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digital photos? - 06/07/2004
Has anybody considered what may happen years from now when we all look up and find we have no photo albums or boxes brimming with old photos to reminisce over? An informal poll of people I know with digital cameras tells me we're headed that way. Either out of laziness or inconvenience or cost people are not printing out any (or, at least, very few) pictures.

Any thoughts?

Replied - 06/08/2004
I would guess that, by then, there will be other more convenient ways of displaying photographs: high-quality digital slide projectors, light hand-held photo displays, maybe even 3 dimensional projections.
Storage media will, of course, be much more compact, reliable and be able to store huge amount of data.
Ah, there's the rub: will you still be able to read today's CDs and DVDs, not to speak of smart media cards USB sticks etc?
Even if you still find drives that are able to deal with those media, the format may be outdated or the medium may have deteriorated over time.
Actually, this is not too different from the colour fading we se with film, - but at least, here it's more visible and we have the chance to do something in time.

Of course, we are also able to backup data and convert them to new data, but how mny people will actually do this?


Replied - 06/08/2004

Thanks for replying to my original post.

I don't know about the future and the new and inventive ways to display photos, but losing actual physical photographs, faded color or not, seems to me to be ultimately a big negative. (Accidental pun!) My cousin recently told me how she has grown to hate her digital camera because of the lack of photos in an album or no sitting around the den passing the latest vacation pictures around with the grandparents and others. Who knows what the future will bring, but I must say I have trouble envisioning anything quite like that scene that will bring my cousin and like-minded folks back to digital. Of course, someday, they may hav no choice for obvious reasons...and that seems a bit sad.

Just my opinion,

Mike K.

Replied - 06/10/2004
actually, I do not think that prints will completely disappear any time soon - there must be a market for all these photo printers that can get there data directly from a digital camera.
In the same vein, most labs now offer prints from your digital media and you can even order them online.

Obviously, being able to display your pictures on a computer screen and/or TV set doesn't seem to be that appealing to most customers.

There are, of course, some advantages to the new options: so far, it took much experience to predict what the colours of your subject would look like on film - and you had little or no control on the work the lab did. If they decided that your sunset had an orange cast (not really surprising) they might try to "correct" it automatically. Even without such unwelcome interference, colours vary from lab to lab and day to day.

Personally, I mostly use slide film, which seems to be much more lab-resistant, - although on a bad day, you may get yoiur pictures back with scratches, finger prints or cut in the wrong place (if you don't go to the far more expensive professional labs).

Now, if you use a good digital camera, you can judge the colours on the display, and have reproducible results if you have your hardware calibrated.
Not enough to convince me (yet) though. I'm perfectly happy with the saturated colours of my Fuji Velvia.
I can't just show them around as prints either, but at least I have quite a few on them on my homepage.


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