Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Graham Hill
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Morris Sullivan, 9 months ago

Ask yourself this: If digital is so safe for archiving, why does not one use it?  By no one I mean Hollywood, libraries, lawyers, etc?  All use either photographic film, microfilm, or paper.

It is clear that the answer is that digital is a NON archival medium.  It is not safe.  When it is safe, then it will be used.

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Morris Sullivan
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Graham Hill, 9 months ago

Ask yourself this: If digital is so safe for archiving, why does not one use it?  By no one I mean Hollywood, libraries, lawyers, etc?  All use either photographic film, microfilm, or paper.

It is clear that the answer is that digital is a NON archival medium.  It is not safe.  When it is safe, then it will be used.

It is, and they do.
the 90s called, they want their archivist back.

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Draek
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Graham Hill, 9 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

Ask yourself this: If digital is so safe for archiving, why does not one use it? By no one I mean Hollywood, libraries, lawyers, etc? All use either photographic film, microfilm, or paper.

Because they're ignorant idiots.

Ask yourself this: if digital is so unsafe for archiving, why does every single industry with legal requirements for reliability and not just "best effort" policies, such as finances and banking, use it so pervasively? because please tell me you know banks don't keep your financial data printed in a vault somewhere in their basement.

It is clear that the answer is that digital is a NON archival medium. It is not safe. When it is safe, then it will be used.

It's not only safe, it's safe in ways every single other archival strategy isn't. For instance, do you know what happens to someone's banking data if the country the bank is operating on suffers an outbreak of civil war? not what happened to the Louvre's collection when the Germans invaded France, I assure you.

Fires, floods, earthquakes, tornados, war, crime, even carelessness with humidity levels have deprived us of a great many pieces of humankind's works, when even a half-decent digital archiving solution would've suffered at most only mild delays in its average response time.

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Draek
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Lightpath48, 9 months ago

Lightpath48 wrote:

I have tens of thousands of slides and B&W silver negative strips carefully dark stored, and am almost certain no one in our family is going to attempt getting them into any more useful form in the future. But the prints I slid into photo albums throughout our family's life and up to 50 years ago are already being plucked out of albums and circulating, three generations down the line. They are the "precious memories." I'm going for prints. As to electronic storage, I'm pretty confident in jpeg for now. As for my raw originals, what assurance have I that they will even be readable by whatever form of consumer imaging technology existing in 50 years?

Pretty damn good, actually, thanks to the Open Source Community; there's network cards made by companies that went defunct before I was born, and which are still supported by the Free OSes such as Linux and FreeBSD purely because the specs were open and someone, somewhere, once wrote a Free driver for it.

If you *really* want to make sure you could bundle a copy of the source code for DCRaw along with your photos (as well as an ASCII or printed versions of the C language specification and the POSIX standard, if you're really paranoid), but even as it is your chances are almost as high as with JPEGs --- and almost, only because the chances of some entity declaring Open Source Software illegal is minimal, but strictly non-zero.

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Graham Hill
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Morris Sullivan, 9 months ago

Morris Sullivan wrote:

Ask yourself this: If digital is so safe for archiving, why does not one use it? By no one I mean Hollywood, libraries, lawyers, etc? All use either photographic film, microfilm, or paper.

It is clear that the answer is that digital is a NON archival medium. It is not safe. When it is safe, then it will be used.

It is, and they do.
the 90s called, they want their archivist back.

Films made today, recorded 100% with digital cinema cameras are archived on photographic film.  Why? Because digital is a non archival medium.

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Graham Hill
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Draek, 9 months ago

Draek wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Ask yourself this: If digital is so safe for archiving, why does not one use it? By no one I mean Hollywood, libraries, lawyers, etc? All use either photographic film, microfilm, or paper.

Because they're ignorant idiots.

Well argued.

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Draek
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In reply to Graham Hill, 9 months ago

It's all due to having an actual clue about technology.

