Digital vs Print / by Nico Nordström

“Maintaining physical copies? In a world where the cloud is rapidly becoming king, it seems almost self-consciously retro – the logical extension of the hipster culture that bred the revival of vinyl records in recent years. At worst, it sounds counter-intuitive and out of touch. But with this said, there are a number of occasions where it may be prudent to maintain a carefully curated physical archive. Below, are three key reasons why:
Potential file obsolescence
Client Peace of Mind
For Posterity”
-pcworld

The most photographed people in all of human history will have no photos to remember themselves, or their lives by. It’s estimated that less than 1 out of 100,000 photos taken today actually ends up printed in physical form - that’s .004% of photos that are taken you can’t view without a screen, and that’s if they even survive their digital life on an aging device.

In movies (as well as in life) when a character leaves or when disaster strikes, the first thing they always grab are the picture frames and albums - not the fancy new tv, not the $300 blender, you grab the memories because at the end of the day that’s the most important. Now that I’ve made the painful mistake of losing so many photos, and so many memories - I make it a point to professionally photograph everyone in my life, including myself. My home is now filled with archived professional prints, albums, and canvases - and I encourage you to do the same.

“Now, the first batch of CDs produced are starting to fall victim to what is known as "disc rot".

Disc rot is what occurs when a CD or DVD suffers oxidisation on the reflective layer, a condition previously only seen in disks using faulty dyes or adhesives. But now we are starting to see the deterioration occur in your average well-made disks within 20 years, as reported by cdm.”
-gizmodo uk

Yes. Digital files are temporary, corruptible, and easily lost. Some may argue that printed media is also easily damaged or lost as well. However, take a moment to think about your family and the photos from your grandparents, maybe even great grandparents, then, take a moment to think about digitals you've lost over the years. Once something is printed, we take better care of it. Digitals, well, sometimes they just stay where they are, always waiting til we get around to printing them and adding them to an album, if we don't lose them first. But, wait! We have the cloud! They're safe! Right?! Well, no company has ever failed, right? I'm sure they are absolutely infallible, and if, by some chance, they're closing, they'll make certain your photos and videos are taken care of for you.

Does any of this sound like you?
-All of my wedding portraits, are right here... on my harddisk ... I keep doing the "I am going to make an album, soon... and wall art... next week".
-I had my child’s newborn or one year photos done years ago, they gave them to me on a cd.

Do your children know how to turn on an 8 track, play a vinyl record, or know how to open files on a 5 inch floppy. How will they access those files in 20 years?
Where are those images now? Buried somewhere? Do you have a computer with disk drives now? How much longer will it be until you don't? You’ll transfer them to new media, right? Many people do not transfer files as they become obsolete. Every 10 or 20 or more years those images will be even harder to access, (if they haven't been corrupted by then!) When it’s 2060, and your friends or grandchildren ask to see photos of you and of your world when you were young, will you only have a useless plastic disc? And a bunch of old cell phones in a drawer that don’t turn on anymore? Or will you have a gorgeous canvas print or album that you purchased from your photographer 50 years prior -  that are still in immaculate condition?

Having photos taken is the first step to capturing your life, but to truly preserve it you absolutely must print them out. Technology changes, hard drives crash, and things are lost - but the prints I have of my great grandparents from the early 1900’s will never disappear. To print is to preserve, and to preserve is to cherish.

When was the last time you backed up your phone? Did you back it up to numerous devices, catalog, and organize your thousands of photos? If you’re anything like me, it has been a MINUTE since that happened, if it’s even happened at all. Each of those photos that are floating around on your phone, or in the cloud, represent a small slice of the life you’ve created.

Memories fade, expensive goods lose their quality, but a professional printed photograph will last lifetimes.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2017/may/11/data-safety-online-drives-back-up-google-drive-dropbox

https://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/608869/3-reasons-maintain-hard-copy-backups-cloud-based-world/

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/02/cds-are-starting-to-rot/

http://cdm.link/2017/02/a-generation-of-cds-is-already-rotting-and-dying/