archiving, digital vs. film

Started Oct 3, 2003 | Discussions thread
Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 26,093
Re: archiving, digital vs. film

david.mitchell wrote:

So, in reading back through various people's strategies for
backups, most of them seem to be oriented around making multiple
redundant copies, as well as periodically refreshing those backups
to newer, possibly to a more current format.

For me, the HUGE advantage of shooting film is that as long as you
keep the negs relatively dry and in a safe place, they'll be usable
indefinitely. Digital, on the other hand, requires effort to
maintain those backups. That means even if for my entire life I
keep my backups refreshed, my children will have to bear the burden
(if they care).

I heard part of a story on All Things Considered (National Public Radio news/magazine program in the USA) on Friday about photographer Jacques Lowe who was John F. Kennedy's personal photographer.

One of the things they mentioned was Jacques never wanted to be without his negatives, and would buy a second seat on an airline just so he could take the safe with him wherever he would go. I remember thinking at the time, that with a DVD writer, you should be able to take your whole work with you with much less bulk.

A second point is you always want multiple backups, no matter what the medium. Evidently after Jacques dies, somebody pried into the safe and got the negatives (I didn't hear all of that part of the story, so I don't recall the details). One of the minor little stories after the September 11th attacks in the US was one of the photographers from the 60's losing his entire negative archives, since they were kept in a bank vault in the World Trade Center.

Thirdly, do you think there will still be the infrastructure around in 20+ years to convert negatives back into prints?

Here is a link to the stories done on Friday and you can hear the audio segment if you have a real one or quicktime player:

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