Preservation of digital photographs for future generations

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by SwampDude, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Interesting thought!
    Sounds like a good plan.
    What I would do besides printing is creating a folder on your computer (or additionally in the cloud - although I don´t like the cloud at all) where you store the very best ones. Not 1000s, just about as many you would have used to create albums from, in older days.
    Regularly forward an updated version of it to some of your family members.
    And: what many people forget about: create backups. I have one backup in my house and another one in someone else's house. In case of a fire, burglary or whatever, there is still a backup somewhere else.


     
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  2. Tropicalmemories

    Tropicalmemories No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How about a 'family' site on something like Flickr, 500px, Google or Instagram?

    Give family members access and they can view them on their own devices.

    I doubt printed photos will be common in the future, but cloud-based photo storage will still be common. And the cost and space needed to print and store hundreds of photos will be an issue, but a family photo site can be shared by all at no cost to them.
     
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  3. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have a separate Flickr for family but now that the free accounts have limits been thinking of merging those photos into my “Pro” account.
     
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  4. SwampDude

    SwampDude TPF Noob!

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    Interesting and helpful thoughts and suggestions. Plus, I now have a new perspective to ponder: my grandkids and family generations beyond them may have no interest in paper prints; maybe prints, like cursive writing, will become irrelevant in the future.
     
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  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Picture a future Chevy Chase look-alike saying: "C'mon, guys, it's all hologram these days."

     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  6. ClickAddict

    ClickAddict No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry, prints are fine for display but not for "long time archival for future generations" in my mind. For people saying... you wont be able to play that media.... That is simply not the case. You might not have the player available in your local Walmart, but we dont forget how to build the technology we currently have. And people will build converters. You have some old 8 Track cassettes lying around? There are places that have converters to get all that to Cd/ MP3 whatever. Old VHS (or heaven forbid BETA) tapes, no problem they'll convert to DVD / MP4 for you.

    So your CD or DVD full of photos or USB drives whatever you use today... even 100 years from now you'll be able to retrieve the information from them. You might have to go to a specialty shop or find that geeky friend who still plays on his Atari 2600 for kicks, but the technology will be available if not commonplace. And honestly it's not hard with digital to copy everything over when new tech comes around before your current is "obsolete". We dont go from "Hey it works everywhere" to "can't even buy used devices" overnight.

    And although, yes a fire can destroy a drive and you lose everything... last time I checked printed photos were not fireproof either. With digital you can have multiple copies easily so having them in two locations is all you need to safeguard against fire/flood/theft. Every time there's a flood or fire, you hear people complain about the photo albums they lost that are "irreplaceable".
     
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  7. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Preservation of digital photographs for future generations

    Save all your digital files on 3 external hard drives and place them in 3 different (safety deposit box should be one place) locations. DO NOT use CD's DVD's or USB's for long term storage.
     
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  8. SwampDude

    SwampDude TPF Noob!

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    If duplication of images is prudent for protection against loss, I could provide (1) albums (prints and shared on line) for enjoyment of family and friends now and the foreseeable future and (2) digital image storage on devices kept in my safe deposit box. If I'm serious about protecting these family photographs (and I am), the extra steps would be worthwhile. Thanks.

    I still need recommendations for photo labs to produce good 5x7 and a few 8x10 prints.
     
  9. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I work here and we do high quality prints. www.schillerspix.com
     
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  10. SwampDude

    SwampDude TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I'll send your lab an order soon
     
  11. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I use Flickr as well, but the problem is that all online services end up being bought out, merged, or change terms of service asking for $$ making them undesirable. It is a pain to delete thousands of images and move them to new web based services, so I no longer use them as backup and I have started keeping a much smaller number of my better stuff online.
     
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  12. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    If the images are of interest it's not a major job to transfer them to new storage media. All my saved images fit in about 1TB add scanned copied of the families historical images & this might rise to 4GB but I very much doubt it, backing this up to an alternate external drive would take me less than half an hour (even if it keeps my old PC busy all night and half way though the next day).

    Even with the rapid rate of change digital technology has gone through, actively checking & transferring data where required from dying formats to new media ever 5 years would be all that's needed to keep the physical media current.

    If the images are in an obscure format converting that will be more labourious. But I can't see JPG becoming an unreadable format, there's so much stored in this format that support for it will be maintained even if only by historical societies. RAW files are not great for long term archival.

    I have photographic prints of family members in a wide range of formats going right back to daguerreotypes, and examples of each media have degraded significantly. Some professional B&W prints from around 70 years ago have faded to the point they are hard to make out, professional slide s have severe red colour casts, Kodak colour prints from 50 years ago are often badly faded...
     
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