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Jan 9, 2019 16:42:48   #
Curmudgeon (a regular here)
 
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I woke up about 4AM a couple mornings ago with this simple thought running through my mind: The trouble with digital photography is there is no analog output.

No, stop, wait a minute! Before you go off on a rant, let me set the ground rules. This post is aimed a specific group: Over 65 years of age, grew up with parents, grandparents and if you were lucky great grandparents, owned a box camera of some kind and worked up from there, you took snapshots because that's what you did with a Brownie Hawkeye, your parents took snapshots with a Brownie Junior Six-20 or equivalent.

Now, it is holiday season 1954. The family gets together for a three generation dinner. After dinner everyone is in a mellow mood, a little wine, a drink or two for the adults and a sugar buzz for the kids. The oldsters start to tell stories about the good old days and suddenly grandma's eyes light up and she leaves the room. Two minutes later she's back with a stack of photo albums, grandpa is right behind with his arms full of shoe boxes, it's picture time. Ten minutes later there are pictures and photo albums scattered all over the room. The stories are more animated now, more wine. The kids who are still up start to learn what it was really like in the "Good old days".

Now we fast forward to 1963. Great grand parents are gone now and parents host the annual family dinner. Same scenario. Drinks, wine and dinner albums and shoe boxes come out again and we watch another generation grow up. This time though some of the pictures are Polaroid. Still everything is a snapshot.

Fast forward again 2018 we are the grand parents, maybe great grand parents. If we are lucky we still have the family dinner, we have too many drinks and too much wine. After dinner we sit around with our family and the topic drifts to the "Good old days". Suddenly my wife's eyes light up and she disappears down the hall and returns a few minutes later with a lap top computer and a stack of SD cards.

Probably just an old man's nostalgia but it doesn't seem to project the same warm feelings as passing pictures around and trying to remember where and when they were taken and telling stories about what the mean and not what they show.

That's what I mean about no analog output. There is something important being lost. To me, reading a book is preferable to reading a book on an electronic device. I hold a picture in my hand, the paper is stiff and crinkly, the picture is probably a little faded and brown but it is somehow more real than an image on a screen. The very fact of holding it makes the memory more real somehow. Again all of this could be the fantasy of a nostalgic old Curmudgeon, but...

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Jan 9, 2019 16:51:45   #
blue-ultra (a regular here)
 
Its all about the generation. This generation doesn't want to read a book. They want audio books. They don't want paper reports, they want it electronically. They don't want photographs to hang on the wall they want digital photos on their phone or Ipad. I know this because I am 76 yrs old work in an office with this generation and I have great, great, grandchildren. Sad but true. Just enjoy their company while you can. I know that when I am gone and they are cleaning out my stuff they will most likely throw most of it out...again, sad but true...

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Jan 9, 2019 16:56:30   #
NMGal (a regular here)
 
No fantasy. I have a fire safe box full of real photographs that I pull out once in a while. I look at them and know that what I see is real. The photos on my laptop do not give me that feeling. I know mine have little to no post processing but looking at others pictures, I can’t help but wonder if that is the way it was or is it doctored up to look entirely different.

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Jan 9, 2019 16:58:02   #
AkExPat
 
Curmudgeon wrote:
The trouble with digital photography is there is no analog output.


While I didn’t have quite the same start you mentioned, it was pretty close. I still have stacks of snap shots in the closet, as well as the computer with lots of images. Curmudgeon, you are right on, however, there is something special about holding a photo versus “looking” at the same image on a computer.

Thanks for the memory’s.

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Jan 9, 2019 17:13:00   #
BlueMorel (a regular here)
 
I am the keeper of the photos handed down through generations. My mother was the only living descendant of my great-grandfather, and my Dad was the youngest of his generation, so they both inherited many family photos, a few from the mid-1800's even. These photos made our ancestors come alive for me. Through death, distance, and family circumstances I only met one grandmother twice and one great-aunt once. My Mom would go through the photos for us "once in a blue moon", so we were always looking at full moons to see if they looked blue. I have scanned many of them in, and when I'm with the littlest ones I bring out my computer and show them some, as well as some of the old prints. One of my granddaughters seems most interested in the extensive genealogy I have gathered and a few of the little ones (6 great-grandchildren) show interest, so I'm hoping one of the younger generation will become keeper of the photos and the ancestry file. I hate going to estate sales and seeing old family photos being sold.

