Dear Lovers of Photography…

For the love of Art; save your best pictures in the highest file size, or next to it. If you have even the slightest wish to print or publish your art, or even just modify it in the future, do yourself this huge favor. I’ve SO much art from over the years that I can’t use now because I was only thinking of how cool it would look on Facebook or an email attachment, so I compressed them. Which is fine; I still make small copies. But they have zero versatility; you want your originals. See this photo? It’s my bane; my high school sweetheart I’ll never got over:

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I could have sold this a dozen times. I’m not bragging; it’s simply one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken. A sheep dog puppy sleeping in a sunny meadow, worn out from a day of training. How often do you not only get to see this, but have a camera in front of you at the ready? But it’s far too tiny now because I didn’t save the digital “negatives” and resizing only makes it blurrier.

This fun one? Too tiny.

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This would make a great background! Wait, nope; didn’t save large sized.

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Invest in a backup drive. They’re not infallible but it’s one more protective step. I lost nearly all of my Alaskan art during a computer transfer. I’d had them on a backup drive AND copies on my Smugmug account AND on my laptop hard drive but there was enough confusion and account changeovers in that time that nearly all of my real nice prints got lost. Of course I have a few tiny Facebook-quality prints to tease me. For me, Facebook is a mausoleum of prints. There in case I have no digital negatives — but could have been avoided had I saved the damn negatives.

Loss is part of the love of art, isn’t it. A sudden storm rains on your sketchbook. A favorite sculpture gets knocked over by a questing baby. A beautiful dish gets overcooked. Anyone else care to share their saddest art loss?

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