Remembering DPreview from another era ...

Started Aug 8, 2011 | Discussions thread
Wayne Larmon Veteran Member • Posts: 9,403
Re: Hard to trust digital or analog for long-term

sean000 wrote:

Wayne Larmon wrote:

This is sobering for those of us that are attempting to make our own digital archives. I guess that there is nothing better than a print on paper.


Both digital and analog archives have their pros and cons. This is why I do both: I am meticulous about maintaining my digital archive with keywords, ratings, backups, etc; but I also make sure that I print my absolute favorite photographs. Most end up in photo albums as 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10 prints. Others may be printed even larger and framed (I frame many of the smaller prints as well). All of my prints are pigment ink on archival paper... so should be good for a couple hundred years unless stored improperly. Overkill, but hopefully that means that even stored in less that ideal conditions they will last at least half that time.

I am only 40 years old, but I know that once I pass most of my photographs will be lost. I don't expect my children or grandchildren to sift through my digital archives, but perhaps they will find and appreciate some of my prints. I will do what I can to make sure the most valuable family heirloom photo albums are passed down (with digital copies shared throughout the family), and my best photographs will be signed and framed...which will hopefully be passed down as well.

(snipped a bunch of good points.)

I take pains to periodically make prints and pass them around for the same reason. But I also keep a collection of all the "keepers" my entire digital collection (2002-present) downsampled to 1800x1200, which is 4x6 @ 300 PPI. Which is about two megabytes, which is also about 1080P for viewing on an HDTV. Two megapixels is plenty enough for memories.

My entire collection of keepers is about 7 gigs, which easily fits on a flash drive that I carry whenever I visit a family member. When I'm there, I copy (or update) from my flash drive to one of their computers. On the grounds that the more I spread my collection around the family, the more likely it will be that at least one copy will survive.

However, since I made my earlier post, I saw this article about a new method of literally etching digital data in stone:

Start-up to release 'stone-like' optical disc that lasts forever

If this pans out, this might help with digital archiving. On the assumption that DVD drives will be around decades from now. Ahh, probably best to stick with making lots of prints.


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