2015 - No Prints to be found.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by dwdmguy, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    I think it is bang on awesome that we have all this techie gear to make photographs with, truly I do. But during a presentation I gave in my class I had to ask a hard question. One that has been troubling me for a long time.

    We were asked to bring in the “oldest” family pictures we could find. (Art History Class). Me with no family that goes back that far I displayed a picture of Marlon Brando as the Don. Makes sense right? Anywho… I’m the oldest one in my class, amount 17 and 18 year old future citizens and when I was done I asked them who prints there pictures? Only 2 out of about 30 raised their hands.

    I asked them to think about their kids when they have this project and would it be a good idea just to stop off the local CVS and put you card into the machine and make prints just to keep in a box somewhere.

    I really kinda worry about this. Then again, I have no life.
     
  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    People get what they deserve.
     
  3. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    This is something that I think about on occasion. In the last few years I have been to several funerals, a couple of anniversary parties, several graduation parties and too many weddings to count. At most of them, there is a slide show or photo display. I wonder how many such slide shows or photo displays there will be in the future, for example 18+ years from now when the newly weds celebrate the graduation of their first child.

    In the past, negatives were filed away and prints went into an album. Either could be accessed when needed. With e-mailing photos and posting on line, more people see the photos when made, but I fear they will be lost because so few prints are made. How many photographers constantly update and back up old photos on the hard drive? Will they be readable in the future?

    On the other hand, I read somewhere that there are more photographs in the world than there are bricks. In the old days, every exposure was printed, meaning that a lot of crap was filed away in shoe boxes. I think there is some room in the middle between printing every exposure and not printing any.

    I think the lesson is if you have a photo worth preserving, you better make a print and put it somewhere safe. Personally, I err on the side of printing marginal images because who knows which image I will find compelling 20 years from now.

    As a side note, about ten years ago my mother went through her photo boxes and made albums for my brother, sister and me. The albums had pictures starting with my great-grand parents continuing through my childhood. It was a great present. But I'm glad she labeled the older photos, there are photos of dead relatives I would not have been able to identify.
     
  4. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Think how much there is on folk's C-drives. :wink:
     
  5. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    Hence the problem. Drives crash. For about 99% of digi users whose drives crash, this is fatal as far as their photos are concerned. It happens all the time.
     
  6. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Photography or rather its images became volatile over the last years.
    And this not about drive crashes but a change of attitude.
    This is a major change.
     
  7. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    I think you are 100 pct correct but I can't help thinking that my son will think that every photograph would be important after I'm gone and he has children and grandchildren.

    That was indeed a lovely present from you Mother.
     
  8. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Wow, well said.....
     
  9. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8330/4.3.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

    Drives crash, shoe boxes are lost in moves - it probably ends up being equal. Those who cared about their negatives and prints then will care about their files now. I cull my digital files and burn a cd now and then, myself.

    From the finder's point of view, though, it sure is nicer to stumble onto the shoebox of old prints than a random USB drive.
     
  10. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    And now that I'm hittin' 50 I also can't help but wonder if I "checked out" tomorrow would anyone even know to look for digital files on my computers. Doubt it. But my boy would grab the albums.
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    All being said, one fact remains: there are fiber-based paper prints that have lasted more than 125 + years. Recently I took a snap shot of my goddaughter at her wedding reception. I told the couple I would make a print for them that they could reasonably expect to be available to show to their great grand-children.
     
  12. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I'm really only a kid and I have a darkroom and I plan to make prints from film and shoot slides for as long as I can! There will certainly always be prints from me. Long live analog!
     
  13. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Statistically, all hard drives fail, every single one. A few photo albums or shoe boxes get lost, damaged, or carelessly thrown away. I know almost nobody my age who hasn't a least some photographs of themselves as a child. I know quite a few people who have kids 10 and under who managed to wipe out their child's early years photographs forever. Most lay people have to learn the hard way. Sadly, it's not anywhere near equal.
     
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  15. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    This was my argument against digital 10 years ago. Knowing how "well" (sarcasm) people take care of their digital data, I could see all the potential for disaster along the way. Cherrished family photos, weddings, pictures of kids, etc disappearing forever in the blink of a hard drive failure.

    0's and 1's don't store in old shoeboxes very well.

    At least if they get their digisnaps printed onto real RA-4 paper at a CVS or such they have SOMETHING tangible to hold on to.
     
  16. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Hmmm.... prints, what an interesting concept. I do have hundreds of rolls of negatives already processed. Someday If I don't die first, I'll print what's worth keeping.

    tim in san jose
     
  17. photomem

    photomem Member

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    I know the arguments for and against digital archiving. I have a pocket hard drive which holds 10,000+ digital images from the past three or four years. Everyone in my household knows that in the event of a fire, the drive is always on the desk and it is to be grabbed, either by me or someone else. Otherwise, there is also the DVD backups of the raw files at a friend's house. But, since I am so far down the road to being a photographic luddite.. the negative and slides live in a large fireproof lockbox and that is also the thing to grab. Honestly, with the way things are going now, I expect to need to buy a larger lockbox before I need a new hard drive.
     
