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Thread: Photography.......your legacy for the future.

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    Photography.......your legacy for the future.

    I was watching the something on telly about the Japanese tsunami......the footage was of a huge pile of water soaked photographic images. There would have been thousands of random albums.....and individual images. Maybe a dozen people were carefully wiping the stuff down and trying to dry them off. A few dozen more were looking for their own lost images in that pile....

    In this digital age where many many photos are taken and shared over the net....or never leave their storage device...what legacy are we leaving?

    I mean personal legacy....the stuff for your grandchildren or great great grandchildren. Yes there will be the awesome photos of royal weddings and the 2030 fireworks taken by some bright young thing.....but in 2030 will someone look at an image and say " look heres a pic of great great grandpappie! look at the funny clothes he was wearing

    Is photography a legacy for the future or something to be used and enjoyed right now ?

    cheers
    Jan

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Excellent post Jan.
    Two things...

    1. Backup !!!! See http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...p_and_Recovery

    2. Print your images

    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    As the saying goes 'a photograph is worth a 1000 words'. Our ancestors had no access to photos, so the story of their lives was passed down through the generations as stories. Families would sit around and hear about what great-great-grandfather did, often the stories were embellished and turned into what could well make great reading these days, as the art of verbal story telling is dying. Now we have photography and often family discussion about the past revolves around showing some photos to our younger generations and saying 'this was your great-great grandfather, he was a farmer'. Even if discussion evolves it is often not in the same vein as the wonderful story telling of old.

    Whilst we lament what might happen to our photos in the future, I often lament the decline of 'story telling'.

    I have my best photos printed and in albums, but even those can be damaged, as you have seen in the Japanese story. I think in the digital age we are able to ensure our photos survive, by being able to back them up, in multiple ways, print them, copy them, post them on the internet. All of which can help ensure their longevity and view-ability into the future Once devastating events hit, like in Japan, many of those photos will be lost forever, unless a digital copy remains, somewhere. When the only record is a print, it is hard for that to survive extreme events.

    Having a good backup and storage routine, is paramount to keeping our photos safe. We are in the best position ever, for photography, to ensure our images are around for future generations.
    Last edited by ricktas; 07-05-2011 at 9:46am.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    I think that many people feel that photos are a link to the past. Of all the possessions people own, photos are the most valuable as they are irreplaceable (unless in a digital form somewhere else). It is so much easier these days to have images protected and long lasting - the net is just one of the ways of preserving our past. I have myself broken down in sobs and tears when I realised I wiped out a whole months worth of images on the camera - images of my babys that I could never replace or get back. I treasure my photos but since going digital I haven't put any into albums; we just look on the computer at them. Some have been printed and put in frames though.

    I love looking in antique shops at their photos and wondering 'who, where, why'. When my Opa passed away, my brother copied a lot of his photos and has put them on a disc for a few of us. This at least will preserve them if anything happens to the originals.
    Monika
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    A very timely post Jan
    I have just been sorting out some photos from the past and most of them are in as new condition so being the strong believer that I am in preserving history I have started scanning all of them as high quality tiff images and backing them up onto media in order to try to "future proof" them.

    One from today, taken in 1950, I have straightened it by about 2 degrees but otherwise it is as it came form the camera and darkroom I guess.



    Now, onto an album mostly from the decks of an aircraft carrier towards the end of WW2 -------
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    It may not be a 'legacy' of interest to anyone outside the family, but I have 1,000's of images ( in the form of slides ), taken over many years, of travels in Australia and overseas, including "bushwalks" in various parts of Australia, and some areas overseas. These include the longest, a 2 year trip from Indonesia through to and in Europe. I am know considering scanning these, for our own interest and so that our children can see them. My wife also wants me to compile a journal/diary of this trip ( using the trip diary and photos ), and have a copy printed for each of our three children. With change being so rapid, I'm sure many of these areas are very different now to when we were there. She would also like them to be able to " see " some of the things we saw and did. I guess this is a legacy she/I want to leave them, and potentially any grandchildren.
    Constructive critique of my photos is welcome and appreciated.


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ionica View Post
    It may not be a 'legacy' of interest to anyone outside the family, but I have 1,000's of images ( in the form of slides ), taken over many years, of travels in Australia and overseas, including "bushwalks" in various parts of Australia, and some areas overseas. These include the longest, a 2 year trip from Indonesia through to and in Europe. I am know considering scanning these, for our own interest and so that our children can see them. My wife also wants me to compile a journal/diary of this trip ( using the trip diary and photos ), and have a copy printed for each of our three children. With change being so rapid, I'm sure many of these areas are very different now to when we were there. She would also like them to be able to " see " some of the things we saw and did. I guess this is a legacy she/I want to leave them, and potentially any grandchildren.
    I would scan them, as transparencies are the most unstable of the printed media, and often deteriorate considerably over time. Getting digital copies now may mean the difference between having copies into the future, or a lost archive.

