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05-21-2010, 05:01 PM   #1
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Pictures for Posterity

When choosing between film and digital are you thinking of posterity? I believe that “todays” generation will be the first photoless generation in a 100 years! My family has nice B&W pictures of ancestors that were taken a few years after the American Civil War and for the following 100 yrs. Sometime in the late 1960's and early 70's family members started taking color pictures, those colored prints are fading to an ugly redish color. Enter digital photography. By experience we know color prints fade. Will our digital prints fare any better? Will future generations continue to upgrade the storage of our digital family photos to the latest and greatest for the next 100 yrs? -No- My proof, most people that have VHS home movies have not transferred the image to latest digital storage. Tomorrow I will see both of my sisters, 1st time since Dec. Yes, I'll be shooting Black & White film. What about you, are you going to shoot more B&W film? Be the person at the family picnic to shoot Black & White film. If someone makes fun of you for shooting film dig out your fancy state of the art DSLR and explain the difference. Try to teach them the "Art of Photography".

05-21-2010, 05:43 PM   #2
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I'll be shooting digital since I can print it in B&W (though it takes a bit of work to get the right look) or in color, now, or in 100 years when technology is even better for printing and processing.
05-21-2010, 07:55 PM   #3
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Are you advocating film for archival purposes or because you think it makes better 'art'? Your last two sentences don't really have anything to do with archiving or history.

Film is not inherently better than digital for archives. You can destroy film just as easily as digital. If you really want archives, you'll print out the pictures on high quality paper and store them properly in a humidity and temperature controlled environment.

Most pictures printed today (film or digital) won't last because they are cheaply made, not because they are color or B&W or film or digital.
05-22-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
Are you advocating film for archival purposes or because you think it makes better 'art'? Your last two sentences don't really have anything to do with archiving or history.

Film is not inherently better than digital for archives. You can destroy film just as easily as digital. If you really want archives, you'll print out the pictures on high quality paper and store them properly in a humidity and temperature controlled environment.

Most pictures printed today (film or digital) won't last because they are cheaply made, not because they are color or B&W or film or digital.
Film is, in fact, inherently better than digital as an archiving medium.
Film will, as long as it is not physically damaged and was properly processed in the first place, last for many, many decades, though there have been notable exceptions to this.
The Agfa debacle of the 70s, the problems with the original Ektachrome films and dark fading, the very short lifespan of Kodak's T-Max CN film or the huge light fading problems associated with Kodachrome come to mind.
However, CD's become unreadable, hard drives fail, and files corrupt. Digital requires a tremendous amount of input from the owner to maintain any sort of archivability, multiple copies spread over multiple storage media is required if one wants digital files to last.
Compare this to the benign neglect of a box of negatives under the bed, with the film still usable many decades after processing.

05-22-2010, 05:45 PM   #5
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I'm not getting into a digital versus film debate. It's been hashed out too many times at this point. But it's pretty damn hard to use film for archiving when you don't shoot film.
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