I Have Seen the Enemy, and It Is Dihydrogen Monoxide

Last night, Becky and I discovered that her office had begun to take on Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO). Yes, there was water seeping through the wall. In fact, there has been enough of it to seep out of her room and into the den.

I love water. I like playing in it, and I love photographing it, but water is the enemy of everything I do in my office (which has not yet been affected, thankfully). I have computer systems there, our networking infrastructure, and most importantly, a lifetime of irreplaceable images on slides, filmstrips and prints. I don’t have any real worries over the digital stuff I’ve shot over the last five years or so — there’s plenty of backup copies around… I’m just a bit paranoid about hard drive crashes! The rest of the stuff, though, only exists in one place, is utterly susceptible to water damage, and is impossible to replace.

Needless to say, I got into a bit of tizzie last night, elevating everything I could off my office floor, just in the case the pipe leak (current suspect) expanded.

But it really brings up a bigger question for me, and that is how to safely store a vast amount of images — slides, strips and flats. They need to be safe from water, humidity, and dust, but also be accessible. I’ve been working on scanning these images, and I think I’ll eventually get finished with that project, despite the enormous amount of time it takes to do it right. That’ll help, but that doesn’t preserve the originals.

Once I get my preparation for next month’s show done, I believe I’ll be turning my attention to storage and retention, and ensuring that I’m ready… just in case!