Digital Photo Archive

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Jeff Canes, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Did anyone see ABC World News on Sunday night? I only caught the last end of it. They did a report on digital photo archives and if the current storage medias will be readable in 50 years. So, I when to their website and read article about the interview.

    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/SciTech/digital_photography_040208-1.html

    Should we be consider? So what do you all think, will we be able view are digital photos in 50 plus years
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I think that they will figure out reliable, digital storage. It's inevitable if the digital (not just photography) era is to flourish.

    I'm more worried about the ease of deletion. I'd heard the story about Dirck Halstead and his Monica L. pic before. There are many instances of photographs that didn't become important until years and decades after they were taken. Who will fill their hard drives with these images? More likely they will be lost.

    My wife and both grandmothers are documenting my daughter's life with digital point-n-shoots. I wonder if these pics will be around in 20 or 40 years. Will I have to pay for expensive data retrieval next time my computer dies?
     
  3. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think digital makes it easier than ever to avoid concerns about losing a photo. There may be extra steps involved, beyond just storing a negative for example, but the choices are far wider.

    Personally, most of my photos have been stored on my computer hard drive. Now, being a network admin, I know better than to trust my hard drive to keep these images for any great length of time, but I'm lazy. I finally started to archive these onto read-only CDRs. This is good, but it is amazing how fast you can fill a CD with photos. Now, I have my new toy, a recordable DVD drive. So, I can stores gigs worth of photos on one DVD. If I am really concerned about my files, I can easily duplicate it and store copies in different places (all with the exact quality of the original source I might add...very unlike film).

    As far as the format or media being readable, I don't think that is a major concern. Advances will certainaly come along, and I'm sure all of the file formats and media types we use will eventually be discarded, but we will be given plenty of time to migrate our old images and data over to new technology. If we fail to migrate them along, there will always be tech geeks around (maybe people like me) that will just happen to still have some of the older equipment and the means to do the work for you. Getting into the habit of creating these archives in the first place is the real hurdle to overcome! :)

    Once again, let me now step down from my :soapbox:
     
  4. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    *edited* somehow my orignal post here didn't come through correctly :? chalk it to early morning grogginess

    I think the storage media will only get cheaper, smaller and faster as time progresses. The main problem will be a glut of photos, they are so much easier to take and discard. I see a bigger issue being cataloguing the images.

    Images will also be shared by several different people through various file sharing programs, emailing and websites. Replication is so easy!

    Kind me reminds of a Linus Torvald quote:
     
  5. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

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    I think the news article is making a bigger deal of it then it is. Like Chase has mentioned you should save your photos to CDs and if you are lucky enough to have one save it to DVDs. CDs have reported shelf lives of about a 100 years or more depending on the type of CD you get.

    I don't know how long film negatives can last but a 100 years is long no matter how you look at it. Also the benefit is that when the CDs are starting to degrade just make an exact copy of it and you'll get another 100 years. Just make sure to storage your CDs as well as you would your negatives. Only saving files on your hard drive is were you'll have problems.

    Currently I have a huge collection of saved digital videos, photos, and other files backed up. My oldest CD has lasted 4 years so far and it's still in good condition. Although just make sure to get good CDs. I believe the gold & blue bottom CDs have longer shelf lives, but don't quote me on that. I once got some cheap CDs which didn't last more than a year, so I learned my lesson quickly.

    I do agree with the article in that with digital people do tend to delete pictures they don't think has any worth. With film you are most likely to save the whole roll simply because it's a tangible item.
     
  6. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Regardless of new file formats, all of current formats will be eternally supported. TIFF has been around forever and will probably be around until the end of time.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Well, advertisement talk is cheap. They say that CDs last 100 years, but I've had many home recorded CDs crap out way earlier than that, and I hear the same from lots of folks.
     
  8. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    A lot of times the culprit is the drive or the IDE channel on the motherboard. I had cd's, I thought had missing data, come back to life when I upgraded my motherboard and CD-RW.
     
  9. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I agree that we can't fully believe advertised statements but so far I've been happy with my CD archives. Like I said above, the only CDs I've had problems with are a set of cheap ones I bought awhile back. I currently have at least 100 CDs in my archive and all of them have lasted for about 3 years. I'll be sure to let you know how they do after a 100 years. :wink:

    Voodoocat also brought up a good point in that it's not always your CD who is at fault. A bad CD burner also has a talent for make coasters. :wink:
     
  10. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    i shoot with a digital cam and film ... i develop my film and use a film scanner to store my "final version" to a CDR ... all of my photos are on a CDR :?
     
  11. joseph

    joseph TPF Noob!

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  12. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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