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Ontario Gone
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Greg A A, 9 months ago

Hello there little guy.

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Ontario Gone
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Graham Hill, 9 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

Draek wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Ask yourself this: If digital is so safe for archiving, why does not one use it? By no one I mean Hollywood, libraries, lawyers, etc? All use either photographic film, microfilm, or paper.

Because they're ignorant idiots.

Well argued.

Ignorant?? Haaa this coming from the guy who thinks overexposing a shot will net less noise. You never replied to that did you Draek??? I think you should learn about basic photography before you try acting like a boss.

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Greg A A
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Re: Like your death, it won't be up to you.
In reply to Ron Poelman, 9 months ago

I initiated this topic in regards to caring about children who have to deal with whatever mess I leave behind. Is it a good idea to have a trust and will to make sure that there is less cost for heirs? Is it a good idea to have other documents such as durable power of attorney? How about having paid for whatever internment costs, so children aren't stuck with it? To me this is a matter of caring for others. Preparing for what happens when you are no longer around is something that is quite often put off, perhaps even lazy at the expense of others.

Ansel Adams will be remembered for all time, but only those masterpieces will have someone to insure they survive for generations to enjoy. That is an entirely different topic from what I had in mind.

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Re: Optical discs like writable Blu-Ray are just fine
In reply to Morris Sullivan, 9 months ago

Morris Sullivan wrote:

Basalite wrote:

scorrpio wrote:

Personally, I think that the whole 'worship of the print' comes a simple source. It is very easy to shoot several hundred digital images at one event, stick them into a folder, and just leave them there. But we only ever print the images that are worth it - and usually after extensive post-processing. The 'magic' of the print is not in the medium, but rather in the amount of work that has gone into selecting that single image from hundreds, and getting it just right.

But there is absolutely nothing special about committing those to paper. You can put those selected and processed images into a 'very best' folder, and keep them digitally.

With current level of technology, passing your best work in digital form is a far better insurance of its survival. Now, digital is still fairly new, and for most of us who grew up in 60-80s, the idea of 'preservation' was about putting it on the most resilient media, and stashing it someplace safe. Many apply the same method to digital - which is a gross mistake. Writing a file to a CD and stashing that CD in a box someplace is probably the absolute WORST way to preserve information. The moment it is put away, it starts to die - to obscurity, to technology obsolescence, to media degradation. If someone finds that box of CDs in 50 years, chances are CD readers will be as common as 8-inch floppy drives are today. The RIGHT way is to keep what you want preserved is in LIVE storage. Put those images in a folder under 'My Pictures', on a computer you use daily, and make sure it is part of your routine backup. That way, you can be sure that things you don't want lost are always backed up in the most technologically up-to-date method, and are transferred over when you replace your PC. You can further hedge your bets by copying your best to your family or friends' PCs. Once it is part of THEIR routine backup, they won't need to expend any additional effort to maintain your stuff.

Once your best work is in a folder under 'My Pictures' on your kid's PC, you need not worry that it will be forgotten in a box in a basement, or accidentally carted off to landfill when they decide to move to an apartment in a city. You need not worry about cousin Jenny borrowing a unique print and forgetting she has it. No worries about someone going through carefully sorted prints and mixing them all up, or about grandkids thumbing through them with salsa-smeared fingers. Live stored digital is always at fingertips, ready for perusal by anyone who wants to see them. If cousin Jenny wants a copy, it can be emailed to her. Heck, she can have the whole folder. If kids want to check out great-grandpa's pictures, they can page through them on their iPads.

Hand over your best work in digital, and if people like it, they will preserve it much better than pieces of paper. But don't expect anyone to sift through every picture you've ever taken for you.

Your recommendation is based on people not maintaining an optical disc collection and not transferring over to newer and better tech when it becomes available. CDs came out in the early 80s and can still be read on devices over 30 years later. A person has literally decades to transfer this stuff over. It's not reasonable to bet against people not doing so.

