Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/12/15

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Subject: [Leica] Photogs in a Digitally Abreviated World
From: jonathan at (Jonathan Borden)
Date: Wed Dec 15 05:00:23 2004
References: <> <> <> <013b01c4e0c5$30704620$0201a8c0@jayanand> <> <> <005601c4e25a$53579800$87d86c18@ted>

  Ted Grant wrote:

> Dante Stella offered a wonderful piece of reality!!!!!!

Not true at all for at the very least my extended family. My very first 
Cibachrome prints resulted from the desire of my Grandfather to 
reproduce a painting of his grandfather that was in the possession of 
members of our family living in London.

I, at the time 15, made a deal with him such that if he were to buy me 
the equipment to do Cibachrome that I would make a reproduction for him 
(I had no idea at the time that this might be difficult :-) I turns out 
that the original was slightly faded, and consequently the colors 
perhaps not as contrasty as they once were and once I made a Kodachrome 
and then a Cibachrome, the colors turned out vibrant and the picture 
had a very nice contrast which thrilled all my relatives -- I was able 
to hit him up for $ for more paper and chemicals so that I could print 
copies for my relatives, several of whom had them framed and displayed 
prominently in their homes.

With small photos, a scanner and photoshop this sort of thing is fairly 
easy and I frequently enlarge little 4x5 prints of people to 8x10s. 
They frame them and hang them in their homes.

> Subject: Re: [Leica] Photogs in a Digitally Abreviated World
>> Let me offer a different perspective.  Archival life does not matter 
>> while you are alive, because you can always make more prints.  Or 
>> scan negs or whatever.  Nor does it matter after you die.
>> Let's start with the brutal truth.  No one will care about 99% of 
>> your (anyone's) pictures when you are gone.<<<<<<<<
> Hi Dante,
> Right on the mark and so truthful an opening comment as I've ever seen 
> on the importance of archival processing and requirements!!

I can't make any sort of statement about 99% of all people and photos 
but as far as I and my extended family are concerned this is plainly 

I would say that fundamentally photography, in contrast to painting, is 
about preserving history. Prior to the advent of photography the 
majority of paintings were portraits of people.

> I laugh at some of the people on list and many others over the years 
> going on about "the archival preserving of their images for ever and 
> forever!" Then when you see the pictures it immediately evokes a one 
> word question, "WHY?"

Because our families are often concerned with their legacies and where 
they came from ... ever look at any of the family tree sites on the 
internet? What planet have you been living on?

> I mean who the hell do these people think they are about preserving 
> their photographs way beyond 100 years? And yes that includes my work 
> as well and I've photographed some pretty powerful folks, but so what? 
> Of all of the pictures and moments, thousands and thousands there's 
> probably a few pictures at best worth saving for the future, well Ok 
> for the next few years so they'll have a few to run with my obit!

Granted not ALL photos are worth preserving, but as someone who has 
also spent $$$ having old family photos restored (this being prior to 
the advent of photoshop), at the very least one reason I care about 
archivally producing family photos is so that my grandchildren, or 
their grandchildren ___ if they so wish ___ will have pictures of their 
ancestors in good shape.

>> Look in every antique store that has a box of old family photos for 
>> sale. Bet the people in them were glad they spent a princely sum of 
>> money on a photograph.  I have seen enough deaths in my time to know 
>> that photographs are among the things that get weeded through, if not 
>> pitched.<<<<<<<

What is interesting is that the old photos of someone elses family are 
for sale.

Claiming the worthlessness of all old family photos because some people 
throw them away is like claiming the worthlessness of all photography 
because there are many bad family photos.

I have a little clue for y'all fancy photogs: If it weren't for the 
little family photo Kodak,  Polaroid and many other companies would 
never have been what they were/are and the entire course of photography 
might have been very different.

> An interesting observation. When people are questioned about what did 
> they save as they escaped a burning home, quite often answer... "we 
> grabbed our photo albums and money!"  And this is a pretty standard 
> answer asked of many survivors. And yes at the time.. "in their lives" 
> the pictures are truly important. However, after they're gone an 
> offspring may keep them around for a while, but eventually the albums 
> go into a box and are shuffled from space to space to eventually?  You 
> guessed it.. the re-cycle bin!

Do you think the same happens to 8x10 or 16x20 framed portraits. It is 
the tiny old clumps of photos that get pitched. Photoshop gives them a 
brand new life.


In reply to: Message from richard-lists at (Richard) ([Leica] The only Leica I ever sold -- survey time)
Message from abridge at (Adam Bridge) ([Leica] Printer experiences of the LUG)
Message from s_gregory1 at (Scott Gregory) ([Leica] Printer experiences of the LUG)
Message from jgovindaraj at (Jayanand Govindaraj) ([Leica] Printer experiences of the LUG)
Message from leicanikon at (Stephen Gandy) ([Leica] Photogs in a Digitally Abreviated World)
Message from dstella1 at (Dante Stella) ([Leica] Photogs in a Digitally Abreviated World)
Message from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] Photogs in a Digitally Abreviated World)