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  1. #61
    omaha's Avatar
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    My personal take is that this breaks down into two categories: Saving family photos for posterity, and museum-grade long term archiving. The two situations are very different.

    I am mostly interested in preserving family photos. In that context, a bit of fading or degradation (while not desirable) is no big deal. Adds to the charm, in a way. Earlier this year I put together a photo montage for a funeral that involved scanning a shoebox full of old prints...from the 30's and 40's mostly. These were amateur, family snapshots. As such, most were not that strong technically in the first place, and time had taken a (minor) toll as well. But that didn't matter. It was still easy enough to see and recognize the people in the photos, and that's what mattered.

    That's what troubles me about "the kids these days". They take a zillion iPhone photos and post them to Facebook or Instagram or (even worse) SnapChat, and not one of them will be accessible to their great grandkids. Zippo. Such a shame. 30 years ago, "taking pictures" meant film, sure, but more importantly, it meant prints. Every single shot was committed to paper. Most of those have been lost or destroyed, but many survive in shoeboxes or albums. Those will be around. In that sense, to me, this isn't about "digital v analog" so much as it is about "paper v monitor". Unless your casual photos are on paper, they are going away.

    As for the museum-grade archiving, that's something else. If an institution (eg, Smithsonian, etal) has the resources, I'm sure there are all manner of reliable techniques for preserving both analog and digital photos in perpetuity. Perhaps there are techniques that amateurs and dedicated hobbyists can use for the same result, but that goes back to the human factor. Even if one is sufficiently dedicated to an active preservation strategy, its only as good as the person you hand it off to when you die. Absent some institutional persistence (such as a large museum), there is little reason to think such efforts will outlive the individual.

    I'll leave such concerns to those who have a catalog worthy of the effort. I certainly don't. My "best" work is all printed out, and will probably fade or degrade with time. The most I can hope for is that maybe, someday, someone stumbles across one of my prints and finds it worthy of a moment of attention. Or not. I do this for me, not them.

  2. #62
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    Best option is to backup everything you value, including your negatives. Get scans made of your best negatives. Make prints of your best film and digital files. Keep duplicate prints and digital copies offsite. But, no system is perfect.

  3. #63

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    I have many cheap-minilab processed color negatives from the 1980s and 90s that are so faded and color shifted it took a lot of work to correct them after scanning. Stuff from the pre minilab days is all great.

    Anything I ever had done by Kodak labs is still absolutely beautiful - especially the prints.

    I want to keep both the original film and the scans for double insurance. It is unlikely I will ever optically print color snapshots but there could be better scanning options in the future.

    I have read of people that scan all their old negatives and slides and then throw the originals all away, believing they will never need them again.
    - Bill Lynch

  4. #64
    GRHazelton's Avatar
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    When they ever learn....

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    I have read of people that scan all their old negatives and slides and then throw the originals all away, believing they will never need them again.
    More fools they! I remember when cassette audio tapes and decent recording decks came out some friends of mine taped all their vinyl and then threw the discs away. And of course over time the cassettes failed....

    Nowadays folks are burning their vinyl (if they still have some!) to CDs and trashing the vinyl. "Same song, second verse; Could get better but its gonna get worse!"

    I keep my negatives after scanning for indexing purposes. I have vinyl I bought in the late '50s, and the vinyl my father bought starting with the inception of the 12 inch LP. All are still playable. No index track to worry about!

  5. #65
    Mark Feldstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    I have many cheap-minilab processed color negatives from the 1980s and 90s that are so faded and color shifted it took a lot of work to correct them after scanning. Stuff from the pre minilab days is all great.

    Anything I ever had done by Kodak labs is still absolutely beautiful - especially the prints.

    I want to keep both the original film and the scans for double insurance. It is unlikely I will ever optically print color snapshots but there could be better scanning options in the future.