As for optical disc degradation, I have 12 year old DVDs that read just as fine today as they did when I recorded them. I have even older music CDs. Use better brand discs, burn at a reasonable speed and store properly and they have a very long life. I now do all my best photos to Blu-Ray, which has even better life than DVD. For writable Blu-Rays stick to a better brands like Sony and Panasonic.

I also recommend people get the idea out of their head of keeping every picture they take. It doesn't make any sense. Who the hell is going to want to go through so many pictures anyway? Save the best and junk the rest. Not every moment in your life should be recorded.

Nobody is in any way suggesting that people would "go through so many pictures". They are just there.

The fact that most people would not want to do that makes them being there in the first place a thing that shouldn't happen.

I never "go through" all of them. But when I want to see what my kids looked like a few years ago it's nice to have a few hundred photos to flip through. I just roll through the thumbnails and click the ones that look interesting. The ones that you would delete are just a thumbnail that scroll by, no harm done.

As far as recording every moment, I'm not creating a slide show, more like a journal. If I want to put together a group of photos for a slideshow, or for printing. I just create a separate folder and keep duplicates there. Of course there are many hanging on walls around my house too.

You seem to be stuck with the idea of people thumbing through albums having to look at every photo. That's not the way it works anymore. There are billions of photos on flickr, and yet millions of people still flip through them.

That's an apples and oranges comparison but the point, and where they are the same, is that you are still sifting through huge amounts of photos. Most people are not going to want to do that.

If you could magically have a thumb-drive with thousands of photos of your parents and grandparents growing up, and you were given the option of all of them, or just the best 5%. Wouldn't you want all of them, you could always go through them a little at a time and copy the ones you personally liked rather than what someone else decided were the best. But wouldn't it be interesting to see all the places they went and all the silly shots taken around the house?

I don't take pictures based on what my descendants may want. I take photos for my own pleasure, as most of us do. What they are going to end up with from me are only the best images. I'm for quality, not quantity. They can use their imagination for anything else.

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Ontario Gone
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Ontario Gone, 9 months ago

Ontario Gone wrote:

Draek wrote:

Because they're ignorant idiots.

Ignorant?? Haaa this coming from the guy who thinks overexposing a shot will net less noise. You never replied to that did you Draek??? I think you should learn about basic photography before you try acting like a boss.

In case your forget, the following was posted in THIS thread: "- Overexpose if you can without blowing the highlights, but certainly **never** underexpose. Overcast days are a common culprit since few metering systems deal well with them, and a -1EV underexposure turns your ISO1600 shot into something mildly worse than a normal ISO3200 shot. Even if you don't brighten it, since you're still pushing the whole of the image into the noisier shadows."

So, how many threads am i going to have to chase you down to in order to get an explanation from you? How is this possible to net less noise? As i said in the other thread, if you have room to lengthen your SS to overexpose in the first place, couldnt you have just lowered your iso and resulted in a slower SS at even exposure?? This would give less noise, at slower SS, but without risking clipping highlights.

Hey, i could be wrong. If i am please enlighten me. It just seems to me like you are confusing how "visable" noise is within a photo with SNR. What you are effectively suggesting is that we raise ISO to overexpose, and get less noise. Care to explain or are you just going to run?

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rurikw
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Graham Hill, 9 months ago

How do you transfer digital images to film?

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Re: Optical discs like writable Blu-Ray are just fine
In reply to Bill Robb, 9 months ago

Bill Robb wrote:

Basalite wrote:

Your recommendation is based on people not maintaining an optical disc collection and not transferring over to newer and better tech when it becomes available. CDs came out in the early 80s and can still be read on devices over 30 years later. A person has literally decades to transfer this stuff over. It's not reasonable to bet against people not doing so.

As for optical disc degradation, I have 12 year old DVDs that read just as fine today as they did when I recorded them. I have even older music CDs. Use better brand discs, burn at a reasonable speed and store properly and they have a very long life. I now do all my best photos to Blu-Ray, which has even better life than DVD. For writable Blu-Rays stick to a better brands like Sony and Panasonic.