  18. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    That's IF you can find something to plug a USB drive into in 30 years. Or an IDE/SATA hard drive. We don't even have to go back 30 years, not even close. Seen any computers with SCSI interfaces lately??? Wonder what's on those 3.5 floppys from just 10 years ago.

    The problem with archiving digital data is it requires CONSTANT turnover. Constantly putting it on newer mediums, constantly replacing those mediums before they fail, etc. Or spend the rest of your life paying for onine backups, then what happens after you die and nobody has your login info and nobody pays the bill for 90 days?
     
  19. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I think photographers are more likely to take better care of the original images than most folk, either film or digital.

    Examples:My parent have bags of old prints, but NO negatives. This is especially dissapointing in regards to a black and white album of my fathers time in the navy. They were taken with a 6x6 brownie or duoflex type TLR. The prints are faded. My father has an excellent eye, and I would love to be able to reprint some of those fantastic shots. However he didnt keep any of the negatives.
     
  20. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    At least prints can be made from negatives or, if need be, scanned. Good luck reassembling 10,000,000 corrupt 1's and 0's!!!
     
  21. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Yeah, I suppose things like CD's were such a failure.....

    While I do agree that a photograph has just about become a throw away item for many, those who care will take the right steps and make the right decisions when backing up and maintaining either their Digital or Film based photographs. As a matter of fact, I have probably a more integeral routine with my digital photos then I do with my film ones (PC that has a mirrored raid setup. External Hard drives that my PC is backed up onto after each transfer of files. 3 separate backups of the files that I care about onto 2 different brands of DVD medium. Printing those that I really really care about as 6x4's and many 8x12's).

    I think Mr Brunner summed it up perfectly. People get what they deserve, but It does cut either way.
     
  22. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    People get what they deserve, damn right. For every one like you that gets it there are literally a hundred who don't, and will suffer to greater or lesser degree depending on luck. The big difference is that digital media requires an active, ongoing, and participatory scheme to both preserve images, and keep them retrievable. Film media is largely passive, and it's archival nature is built in. Digital has many advantages, but inherent preservation isn't anywhere among them. Unless someone values a digital file (they aren't actually images in "native" form) and takes an active role in its preservation it will cease to exist or become difficult or impossible to retrieve on a relatively short time line, historically speaking. The bad part of that is that it is very hard to tell what will really be important, so the kinds of historical record that is occasionally discovered today will have become a thing of the past when researchers try to get a picture of our now and near future, in the distant future. What will be around will be what is chosen by the choosers to be around, not the kind of random record that documents the zeitgeist of an era as we have had. There will be fragments of course, and future archeologists will conclude that we worshiped sunsets, cats, and tweefed inanity on something called a twitter. Historically, I'm pretty sure it will be considered a society without much substance who cared so little as to not even leave a decipherable record, for while we may feel awash in information, it is largely transient. Will my distant progeny have this post? I have letters my great grandfather wrote and received, and my hands touch that same paper, read the same words, in his handwriting. I can see where he rested the pencil tip while he thought of the next sentence. A finger smudge on one that was his finger. The Tally book he kept in his breast pocket when he rode the range, containing counts, brands, reminders, who owed him, and random thoughts of the kind that are now tweefed into ether. We are really losing something, and it's far more than just photographs, and it is very very sad. There are very few men of letters left.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2009
  23. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    That sounds like fun.
     
  24. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    John, that's exactly what I'm talking about. I know that they will cherrish a hand-made print but even more important keeping it for the family for years and years.

    And to the digi peeps, it doesn't have to be a wet print, it's the tangabile picture that one can hold in their hands years from now and remember you or a family member, the summer home etc.....

    Nice gift and thoughtful too!
     
  25. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Good for you and quite considerate for your family to come as well. My 13 year old is making prints with me now, even if he becomes a digi guy I don't mind, whatever works for him, but maybe he will have the idea of prints in him for his grandkids. It's not an age thing....
    Thx and good luck.
     
  26. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    I agree with this on many levels but it's the future families that I'm thinking about. History as well. I felt bad because I didn't have any prints to share of my past but that was not because of not printing it's because I had no family older then me.

    But same thing, I felt bad for the young students and just wanted to drop an idea.

    Some years ago I heard an radio discussion on this whereas the speaker was stating that today we still go back to photographs from many years ago for an historical fact. And it helps, but I doubt we will be able to in the future.

    It kind of funny, the technology today makes it so easy for anyone to upload digi photos et. al. to print or just drop them off at the local Target but no one does it. Humf.