Keep Your Photos for Years to Come; in This Digital Age, Will We Still Have Photos to Share with Future Generations?

Article excerpt

Byline: NIGEL ARNISON

MOST families these days would have a box of film and prints lying around the house.

Locked up in this treasure chest of slide film and emulsion is a little part of not only your family's story, but also a history of the Australian way of life.

My grandfather recently passed on our family's history in the form of a large cardboard box, weighing about 15kg and overflowing with thousands of film mounts and prints from as far back as the late 1940s.

For me, the true essence of photography is not as an art medium but as a documentary medium.

Just the fact that my grandfather had his camera with him and thought this moment was worth documenting is the essence of photography.

What is going to happen in 30 years to the family photos you shot on your 5MP digital camera?

We are lucky in a way that film was such an amazing long-term format for capturing the moment.

If our grandparents shot on digital and passed on their CDs from 40 years ago, there would be nothing left.

The reality is digital is quite an unstable medium for storing your precious family memories.

One power surge can destroy your hard drive, losing your data forever.

Considering 1% of all hard drives fail in the first 12 months, this means a lot of people are losing a lot of data.

The only way to secure our digital data is to back it up in more than one place.

The most economic way to store your photos is burning them on to quality CDs or DVDs. This is a suitable back-up medium for a five to 10-year period, depending on the quality of the disk you buy. …