Tom Reichner wrote in post #16928691
I spend at least 10 hours a week going thru my work - all of the digital images I have taken since getting into digital photography 8 years ago. And some weeks, it's more like 20 hours. In fact, just about anything interesting that has happened in my life over that time span, I can tell you from memory what date it happened on, simply because I have photos of it, and each photo has time & date info included as part of the file.
I am, daily, referring back to the dates on my old images so that I can amass a greater knowledge about what time of year particular things happen, such as when the absolute peak of the Whitetail Deer rut is, or when the Mountain Bluebirds stop building their nests and start laying eggs and incubating them, or precisely what dates in May both the Lupine and Balsam Root are in bloom at the same time (at given elevations). Without the information in the digital files, I would not remember exactly what time of year these things take place . . . hence, photography, and particularly digital photography, has vastly helped my memory, because of the sundry details about events that I have recorded. Because I have a record of these things, I can go back and study them, and then commit them to memory.
That's all fine and well, but do you really think that most "photographers" do that?
Here's my point: it sounds to me like you are a SERIOUS photographer. That you treat it as WORK, regardless of whether you're getting paid for it or not. If you're devoting that kind of time and effort to frequently looking through all of your old work (and not just the good stuff), then you probably treat photography as your job.
Do most photographers treat photography that way? I don't know, but I'd wager hell no. I'd wager that most of them are just trying to "capture the moment" or some other cliche that works well in an advertisement, and aren't approaching it from the mentality of actual WORK.
And again...there's nothing wrong with that approach. But I think it's important to have some kind of perspective regarding WHY people partake in photography. What is the purpose? If the purpose is to excel at one's art, then it makes sense that it be treated as work. But I'd put money on most "photographers" having no such intentions. This seems to be MOSTLY about the non-serious photographers, since MOST photographers are not serious about it and don't treat it as their jobs.
Having said that, there's nothing that digital photography has done for the average joe that they couldn't do before. Photography has been accessible to the masses for a long time. Affordable prints have been available for a long time. Sure, the data on digital files is CONVENIENT, but there was never anything stopping anyone from simply taking a pen and paper and writing down dates, times, and notes. People's phot albums didn't end up sitting in boxes in the attic collecting dust because of inferior technology. No, people's photo albums sat around collecting dust because appreciating those photographs was inconvenient and required work, and people just plain didn't feel like putting in the effort. The same is true today. Sure, dates and times are conveniently and automatically tagged, but it's way easier and cheaper for people to make more images these days, which means that it's just a lot more content to sort through in order to find what one wants. And just like before, that's WORK. Which a lot of people don't really want to do.
Also, your organizational system might work for you, because what you want to look at is date-sensitive. You talk about when things tend to happen, which probably means that you specialize in or take a particular interest in seasonal events. If that kind of organization fits your photography, fine. Just be aware that not everyone does that kind of stuff. In the hypothetical scenario of someone doing highly contrived portraits in a studio setting, dates might not mean a thing since any one of his/her shots could have been made at any time of the year (since it was contrived and in a studio). Alternatively, If one shoots street photography and happened to remember once seeing a really cool street shot, date might be a poor indicator. When exactly did this cop beat a hobo? That's not exactly a seasonal event, so it's sort of hard to sort by date. A more useful tactic might be to organize by event rather than date. But the point being...failure to adopt an organizing style that works for the photographer results in it being really freaking hard to find what one wants to find. That makes it hard as hell for John Doe to find the photographs of his son taking his first steps, which means that those photos probably get filed away never to get seen again. Instead of getting put away in the attic never to be seen again, it gets put away in some obscure computer folder never to be seen again.