I have had high end Verbatim discs burned "at a reasonable speed" become unreadable in less than five years. Optical discs are a crap shoot, not a good long term storage method.

Maybe there was something wrong your burner or those specific discs. I've, so far, never had a DVD after ten years not be able to be easily read as the day they were created.

I also recommend people get the idea out of their head of keeping every picture they take. It doesn't make any sense. Who the hell is going to want to go through so many pictures anyway? Save the best and junk the rest. Not every moment in your life should be recorded.

100% agreement on this.

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Re: Like your death, it won't be up to you.
In reply to Ron Poelman, 9 months ago

Ron Poelman wrote:

Given where people's attention spans are headed,
it this the best thing to be doing with your life, plotting your death ?

You can't take it with you, and you can't control the living from the grave.
Unless you're a bona fide artist, living and breathing your art,
you will NEVER be measured by your photos.

If you can't think of why you should be remembered,
maybe it's time to look at your life.
It's the only one you get.

I agree with the sentiment but the so-called dead can certainly control the living and this isn't the only life we get. Of course that's another topic.

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Lanidrac
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Raw is a problem
In reply to Greg A A, 9 months ago

I like raw for shooting but each camera model and image editor like ACR keeps on changing causing incredible problems for viewing and editing pics later on with new computer OS's or using older comps trying to view and edit newer Raw files. God help those switch cam brands because it must be even worse...

Jpeg, Gif and PNG seems to be the one main constant tho.

I just back up stuff and hope for the best.

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Draek
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Ontario Gone, 9 months ago

Ontario Gone wrote:

Ignorant?? Haaa this coming from the guy who thinks overexposing a shot will net less noise. You never replied to that did you Draek??? I think you should learn about basic photography before you try acting like a boss.

I did, multiple times, and so did other people on that same subject.

Tell me, do you know what an ISOless sensor is? do you know how many current sensors fit the definition? if you do, then the explanation is obvious; and if you don't, go hit the books.

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Ontario Gone
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Draek, 9 months ago

Draek wrote:

Ontario Gone wrote:

Ignorant?? Haaa this coming from the guy who thinks overexposing a shot will net less noise. You never replied to that did you Draek??? I think you should learn about basic photography before you try acting like a boss.

I did, multiple times, and so did other people on that same subject.

Tell me, do you know what an ISOless sensor is? do you know how many current sensors fit the definition? if you do, then the explanation is obvious; and if you don't, go hit the books.

That doesn't explain overexposing and risking clipping. Shooting at base iso all the time, and pulling in post to get the brightness one is after is how some use isoless sensors, i have done it myself with my K5, an advantage to the 14.1 stops of DR as well. What matters, especially on an isoless sensor, is aperture and SS. That's it, those are the only two factors that determine exposure. The problem is, even on isoless, you can permanently clip if you push it too high with iso, which apparently you are not aware of.

The fact you are giving this advice, when it does absolutely nothing to help noise, speaks volumes of your understanding of exposure. But hey, you take the time to post regularly on here, why not actually answer me instead of telling me you answered? I asked a simple question, and you dodged it. Or, how about you link your answer, because i have looked over your posts and i cannot find it. I think you realized all your tough talk looks dumb when you were caught giving flawed advice, now you just want to hide in a corner. Heck even link the "others" who have answered my question.

Again, how does purposely overexposing a shot by using a longer SS and higher ISO net less noise for a final product?

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Draek
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Re: Displaying our photos today and for future, photos beyond the life of our databases
In reply to Ontario Gone, 9 months ago

Ontario Gone wrote:

That doesn't explain overexposing and risking clipping.

Yes, it does.

Shooting at base iso all the time, and pulling in post to get the brightness one is after is how some use isoless sensors, i have done it myself with my K5, an advantage to the 14.1 stops of DR as well.

And how many current sensors are ISOless apart from the K5? exactly.

