I keep coming across nests of photos—and surprisingly often, these photos are of events for which I have already scanned in (sometimes many) other photos. Case in point: I created an album in Google Photos a few months back of the trip to China that Mr Mo and I and the Bees took in May of 2002, and added hundreds of photos and relevant docs. Lo, and lo, and lo… I have just finished scanning in a couple hundred more photos from several small "best of" albums, only to discover yet ANOTHER bunch of photos that hadn't made the cut, but hadn't been kept with the others.

All in all, what with Mrs Bee's photos and ours, we have thousands of photos of this three-week trip. And I'd say 10-15% of them are good photos (in terms of image quality, subject matter, artistry). Some of these are still evocative, still bring to mind the intellectual and visceral responses we felt and shared while visiting that amazing country. But while at least echoes of the "grand lines" and the most impressive events and sights remain, I suppose it goes without saying (<=such a curious phrase) that an overwhelmingly greater percentage of the thoughts and feelings and stories and so on are simply gone, or subject to such extrapolation that everything ends up sounding generic and impersonal.

Another small "best of" album emerged from the heap—this time of Mr Mo's and my 1999 trip to Costa Rica. Again, the overall photo quality is pretty good for the most part, and yes, some of these photos took me back to specific events and places that I haven't thought about since at least 2010-11 (when our family traveled to many of the same places and did many of the same things). I was honestly surprised, however, at how many photos we (OK, mostly I) took of exotic plants. Yes, they are pretty (some even gorgeous), but… well. Especially considering that this was still the analog film era for us, it seems excessive. ("You don't say," I hear Mr Mo's voice in my head.) (Update: I've just found the enormous Official Album for the entire trip. OMG. But even better photos.)

I recognize that there's a fair bit of obsessive-compulsiveness happening in all this. I am planning on curating the various albums (shared and not yet shared)—I mean, after all, for example, who is going to want to see/revisit (nearly) every single piece of art I photographed in the art museums Mr Mo and I recently visited in Berlin? Not even me! And yet. While "the important thing" is arguably that we shared this visit and experience, not including at least some photos of the art robs the story of its context. At the moment, however, the "context" for trips and museum junkets and such often feels like just a lot of bloat.

One could argue (and I have argued with myself) that yes, I could select a photo of a painting and write about how it made me feel and what it made me think about when I saw it. And/or I could write some kind of treatise about, say, Expressionism and use these photos to illustrate my (honest-to-God not particularly educated) observations and opinions. But it seems less and less likely that I'm going to get around to doing this sort of thing. (Who knows, I may yet surprise myself.)

Not the greatest takeaway nor ending here, but, well—digital cameras and smartphones are a blessing and a curse: they're quicker and easier to use and it doesn't cost much of anything to keep the images and footage. But it can take a helluva lot longer to curate the exponentially greater output—time that likely would be better used writing about just some of what was captured, and why.