Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/06/19

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Film is Archival (long reply)
From: "Gerry Walden" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 07:42:12 +0100
References: <> <141c01c336f4$0c1c7ea0$31e47d80@KRIEGERLPT>

I heard recently that the Twentieth Century will be 'the century of 
film' because, give or take a few years, it will historically be shown 
as the only century in which film was used to record things which are 
then retained for the future. As such it will prove to be the century 
for which we have the most complete record.

The reality is that digital images are being wiped from peoples 
computers all the time for all kinds of reasons. Images which were 
thought to be mundane a century ago are now proving to be a cornerstone 
of social history. The work of people like Margaret Bourke White, Walker 
Evans et el give an unparalleled insight into that period of history, as 
does the work of Fenton before them and Bailey, McCullen, Burrows etc. 
since. Would that work still be available if it were on digital media?

I remember one of the most respected picture editors in the UK (Eamon 
McCabe) saying that so many images were arriving at his desk during the 
Los Angeles Olympics (the first to be covered totally by the major 
agencies on digital cameras and email transmission) that he found it 
impossible to keep up and was deleting whole files without even looking! 
The work of initial editing had moved from the photographers selecting 
images to the picture editor who was getting whole sequences of frames.

I find this loss of archival record to be of serious concern which 
appears to have been disregarded in the headlong rush to use the very 
latest technology


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Gerry Walden LRPS
+44 23 8046 3076

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