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Dec 30

Preserve images for generations with printed photographs

Posted by Chris Schwind on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

In 2015 the world’s population will take 1 trillion photos. This is a significant increase over the 810 billion photos taken last year, according to Info Trends 2014 Worldwide Image Capture Forecast.

This significant rise is no doubt due to the convenience and availability of digital photography, along with the popularity of camera-equipped smart phones and social media photo sharing apps like Instagram.

NPR’s Jeremy Hobson sat down with Mark Osterman, a photographic process historian at the George Easterman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY, to discuss the popularity of amateur digital photography, the death of film, and the value of printed photographs.

You can listen to the ten-minute interview here.

In the interview, Osterman laments that there will be “fewer images in the future” because the medium of digital photography lacks the inherent longevity of printed images. Few people take the time to continually back up their photo libraries. A computer crash, virus, or even a lost phone can swiftly result in the permanent destruction of thousands of memories.

Although social media sharing and cloud backup increases the probability of permanence, there is no guarantee that the file formats we are using today will be around in 30 years unless they are converted as technology advances. The old shoebox of family photos stuffed in the attic or worn photo albums will always be around and lend themselves to old fashioned sharing and reminiscence through face-to-face interaction--a mode of communication that appears to be trending towards obsolescence as our digital lives grow larger each day.

There are plenty of other advantages to printing photographs. A tangible, physical photograph can be given as a gift to preserve the memory for generations. Or, as professional photographer Natalie Frank argues, the transition to a printed medium can bring a piece of art to life beyond a four inch phone screen. At Pacific Mount, we provide quality, proven mounting products and protective overlaminate films that will help preserve your images long into the future.