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Jan 9, 2019 17:17:49   #
Architect1776 (a regular here)
 
Curmudgeon wrote:
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I woke up about 4AM a couple mornings ago with this simple thought running through my mind: The trouble with digital photography is there is no analog output.

No, stop, wait a minute! Before you go off on a rant, let me set the ground rules. This post is aimed a specific group: Over 65 years of age, grew up with parents, grandparents and if you were lucky great grandparents, owned a box camera of some kind and worked up from there, you took snapshots because that's what you did with a Brownie Hawkeye, your parents took snapshots with a Brownie Junior Six-20 or equivalent.

Now, it is holiday season 1954. The family gets together for a three generation dinner. After dinner everyone is in a mellow mood, a little wine, a drink or two for the adults and a sugar buzz for the kids. The oldsters start to tell stories about the good old days and suddenly grandma's eyes light up and she leaves the room. Two minutes later she's back with a stack of photo albums, grandpa is right behind with his arms full of shoe boxes, it's picture time. Ten minutes later there are pictures and photo albums scattered all over the room. The stories are more animated now, more wine. The kids who are still up start to learn what it was really like in the "Good old days".

Now we fast forward to 1963. Great grand parents are gone now and parents host the annual family dinner. Same scenario. Drinks, wine and dinner albums and shoe boxes come out again and we watch another generation grow up. This time though some of the pictures are Polaroid. Still everything is a snapshot.

Fast forward again 2018 we are the grand parents, maybe great grand parents. If we are lucky we still have the family dinner, we have too many drinks and too much wine. After dinner we sit around with our family and the topic drifts to the "Good old days". Suddenly my wife's eyes light up and she disappears down the hall and returns a few minutes later with a lap top computer and a stack of SD cards.

Probably just an old man's nostalgia but it doesn't seem to project the same warm feelings as passing pictures around and trying to remember where and when they were taken and telling stories about what the mean and not what they show.

That's what I mean about no analog output. There is something important being lost. To me, reading a book is preferable to reading a book on an electronic device. I hold a picture in my hand, the paper is stiff and crinkly, the picture is probably a little faded and brown but it is somehow more real than an image on a screen. The very fact of holding it makes the memory more real somehow. Again all of this could be the fantasy of a nostalgic old Curmudgeon, but...
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I... (show quote)


By and large the current young generation don't care at all about history including family history. I have digitized hundreds of family photos dating to the late 1800's including their great great grandfather in Mexico and his home there. Only about 10% of the younger ones looked and downloaded. Even those older ones seemed to care less. Things have changed. I still am glad I have digitized and still am digitizing these old photos, negatives and slides. I have a historical society at ASU very interested in the photos as they deal with some historical figures and events as well.

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Jan 9, 2019 17:30:06   #
xt2 (a regular here)
 
Try NixPlay to have your entire family from anywhere in the world be able to add to or view your photos on high rez digital frames! It is a wonderful way to connect with family who is flung across the universe...

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Jan 9, 2019 17:39:52   #
via the lens (a regular here)
 
Curmudgeon wrote:
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I woke up about 4AM a couple mornings ago with this simple thought running through my mind: The trouble with digital photography is there is no analog output.

No, stop, wait a minute! Before you go off on a rant, let me set the ground rules. This post is aimed a specific group: Over 65 years of age, grew up with parents, grandparents and if you were lucky great grandparents, owned a box camera of some kind and worked up from there, you took snapshots because that's what you did with a Brownie Hawkeye, your parents took snapshots with a Brownie Junior Six-20 or equivalent.

Now, it is holiday season 1954. The family gets together for a three generation dinner. After dinner everyone is in a mellow mood, a little wine, a drink or two for the adults and a sugar buzz for the kids. The oldsters start to tell stories about the good old days and suddenly grandma's eyes light up and she leaves the room. Two minutes later she's back with a stack of photo albums, grandpa is right behind with his arms full of shoe boxes, it's picture time. Ten minutes later there are pictures and photo albums scattered all over the room. The stories are more animated now, more wine. The kids who are still up start to learn what it was really like in the "Good old days".

