“We are nonchalantly throwing all of our data into what could become an information black hole without realising it. We digitise things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don’t understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artefacts that we digitised…If there are photos you really care about, print them out.” – Vint Cerf, Google
I’ve been saying the same thing to people for the past few years, I refer to it as a ‘Digital Dark Age’, millions, actually more like billions of photographs will be lost forever, forgotten on hard drives and assigned to the rubbish tip, memories gone.
Let’s look at a worst case scenario – someone starts bombing the shit out of the town you live in because they want your part of the world to be their part of the world, it’s happening now in Ukraine, so let’s not pretend it’s an unbelievable situation. So, the tanks are coming and the bombs are getting closer to your house, you have to leave; what are you going to take with you? Well I’ll tell you what you aren’t going to take – the hard drive that’s built into your eight and a half kilogram computer. Within an hour of fleeing your home it’s taken a direct hit, the building and everything in it, including the 7,000 images on your Apple Mac, are gone forever.
Even if the hard drive wasn’t destroyed in the blast, the chances of historians ever finding it and retrieving the data are remote. Printed photographs and negatives are a lot easier to stuff into a bag and carry to a refugee camp.
…wow, I started out writing this article about a great shoot I did in Spain with musician, Simon Campbell, and the benefits of shooting film, but it’s turned into a rant about World War 3, sorry…but I think you get my point? Negatives and prints are a physical thing, digital memory isn’t. No matter what happens in the world, we will always be able to shine light through a negative and make a print.
All the images here were shot on film, obviously! Apart from looking amazing, it’ll also last a lot longer than a load of non-existent 1’s and 0’s…
All images were made using a Pentax LX, 50mm 1.2 SMC and Agfa Vista 200 film.