après le deluge

after the floods in Kentucky this month …

Toronto. A niece of mine lived in Kentucky for a time and I used to marvel at the warmer climate there. Not any more. The weather can be – and often is – downright nasty. However, it serves to demonstrate the importance of photography as an historical record.

The Atlantic Monthly is an admirable magazine, full of interesting articles – and some photographs too. Their ‘In Focus’ column in the August 3, 2022 issue had some 24 photos titled; “After the Floods: Recovery in Kentucky“. The column shows images from a region that had been beset by record-setting floods, just as the State started the work of recovery.

Alan Taylor, writes in the magazine, “The record-setting rainfall that caused devastating floods across eastern Kentucky at the end of last week left at least 37 people dead and caused heavy damage across 13 counties. Rescue workers are still attempting to find a number of people listed as missing. The difficult work of rescue and recovery was made even harder this week as temperatures soared across the flood-hit region and power outages remained widespread. Gathered below are images from Kentucky in the days after the flooding.”

Our new editor of PHSC News, Katrin,  commented, “I see the first image of the photo drying on a line as an interesting point of entry to discussing the value of photos. Albums and boxes of photographs were people’s most valued possessions yet nowadays photos don’t get printed and are stored on drives and ‘clouds’ by the millions. I recall someone having lost an SD card (one single card) and had put out a plea/ reward online because this ONE card had all the childhood photos of this one family. Again, an interesting point to explore and I think if someone has some time to do some research, we can find some hard stats on how people store their photos and if they ever really get looked at again. Maybe we can urge people to print more, even if it’s those online services that make books.”

We owe a big “Thanks” to my good friend, George Dunbar, for sharing the article / photograph with us. Prints are a topic near and dear to George who feels that hard copy prints can be viewed by eyes now and in the future with no need for potentially obsolete technology.

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