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If you want to save it, print it


Via The Online photographer, a thoughtful essay on why you should print photos:





I fully agree with your opinion on this, sadly I don't think there is much chance of changing modern trends of not printing.


Even when we do print it is unlikely that modern printing inks will have the longevity shown by the old silver based light sensitive system ..... and they call it progress Smiley Sad

@kvbarkley wrote:

Via The Online photographer, a thoughtful essay on why you should print photos:


Utter nonsense. If you're anywhere near as old as I am (81), go back and look at the pictures of your wedding. Then try to explain why prints are a good means of preservation. The author is right about one thing, though: "There is no cloud." The only way to preserve files is to back them up in several geographically disparate locations.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

@RobertTheFat wrote:

 If you're anywhere near as old as I am (81), go back and look at the pictures of your wedding.

Haha, I'm merely a young 72 year old and must admit my wedding photos from 51 years ago are in better condition than I am Smiley LOL

"... try to explain why prints are a good means of preservation."


Absolutely. You are right. Printing presents many challenges. Many are difficult and expensive to over come. One main question you must ask, who will even want the photos before you decide on a long term photo archiving plan.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I find it hard to be absolute in this issue.  First of all come the questions of why we want to preserve the images we take and for how long?  There is a big difference in the archiving demands required for a few years as opposed to many decades for either hardcopy or digital media.  Hardcopy doesn't require another device to view it, but it does take up a lot of space and does not handle environmental variations very well.   Digital media has the challenge of device failure and the type of file format or software to view it become obsolete.  I don't think there is one solution to fit all...


For myself, I recall ploughing through heavy books of photos from long-deceased relatives.  But those books were not convenient to access as they were locked away in an attempt to protect them from the ravages of light and moisture.  On top of that we lost some to a fire, then a burglery and finally my step mother who literally tore all of my family photos up once my father had died.  So hard copy, not even archival quality would have saved those images. I wish I had been able to scan those photos and make a backup.


During my photographic career I started in the era of film, taking transparencies as they were the commercial medium of the time. They were not a convenient format for casual viewing however, so I would, on occasion, make prints of ones I thought might be requested for viewing.  However many years work and memories were lost when my car was stolen and the slides were all burnt on the side of the road.   I went away from photography for a few years until digital came along and then the word BACKUP came flashed into my mind and became a viable option.  Since that time I have kept only those images I feel are worthy (as opposed to some who keep everything - a matter of personal choice), and I save those images in multiple file formats and media -  I don't have lots of hard copy, instead I create PowerPoint shows for specific purposes and I can view them on many devices or send them to others via email or shared cloud storage along with my original images.


This, in a way takes us to the issue over value...  People take images for different purposes and some seek to create fine art, or a legacy of images for future generations.  For those people the challenge is greater as the timespan they consider increases - but I have confidence that future generations will figure it out anyway.  After all the vinyl record and even the humble cassette tape have made a come-back!

cheers, TREVOR

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