst at home alone, in bed, at 3am. I'll not go into details, but I was in hospital 6 days before I stabilised enough for them to operate on me and remove the blockage in my Left Anterior Descending artery (that's the one that blockages are called "the widowmaker"... go figure) - the artery had been damaged 6 months earlier when I contracted Pericarditis as a Side-Dish to the main event of Pneumonia... Basically, I was in a mess.

During the 6 days of bed rest, I was (ahem) advised that I really aught to make a will... So, I lay there, and mentally disposed of everything I had in the world... Mostly easy enough, some crucifyingly difficult, and then... My Photography...

That was the first time in 5 days of being completely scared s***less that I actually cried. I lay there in the hospital bed and wept like a 3 year old child.

I realised that, no matter how much the photographs i'd taken had meant to me, most of them wouldn't mean jack-s*** to anyone else on this whole bloody world. At that point I just felt completely and totally alone - worse than I'd felt when i'd lost my Mam, worse than when I'd lost my Dad - just completely adrift.

I think I've taken maybe a dozen proper photographs since I got out of the hospital. I've done a fair few "record shots" for myself, or for various cycling challenge things I've organised, but as far as my normal planned and crafted images... Nothing. Why? I think it's because I realise they're just dust in the wind.

A shameful admission for someone who's so involved with a photography forum I guess... but the Mojo has gone, I hoped it'd return, but it hasn't yet.

So instead of taking photo's, I've started clearing and disposing of the stuff I've accumulated over the years - at least it'll be less for the house clearance people to have to throw in a skip when I'm not here to care...

I'm keeping the camera gear, or most of it at least, in the hope that when I can finally pack in the day job, i'll get a new inspiration come along... keep your fingers crossed for me guys :(

(got to stop typing now... think i've got something in my eye again...)
Well done for putting that down on screen Mark, it's scary but good to look back on events like that and remember that you got through it and are still here (y)

As for photography mojo, I've had it and lost it numerous times and it was a period of losing it that brought me to film photography (because I was too cheap to invest in new digital toys!). I was shooting weddings/portraits and was bored of it so was looking for something new and began on the slippery analogue slope to where I am now.

We're all different and I'm still struggling with my photographic mojo a little, but that means I focus on building instead. Maybe you need to find something that isn't actually taking photographs but still keeps your mind active?
 
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#36
With regards to the thread directly, I've printed a number of photobooks, mainly as the kids have been growing up, and they are a great way to keep your images alive. We still get the books out and look through them, even though we must have done that hundreds of times, and seeing the photos brings up memories/conversations of the last 12 years since my son was born.

As with others on this thread, my wife tells me regularly that she doesn't know where all the old digital photos are, they're on a backup server, so I'm sorting out adding another internal drive to the laptop so I can also keep them locally so they're easier to get to. As for my negatives, they're sitting in a couple of card envelopes next to me right now and I really need to sort out some proper binders for them!
 

sirch

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#37
Yesterday I nearly posted pretty much what Carl has said above. We have kept probably far too many bits of memorabilia from clearing out houses of deceased relatives but it’s easier to keep this stuff than it is to get rid. If any of those people had had a computer or digital camera we would not have kept it so print is definitely the way to go.

That said when my Dad died there were loads of negatives which he had taken of people and places we never knew, for example a lot of am-dram stuff. I’m sure he printed them at the time and gave the people in them prints so there really wasn’t much point in keeping the negs which were not labelled so we would never have tracked down the people involved, although at the time I never thought of local history societies.

I have a couple of shots that I thought good enough to have printed and framed but TBH I’d be embarrassed to think that someone is going to look through the general dross that I turn out for fun, it’s a bit like the thought of someone having to clear out my underwear drawer.

I suppose as a final thought there are a few low res videos of the kids from when they were small which I somehow need to pass on to them and a lot of digital stills of them that really ought to be printed. The question is what to do with those videos - DVDs?
 
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excalibur2

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#40
Well I don't know about other oldies but my thinking has changed for booties etc as now I think .....will I ever use it in the next 5-10 years.
 
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