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.
Originally Posted by hoffy
Last edited by JBrunner; 09-30-2009 at 12:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
That sounds like fun.
Originally Posted by hoffy
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.
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
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!
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....
Originally Posted by Ektagraphic
Thx and good luck.
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.
Originally Posted by JBrunner
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.
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Well said. It seems to me that on an episode of Buck Rogers, there was something said about the lack of information (possibly photos, I'd have to watch the episode again) from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This also made me think about printing more, whether it be digital or film. It also made me wonder about claims of so-called archivability of digital photography. I've had CD's fail.
Originally Posted by JBrunner
Let's just consider whether people really get what they deserve......
I don't believe that the statement about people getting what they deserve is even remotely a universal truism. There are people all over the world, in all countries who are, for example, victims of their circumstances and who, but for a tiny amount of care from their leaders, suffer malnutrition, torture and death - or even just inequality over free healthcare treatment and medicine. They "deserve" better.
Insofar as technology is concerned, we now see a generation who have no clue as to what vinyl records are (or how to play them, or how much better they are than CDs and MP3s), or know what a video tape is and that also believe that CD's are 'dated'. This is, in part, due to the relentless march of technology - much of which does not actually "improve" anything - just makes it quicker or more convenient.
Another, more culpable, cause - in my opinion, is poor teaching (and I include "parenting" and sales advice in that definition). As photographers, we all have the opportunity to share our knowledge with the generations that follow us and to reinforce the need to consider the pros and cons of this over that. However, when was the last time that any of us read in the supposedly expert trade press that prints from film really do look better than those from a digital file / inkjet printer combo?
I say this as someone who enjoys both digital and analogue photography. I love film and I take every opportunity to try to show the difference to anyone interested in photography. However, I also enjoy the speed and convenience of my digital camera and, I must say, that I'm generally very happy with the quality I get back from the Nikon D700.
However, I think it's probably truer to say that people are misled by some of the marketeers claims made about archival quality of digital files and prints made from them. Photography product development is very much "marketing led" rather than "customer focused" these days. We, the customers, deserve better.
The truth is out there, but it really takes some finding.
Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)
In a way, yes, as an archival tool. "CD rot" will affect a CD-R or DVD-R long before a film negative or print stored in the same conditions will. Probably 99% of people won't buy "archival" CD's and DVD's that are supposed to last 100 years, not that we will know for another 90 or so...
Originally Posted by hoffy
And again, who is to say that we will be alble to find a CD rom in 30 years? They simply may not make them, and an old one likely will not properly interface with whatever computers we are using as we approach mid-century. Whatever the soloution is; it will be a lot more complicated than finding an old shoebox.
I agree with Mr Brunner as well. Irresponsability, when met with failure, is nobodys fault but their own.
During the photographer's lifetime it is likely that the digital files which are backed up and stored in multiple locations have a slightly better chance of survival than negatives and prints.
Originally Posted by darinwc
Once the photographer has gone though, the storage box has the advantage of needing no regular maintenance.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
With digital, I've got about 400 snaps. Guess what got printed... only about 12 images. It's some kind of laziness. With film, I must print if It's C41, and slides aren't printed.
My next project is spending a Kodachrome roll documenting my small village.
I've even want to write something with the typewriter about this. At least there will be some story to tell.
I'll honor both of the "official" photographers of the village, one passed away recently. Both still shot film. Guess It's time to have another photographer to document the village.
I'm going further into film photography, and now, It feels weird to not have a physical original (negative or tranny). This is something very advantageous of film, It's possible to have reprints with negatives. Recently, I found some B&W negs that my father shot; later, I found small 8x10 cm prints. If I had only the prints, nothing else can be done. But, I can, in a future, make bigger silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
There's a room in my grandma's house that holds all the photos, aside of the prints, negs and slides, there are some tapes. Betamax and old camcorder tapes. Since I haven't got a betamax or videotape reader. It's just a black cartridge with black magnetic tape. If instead of slides and prints I had some HDDs. Bad... I wouldn't have seen anything.