CD’s Won’t Open,
Hard Drives Crash,
Flash Drives Get Corrupted.
Cloud based businesses close.
The only thing that works every time is…
The message varies slightly but it’s a message that is shared over and over again, week after week. Excluding the fact that it might be scare tactic marketing to sell prints, I can sometimes appreciate the intention of these tongue-in-cheek quotes. However in my humble opinion, the message is often too extreme and misleading.
A print is still one of the best ways to enjoy a photograph but lets not ignore the fact that as quickly as a hard drive will crash or a business will close, that print will suffer from light, water or fire damage.
And I want to reprint again and again.
I want to be able to create new prints of today’s images 25 years from now when technology is much better. I want to see it on paper, on canvas, on metals. I want the freedom that is not limited to that of a single print.
We should all enjoy, print and celebrate our work; but we should also be paying specific attention to the files in which a print is born from. The negative is everything and by ensuring that we all have a strong backup solution of our priceless files, there should be no need for print restoration services when we have all the tools necessary to maintain the files necessary for reprinting.
Would you rather a 25 year old print or a 25 year old digital file? It horrifies me that I have relatives who print from the memory card and once a print is in hand, proceeds to delete because they are making room for more.
When our ultimate clutter challenge comes to an end this month, we must ensure that we have a safe storage solution for the remaining image files.
Either it be prints or files — images are moments in time you can never have back. They simply can’t be replaced once lost and ensuring that you have a proper archival plan will ensure your life’s work will never be lost.
So the real question is: When was the last time you backed up your image files?