    I have read of people that scan all their old negatives and slides and then throw the originals all away, believing they will never need them again.
    I think you're wise to handle storage in that way. The digital industry has often insisted or at least implied that digital pixels are forever but we know better. In my view, they need to be originally and properly stored, copied and stored again to make sure they don't deteriorate, checked later and possibly restored once more. I have Kodachrome images that were stored in archival conditions and not exposed to projector lamp light. Those images on a light table still look excellent. E-6, so so. C-41, just fine. Digital? My wife's Nikon Coolpix suggests nay nay
    even though they're less than 5 years old.
    Mark
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    Without guys like John Coltrane, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, life....would be meaningless.

  6. #66

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    Even if digital longevity storage wasn't an issue, I still couldn't overcome the whole digital process: digging into folders, open windows/folders, browsing through the thumbnails, naming/renaming files. WTF???

    I'm sorry but they aren't photographs and that isn't photography. It's Fileographs and Fileography. Drives me insane.

    Anyone read their "newspapers" on their iphone? Is there something more inhuman then that? The noise of the newspaper, the feel in hand, the obligatory posture, the smell! The swears while trying to find an article, the sheet that won't stay steady, the folding, the pitching it on the table. Reading the news? Quite a secondary experience next to the senses' overload of what a physical newspaper brings as a whole experience. iPhone? Meh.

    File-O-Graphy. Garbage-O-graphy. All the same. Has nothing to do with real photography, even if storage wasn't an issue.
    Last edited by NB23; 09-06-2013 at 11:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #67
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Even if digital longevity storage wasn't an issue, I still couldn't overcome the whole digital process: digging into folders, open windows/folders, browsing through the thumbnails, naming/renaming files. WTF???

    I'm sorry but they aren't photographs and that isn't photography. It's Fileographs and Fileography. Drives me insane.

    Anyone read their "newspapers" on their iphone? Is there something more inhuman then that? The noise of the newspaper, the feel in hand, the obligatory posture, the smell! The swears while trying to find an article, the sheet that won't stay steady, the folding, the pitching it on the table. Reading the news? Quite a secondary experience next to the senses' overload of what a physical newspaper brings as a whole experience. iPhone? Meh.

    File-O-Graphy. Garbage-O-graphy. All the same. Has nothing to do with real photography, even if storage wasn't an issue.

    You do have a point; I have never been a fan of computers (even though I have taught Mac and Windows!), but they are part of life for millions of people, if not for you. I have seen older people struggle to understand what the computer is doing (nothing: just displaying the desktop!...). I've seen 4 year olds typing in MS Word and saving to "My life story". The world does have a choice. I read newspapers. I also read them on a Galaxy Note when travelling. I have both digital and paper-based faxes. I have analogue cameras and digital, and know what is best for each and when and why.

    AND—
    Everybody knows that a digi image is nothing physical or tactile in that form. But it can be made so: you can print it.
    But there's more: what does a digital image become when it is converted to film?
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  8. #68
    clayne's Avatar
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    A linear response 2 dimensional cheap imitation printed on film.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Anyone read their "newspapers" on their iphone? Is there something more inhuman then that? The noise of the newspaper, the feel in hand, the obligatory posture, the smell! The swears while trying to find an article, the sheet that won't stay steady, the folding, the pitching it on the table. Reading the news? Quite a secondary experience next to the senses' overload of what a physical newspaper brings as a whole experience. iPhone? Meh.
    Please excuse going off thread a bit, but quite agree and also a newspaper folded correctly at the crossword page. APUG should have its own weekly crossword. Free roll of film with first correct solutions. Do we have any good crossword compilers here?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #70
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    Today I dreamed that most of my files got corrupted and lost and only could retrieve a small part of them. Quite a nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Even if digital longevity storage wasn't an issue, I still couldn't overcome the whole digital process: digging into folders, open windows/folders, browsing through the thumbnails, naming/renaming files. WTF???

    I'm sorry but they aren't photographs and that isn't photography. It's Fileographs and Fileography. Drives me insane.
    Agreed. I find the file part of archiving quite boring. I should clean up and back up a few things but can't get into it... So dull!



 

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