(This is a tutorial where you'll learn what I should have known.)
Whenever I download photos from my digital camera onto my iPhoto program, the photos end up in a room called the Library. Everything I scan goes into my library, too. With a little help from my Cool Mac Apps book, and my iPhoto for Dummies book, I have set up albums. I've organized my new digital photos, and scanned and added my old film photos. I've made a bunch of slide shows. I've even used the Ken Burns Effect, and added soundtracks. But I got a little too savvy, a little too clever, a little too cocky. I forgot that the computer is smarter than me. I shouldn't have let down my guard.
The other night my computer seemed a tad slow on the photo uptake or download...whatever. It was 2:00 am, I was clicking swiftly along, and I got impatient with it's sluggishness. I decided I had filled it up with too much stuff. (I don't know about these things, but it made sense to me.) Looking over my iPhoto albums I saw a lot of photos that were in two or three places. Lauren's picture could be in the Grand Grandkids album, the Halloween Parade album, the Christmas Memories album and so on. It was redundant.
Why not, at 2:00 am, start a major cleaning out project? Nothing better to do...the sleeping pill hadn't kicked in yet, so I had a little time. I highlighted and clicked, and dragged duplicates to the cute little trash bin at the bottom of my screen.
Hey! What was I doing? I could Select All and get this project taken care of quickly. Then I realized that ALL the photos in my library were duplicates of the ones in the photo albums. See?? This is why I studied all those computer books...I just needed to use the shortcuts I'd read about. I moved my arrow up to Library, clicked on Select All, and sent them to the trash. The number 1,780 was replaced by a zero.
Ahhh...I felt just like I do when I've cleaned out all the drawers. Organized, uncluttered, tidy. Just then I noticed that the cute little trash bin was overflowing. Not in my house! My mother had taught be better than that. I clicked on Empty Trash. A pop-up asked if I was sure. Sure I was sure. (I'd have this computer whizzing along in no time.)
I clicked on Yes. Suddenly I noticed a zero next to each album! There were zeros by the slide shows, too. I grabbed the mouse and started clicking NO! NO! NO! I cursed, jumped up, ran around my office screaming "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" and ran back to my desk. It was true! I had just deleted ALL MY PHOTOS!
People run into burning houses to rescue their photographs. I actually lit the match and tossed it in. Naturally, my sleeping pill was starting to work. The words on the screen were moving around, and I couldn't focus. I stared at the empty albums with their cutesy names, and imagined images from the slide shows called England Revisited, Thanksgiving Blessings and My Easter Bunnies floating in outer space. The Ken Burns effect allowed each picture to slowly focus and artistically fade through my mind.
Dee found me asleep at my desk. As he led me off to bed I tried to explain the trauma of the experience, but it came out in a mumble, just a lot of trash talk. I remembered the nightmare the moment I woke up.
In the light of day, I've realized that it's just a personal loss. All my kids have zillions of photos of their own. I've even got many of them saved on Shutterfly or my blog. In this age of digital cameras every event gets recorded by everyone there. I'll never be at a loss for a picture of a certain grandkid at age two. I emailed pictures of our trips to the guys, as well, so I can get most of them back and recreate the slides shows when I want to.
It's just that I lost all those hours of cropping, editing, tweaking, scanning and organizing. I have to start again from scratch. Oh well, I always have a little time at 2:00 am.
Tonight's lesson summary is:
- Everything is stored in the Library.
- Albums are just categories; nothing is really in them.
- Never think you know as much as the computer.
- Forget what your mother said, and don't empty the trash.