A Major Movement!

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Articles | 4 Comments


I have come to a big turn in my photography life. I am moving away form the ‘how it’s always been’ to ‘try something different.’ No, it’s not anything you, my kind readers, are going to ever notice but it is still significant. I have started the process of casting out the old and unneeded and replacing it with the shiny and new and unneeded.

Afters years of procrastination I have begun the final steps of getting rid of the first 20 years of my professional career- I am throwing out my old slides and anything slide related. While this probably doesn’t seem like much to you in fact it is a big job. My dear, crusty, late mother in-law used to compare getting rid of piles of unused junk to ‘having a major bowel movement’ and I fully understand and agree with her. The feeling of relief is wonderful and cathartic.

I have something close to 100,000+ slides in files in my office. Many are duplicates of 8 or more (I needed multiple originals to send out to magazines and calendars, etc.) but still they take up space. I haven’t pawed through my slides in at least 8 years, not since the first time I collected 1000 images and sent them off to be scanned. All the images I am using now I am shooting now. And even if I wanted to try to submit and sell an image on a slide no magazine or calendar would know what to do with it. It is fully a digital world. The slides must go.

I’ll go through each page scanning for an image I might want to keep and scan but otherwise the sound you will be hearing is the metallic thunk of pages and pages and pages of slides hitting the trash can. At least the pages and slides are recyclable now.

It’s not only slides though. I have boxes of labels, empty pages, slide boxes, mounts and protective sleeves that I thrown out. I also tossed 10 perfectly good slide trays- remember the thing we used to fill with slides and put on top of a slide projector? All into the recycling bin. I still have two slide projectors (anybody want them? Free to the first to ask! I’ll even pay for shipping!) and telephoto projection lenses that are too expensive to toss but too old and out dated to use.

It does feel good I must admit. It’s fun to look through all the old slides and save the occasional image although there are lots of really mediocre slides I kept that poorly reflect on my artistic abilities. I must’ve taken enough good ones to make up for the dull ones I kept. Somehow I lasted 30 years (and counting!) in the business.


  1. Darin Reed
    January 27, 2016

    Better not tell Roger you’re throwing all this good stuff out. He’ll come by and tell you a hundred different things he could do with it all. Steady every tippy table on the farm with slides, light a barn with a projector, wrap his sandwiches in the protective sleeves to keep them fresh, label every cow so he knows which one is missing. The possibilities are endless!

    Yep…better keep this on the down low and enjoy your purge.

    • David
      January 30, 2016

      Hi Darin,
      I have been keeping him informed of my progress every morning and his face keeps getting more and more sour. Luckily he hasn’t seen any of my toss outs. A few years ago you could rummage through the big recycling bin and pull out all kinds of goodies. Roger and Trish have pulled out brand new blouses, great boxes, perfectly bluejeans, lumber- it is quite amazing. Even I have jumped into the bin and rummaged around a bit!
      These days though, the open bin has been replaced by a high tech compactor so rummaging has to be either very quick or work in a small flat place. Roger is currently trying to figure out how he can use the compactor to his advantage!

  2. Rod Barbee
    March 7, 2016

    I just went through the same thing, though I didn’t have nearly as much old slides to toss as you. But I was able to reduce seven drawers in two four-drawer filing cabinets down to just one drawer. And a second round will reduce that even further.
    It was fun and liberating. And a little embarrassing to see what I’d been keeping around all these years.
    The best part was that I was able to get rid a one 4-drawer cabinet plus two 2-drawer cabinets. That leaves me a whole lot of extra room for stacking up other crap I probably don’t need.

    • David
      March 10, 2016

      I agree Rod. I kept thinking ‘Why did I keep this?” and “Did I really once think this was good?” Some files I barely looked at- ‘Clouds’, ‘Grass’ ‘Stupid ugly stuff’ – they went directly into the trash. the back end of this is trying to get rid of the file cabinets (2 down, 2 to go) and especially the old hanging files. I have a huge box of perfectly good, slightly used (sound like anyone you might know?) hanging files that nobody seems to want. I hate throwing them away so now they are piled up where my file cabinets were! And Rod, what are you going to do with your old light tables? Who would want a light table now? It’s like giving away a collection of 8-track tapes!