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  1. #1
    brass majestic's Avatar
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    What to do with all my stuff?

    I'm getting a little "long in the tooth" these days and I've been thinking in recent years about all the negatives I've shot and all the prints I've made from those negatives over the past several decades. And there are still more negatives to print. It seems I'll never catch up. I can't count the times I've laid half awake in the morning when a forgotten shot I'd made years before suddenly surfaces to my consciousness. I jump up and make a quick note to print it. I've been lucky enough to sell many of my prints over the years to collectors and individuals wanting to add to the decor of their homes or offices. I have a closet full of boxes of prints that have never sold along with copies or editions of the prints that have. And my concern is what am I going to do with all with all these prints? Or more to the point - what's going to happen to them after I croak? My family and friends wouldn't have a clue what to do with them. There is a big dumpster in the parking lot that I'm more aware of every time I walk past. I try not to walk past. Is that the fate of the hours and years of darkroom slavery to the perfecting of the balances of blacks, grays and whites and almost always just getting close to perfect but not perfect? Some or most are of no value except to the realized fulfillment of an impulse re-created. They seem important to me and relevant to my life and very existence. They say 'I was here and I did this'. Other prints - the ones sold or gifted - seemed important to those people. So I'm curious and I wonder if some of you have had or are having these kind of thoughts. What's going to happen with your work?

  2. #2
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    I have exactly the same thoughts. I never had children, so I don't have anyone to pass my items down to and even if I did they may not have had any interest in receiving them anyway. I suppose my negs and slides will be disposed of. My cameras I may be able to sell or donate if film is still being used 20 or 30 years from now.

  3. #3
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    I have the same worries and thoughts, but I try not to think about it too much. I would love to know that my work might survive my death somehow, but I figure if I am overwhelmed by my own collection of negatives, prints and transparencies anyone else will be ten times as burdened. I fully expect the bulk of my photographic output to end up in the trash. Lucky for me I'll (likely) be dead when this happens!

    Jonathan

  4. #4
    polyglot's Avatar
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    The creations of man are ephemeral, no less than man.

  5. #5

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    This is very depressing.

    In truth, it's all BS. All the time spent in the darkroom printing a moment in time, a masterpiece supposed to live forever, is in fact just good time spent with yourself for that brief moment.

    Oh well.

  6. #6
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    This is very depressing.

    In truth, it's all BS. All the time spent in the darkroom printing a moment in time, a masterpiece supposed to live forever, is in fact just good time spent with yourself for that brief moment.

    Oh well.
    Not sure about "depressing", but otherwise, well said. It's exactly how I look at it (which is not necessarily a depressing view).

  7. #7

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    Look at it this way. Just figure that after you are gone you will be discovered and hailed as a great photographic artist. If that doesn't happen, so what. You'll be dead.

  8. #8
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    I bought couple of old photos on flea market that are more than 100 years old. Guy who sold them to me for small money did not had anything with those photos.

    You can give bunch of your prints to some guys for free on flea market - let them circulate - they will be going from place to place long after you are gone

    About negatives: if you don't have kids - maybe some other relative, or some kids from friends, or something...

  9. #9
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Let me just add one thing: I think that it works best if it skips one generation. Kids are not so interested in this generation as grandchildren will be.

    I would be also more interested in negatives from my grandparents (if there are any) than my parents.

  10. #10

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    A few years ago I read in the local paper about the case of a Photographer from The West Midlands in the UK. His hobby was to walk the industrial canals from about the time of WW2 until about the 1980s. He used glass plates for most of this time - and recorded the history of the canals and their decline as far as industry and commerce was concerned. A few prints survive of the people and places, long gone, that he photographed. The canal heritage people heard about him and tried to track him down. He had recently died - and they managed to contact his widow about 3 weeks after she had dumped his entire life's work at the Council tip.
    Steve

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