Digital: A Family Tragedy

“In the transition to digital many of them stopped printing their images. And that’s a family tragedy because although it’s a business, we’re looking after people’s memories,”  – Paul Curtis, Photo Imaging Council of Australia

The above is the closing quote from an ABC article lamenting the closing of most of the countries independent film processing businesses.

As a digital camera user who has never had any of his (~10,000) photos printed I am going to believe that his lack of comprehension of reality as a symptom of while his whole industry is failing: People like photos to be on their computers.

A digital photo is more convenient. I can send a copy of any of those photos to anyone I’d care to send it to for no cost. Regardless of where they are in the world. When I want to show my Grandmother my photos from my trip to the US last year I’ll walk over to her house with a DVD full of photos. I’d hate to think how heavy that’d be walking over with photo albums.

To pre-empt my family: I know I haven’t done that yet, let alone finished showing her my trip to India. I will point out though that my choice of medium to do it with has not affected this. I would have been just as slack, if not worse if they were photos printed on pieces of paper.

In 60 years time when my grandchildren want to look at the photos I took as a 20 something, they’ll get zapped my complete collection and they’ll get to look at photos that are just as clear and bright as the day I took them. Many of the photos my Grandmother attempts to show me of her relatives are barely visible. How is that promising to look after my memories? Heck many of the photo I see from the 70’s and 80’s have terrible faded and the colours are so distorted I have to take peoples words for what colour things are.

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