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    Always learning Ionica's Avatar
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    Thanks. I've borrowed a scanner, now need to get going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricstew View Post
    Is photography a legacy for the future or something to be used and enjoyed right now ?
    Photography has largely moved from being a print medium to a digital medium.

    For my liking, while it's great to see an image in print, images in digital format are much more useful to me, are easier to preserve, occupy less space, and can be easily transformed into different digital and print-based formats.

    I rarely ever print images.

    Some people claim it's worth printing one's best images in case the digital images are lost.

    I'm not so sure. Paper can be lost, damaged, stolen or otherwise destroyed just as easily.

    My approach is to keep four physically separate copies of everything, across two sites. I don't rely on one storage medium.

    When it comes to managing digital images, my view is that it's best to maintain multiple copies which are physically separate, and to update image format and storage media as newer standards evolve and become the norm.

    If I ever want a print, it can be easily done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    A very timely post Jan
    I have just been sorting out some photos from the past and most of them are in as new condition so being the strong believer that I am in preserving history I have started scanning all of them as high quality tiff images and backing them up onto media in order to try to "future proof" them.

    One from today, taken in 1950, I have straightened it by about 2 degrees but otherwise it is as it came form the camera and darkroom I guess.



    Now, onto an album mostly from the decks of an aircraft carrier towards the end of WW2 -------
    Don't forget about the hand colouring on these either, Andrew.
    Col

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Whilst we lament what might happen to our photos in the future, I often lament the decline of 'story telling'.
    Interesting point.

    In my mind I've broken down the broad concept of the 'photographer' into different categories:

    1. the storyteller;
    2. the artist;
    3. the technician; and
    4. the documenter.


    Most people would possibly be most engaged by the images captured by the storyteller.

    Of the four categories, storytelling strikes me as the most difficult to achieve, and it's not something I set out to achieve; I'm a blend of the artist and technician, with possibly more of a bias towards the latter.

    All forms are valid and even necessary, but definitely, storytelling would be the most engaging as well as the most difficult to achieve.

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    Cheers to all, Ricstew for bringing up the subject and for all the inspiring answers, this post should be considered for the May prices hehehe.
    I miself have several boxes of slides and prints I saved from my grandparents house (dating from late 1920´s to the 1970´s) and also want to scan them, I started but with a cheap Genius scanner results were no good then I stopped, this post reminds me to keep working before its to late.

    regards
    From the end of the World with a Nikon D90, Nikon 16/85 3.5-5.6 and Sigma 30 1.4
    Come and visit!

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    So lots of people think they ARE a legacy for the future.........so how organised are you? When you drop off your perch ( as sure as taxes they reckon ).......all the wonderful photo's you have taken and stored........where are they? Will the kids know the the blue box in the bottom of the wardrobe holds the external drives that hold your images? will they have the technology to unlock them? Will they know that drive A is for this kid and drive B is for that kid and that they hold all that is dear to you? Or is it gonna be like.........gawd what are we gonna do with all this outdated technology.....I don't even know how it works? Ill just stick in the bottom of MY wardrobe.......and one day my kids will inherit it!
    One of the things that struck me in the Japanese footage was they were looking at prints.......of people, places, functions, events and local history. All the other stuff was gone.....washed away in a huge salty wave. No disc's or hard drives. No computers. Just a soggy mass of printed paper that could be saved with due caution. That a whole stack of people must have recognised as important and picked them up or collected them as they saw them and took them to one central place to hopefully be reunited with their family.

    But does any of this matter to a younger generation? Will they say Hey I took 600 images of whatever..with my iphone...tagged them with a name and sent them out into cyberspace....I have given all those images to everyone! and all my mates were there and they took 600 images on their iphone too! So will these images continue to float around in space......not directly connected to anyone at all? Is the technology so easy to use for them that they don't realise that they are the custodians of images for future generations? My daughter has a camera and an iphone but I will bet she has never once printed anything........is she relying on cyberspace to keep her memories for her?

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricstew View Post
    My daughter has a camera and an iphone but I will bet she has never once printed anything........is she relying on cyberspace to keep her memories for her?
    After 48 hours, does it matter to her?

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