How many words is a picture worth?

I'm processing my new years pictures with Photoshop. I'm going about my rotate, crop and short title as per normal. Normal? I didn't used to process pictures this way. I've honed this procedure down to a fine art. Added some HTML here and there, tweaked picture sizes for faster loading, and came up with a nice date based folder layout. But the real difference between now and then is I don't type any text about each picture! I don't even give each picture a title. There is no textual description. What happened?

I used to pamper each image with a name, a description. Heck, I might even give each picture it's own date and author tag in the JPEG info. Then I reduced that just an aptly named file. Well that gets real tedious with any file browser (explor, finder, nautilus etc.). So then I started collecting my pictures in sets. Named buckets of nameless unexplained pictures.

Have the pictures lost their value? I'll bet other people with digital cameras have this same sentiment. It should feel strange. If one spends exactly as much time fiddling with pictures as taking pictures. That's two moments of time spent on one moment or archival. No wonder I'm hesitant to burn time on them.

If you think that is tough try video. It takes equal amounts of time to take a video, review a video, and digitize a video. So, It takes 1 moment to record; one moment to review the tape at your computer; and since the computer rips the video only as fast as the play speed of the camera it also takes on moment to copy the video onto the computer. So, 3 moments of one's life to archive 1 moment, and that's a highly conservative estimate. Now if you process from a disk consuming DV codec to a more web worthy codec like Sorenson QuickTime or MPEG then production could takes many moments. I'm lucky to have a fast dual processor computer. So, it takes me about as long to process/compress the video as it does to record it. Now, we're at 4 moments of work per moment of video. Want to add an audio track and a fade effect yet? You probably don't have time.

Don't be disheartened. Just because my pictures don't get the lavish descriptions of old, doesn't mean that they aren't important. Remember that God likes motion and not position, It's not the destination it's the journey. The only constant is change. Get you're 'δ' on! You see in the end when you're reviewing your media, whatever medium you chose, the important thing is not each picture. The real meaning will be gleaned from the story they tell from the differences between the pictures.

I think the real feng shui of personal archiving comes in using your time wisely. And finding a happy minimalist compromise that still retains the spirit of my story. Remember I'm out to be doing, not watching. PS This same principle goes for spelling errors ;-)