Disappearing History

Disappearing History

I love digital photography, shooting, scanning, editing, printing , etc.  A lot of my clients don’t seem to be aware that photos taken these days, will mostly not exist for future generations to view and use.  In the distant future genealogists will find a great void in photographic material.  Why?  Because people no longer print their photos.  I have friends who have thousands of photos on their phones.  When they pass, no one will have access to them.  Many other people keep images on their hard drives.  Hard drives fail and even if not, when they pass those hard drives will be wiped clean, recycled or end up in the land fill.  To me this is the greatest disaster to befall historians and genealogists of the future.  You may be thinking, “Well he’s in the printing business, he’s just trying to promote his trade”.  That is partly correct.  I was in the one-hour photo business for 23 years and in those days every roll of film had every frame of film printed.  I no longer do mass production printing.  My business is a custom enlargement service.  So most of the images I encounter are by people who treasure them. Sure those one-hour images probably went in a shoebox or album and yes that box could end up in the dumpster or burn in a fire.  But the chances that someone might come along and rescue those images for whatever purpose was much better than it is today. How many Vivian Maier’s are out there today?  

If you feel you don’t need to print your work, at least archive it in multiple places and with multiple types of technology.  20 years from now a lab will look at the CD you handed him and say, ”What’s this?”  Get my drift?  

There are still labs that print from digital sources, maybe you don’t want to print the 5,000 images from your last outing, but at least save the people photos.


Leave a response at my contact page.

Old School?

What does it mean when someone says you are old school?  Would you take it to be a compliment?

I would think it should be a compliment.  After all, that means you’ve been around long enough to know something and perhaps know a bit about the craft. 

Does it really matter what tools you use? Does the image work as intended?

I’ve been using digital photography since 1992 and still use it when appropriate.  The image below was made with a cell phone. The image made with the 5x7 film camera is superb. The cell phone is a wonderful tool and does superb work, especially when you compare it to Eastman Kodak’s cameras after the 1960’s when formats started to shrink and quality became totally unacceptable for the serious photographer.  Fortunately they made excellent film, paper and chemistry for the advanced amateur and still do with the exception of B&W paper.  Any Thoughts?  Please respond on the contact page.

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