Sep 27 2007

The Dark Side of Digital Photography

Published by at 7:48 am under Commentary

Everywhere I look in today’s world, someone has a digital camera of one type or another. It could be just a camera phone, or it could be a digital SLR, or one of the many gadgets in between. Thanks to those, and to cheap memory, today’s children are becoming the most documented generation ever, as parents, relatives and friends capture forever the first, second and hundredth smile.

The challenge is this – how are you storing all those digital pics?

Will your future generations have time to look through the stacks of CDs you will be leaving them? And even if they do, will individual memories become less precious because there are so many?

What if disk drives fail or software formats change, rendering photos unreadable by tomorrow’s computers? Will CDs even work? I for one found some old 8 mm home movies in a box my dad gave me. There was, however, no 8 mm projector in the box.

That same box had old negatives and slides mixed in with photos. Those negatives are still reproducible. Yet if you have a hard drive fail on your computer, it’s all over. Do you make backups to mitigate the risks?

Many parents acknowledge their kids may never want all the photos, but they say they would like to have them available just in case they want them – particularly as they become parents themselves.

Just because you have taken thousands of digital photos of your children doesn’t mean they will ever get to see them. Hard drives can corrupt. CDs scratch. Photo-storage sites can go bankrupt. And formats change.

In a future posting I will share some ideas on what to do.


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