What matters, especially on an isoless sensor, is aperture and SS. That's it, those are the only two factors that determine exposure. The problem is, even on isoless, you can permanently clip if you push it too high with iso, which apparently you are not aware of.

Wrong; non-ISOless sensors (which is most of them) behave differently with ISO, producing less noise at ISO1600 with a +0 push than they do at ISO100 with a +4 push in post, given equivalent exposures; the whole point of ISOless sensors being 'special' is that they don't see that difference, and thus you only need to worry about aperture and shutter speed instead of nominal ISO rating and pushing/pulling as well.

Now... what happens if the image you wish to make, with the exposure you want to use, requires an ISO of 1100? what's best, 1600 nominal with a -0.5 pull, or 800 nominal with a +0.5 push? and thus you've been enlightened. About a dozen post and two threads too late.

The fact you are giving this advice, when it does absolutely nothing to help noise, speaks volumes of your understanding of exposure. But hey, you take the time to post regularly on here, why not actually answer me instead of telling me you answered? I asked a simple question, and you dodged it. Or, how about you link your answer, because i have looked over your posts and i cannot find it. I think you realized all your tough talk looks dumb when you were caught giving flawed advice, now you just want to hide in a corner. Heck even link the "others" who have answered my question.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52699337

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52699718

Can't remember which thread it was you were stalking me in, as well, but I believe someone also replied to you in that one saying you were wrong for non-ISOless sensors. Now, please stop behaving like a stalker and study up on sensor design, instead, so next time you don't make a fool out of yourself.

Again, how does purposely overexposing a shot by using a longer SS and higher ISO net less noise for a final product?

Lower read noise with higher ISOs for non-ISOless sensors. It's not at all stops, nor is the gain equal for every camera (IIRC Canon and Samsung sensors have quite dramatic changes, with other brands seeing much less), but it's consistent enough for a rule-of-thumb and doesn't hurt beyond the minimal risk of highlight loss anyways, since you should never be pulling more than a single stop to begin with.

Or, summing up: on non-ISOless sensors, avoiding underexposure like the plague will give you less noise. Exactly what I said the first time.

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Bill Robb
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Re: Optical discs like writable Blu-Ray are just fine
In reply to Basalite, 9 months ago

Basalite wrote:

Bill Robb wrote:

Basalite wrote:

Your recommendation is based on people not maintaining an optical disc collection and not transferring over to newer and better tech when it becomes available. CDs came out in the early 80s and can still be read on devices over 30 years later. A person has literally decades to transfer this stuff over. It's not reasonable to bet against people not doing so.

As for optical disc degradation, I have 12 year old DVDs that read just as fine today as they did when I recorded them. I have even older music CDs. Use better brand discs, burn at a reasonable speed and store properly and they have a very long life. I now do all my best photos to Blu-Ray, which has even better life than DVD. For writable Blu-Rays stick to a better brands like Sony and Panasonic.

I have had high end Verbatim discs burned "at a reasonable speed" become unreadable in less than five years. Optical discs are a crap shoot, not a good long term storage method.

Maybe there was something wrong your burner or those specific discs. I've, so far, never had a DVD after ten years not be able to be easily read as the day they were created.

Maybe, but the point is, a few dozen CDs became unreadable within a few years of creation, and took a whole bunch of data with them, and it came as rather a surprise, since I had bought high end discs, and a good quality burner which I used within it's best speed range.

In other words, I did everything right to the best of my knowledge, and still suffered a catastrophic data failure. I expect I am not alone. Most people burn a CD, but it in a rack and forget about them, expecting the data to be safe.

Most people are going to suffer some sort of a loss of data at some point using optical discs.

I'm glad you have been so lucky, but I am not alone in having discs fail. A quick search leads me to believe that the failure rate of optical discs is close to 10%.

I now use multiple hard drives in multiple RAID enclosures in the hope that I won't have every device in my house blow up at the same time.

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