Now we fast forward to 1963. Great grand parents are gone now and parents host the annual family dinner. Same scenario. Drinks, wine and dinner albums and shoe boxes come out again and we watch another generation grow up. This time though some of the pictures are Polaroid. Still everything is a snapshot.

Fast forward again 2018 we are the grand parents, maybe great grand parents. If we are lucky we still have the family dinner, we have too many drinks and too much wine. After dinner we sit around with our family and the topic drifts to the "Good old days". Suddenly my wife's eyes light up and she disappears down the hall and returns a few minutes later with a lap top computer and a stack of SD cards.

Probably just an old man's nostalgia but it doesn't seem to project the same warm feelings as passing pictures around and trying to remember where and when they were taken and telling stories about what the mean and not what they show.

That's what I mean about no analog output. There is something important being lost. To me, reading a book is preferable to reading a book on an electronic device. I hold a picture in my hand, the paper is stiff and crinkly, the picture is probably a little faded and brown but it is somehow more real than an image on a screen. The very fact of holding it makes the memory more real somehow. Again all of this could be the fantasy of a nostalgic old Curmudgeon, but...
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I... (show quote)


You can print your images and then it would be the same.

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Jan 9, 2019 17:41:17   #
Bipod (a regular here)
 
Curmudgeon wrote:
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I woke up about 4AM a couple mornings ago with this simple thought running through my mind: The trouble with digital photography is there is no analog output.

No, stop, wait a minute! Before you go off on a rant, let me set the ground rules. This post is aimed a specific group: Over 65 years of age, grew up with parents, grandparents and if you were lucky great grandparents, owned a box camera of some kind and worked up from there, you took snapshots because that's what you did with a Brownie Hawkeye, your parents took snapshots with a Brownie Junior Six-20 or equivalent.

Now, it is holiday season 1954. The family gets together for a three generation dinner. After dinner everyone is in a mellow mood, a little wine, a drink or two for the adults and a sugar buzz for the kids. The oldsters start to tell stories about the good old days and suddenly grandma's eyes light up and she leaves the room. Two minutes later she's back with a stack of photo albums, grandpa is right behind with his arms full of shoe boxes, it's picture time. Ten minutes later there are pictures and photo albums scattered all over the room. The stories are more animated now, more wine. The kids who are still up start to learn what it was really like in the "Good old days".

Now we fast forward to 1963. Great grand parents are gone now and parents host the annual family dinner. Same scenario. Drinks, wine and dinner albums and shoe boxes come out again and we watch another generation grow up. This time though some of the pictures are Polaroid. Still everything is a snapshot.

Fast forward again 2018 we are the grand parents, maybe great grand parents. If we are lucky we still have the family dinner, we have too many drinks and too much wine. After dinner we sit around with our family and the topic drifts to the "Good old days". Suddenly my wife's eyes light up and she disappears down the hall and returns a few minutes later with a lap top computer and a stack of SD cards.

Probably just an old man's nostalgia but it doesn't seem to project the same warm feelings as passing pictures around and trying to remember where and when they were taken and telling stories about what the mean and not what they show.

That's what I mean about no analog output. There is something important being lost. To me, reading a book is preferable to reading a book on an electronic device. I hold a picture in my hand, the paper is stiff and crinkly, the picture is probably a little faded and brown but it is somehow more real than an image on a screen. The very fact of holding it makes the memory more real somehow. Again all of this could be the fantasy of a nostalgic old Curmudgeon, but...
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I... (show quote)

Kodak folders: No. 2C Autographic Jr, Senior Six-16, Retina IIIc
Kodak box: Brownie Hawkeye (because it's cute)
Here comes the rant...

You are absolutely correct. Most people who capture images no longer make prints.
"Photograph" used to mean something tangible, now it means a bucket of bits.

Thank heaven everyone owns 17" high resolution monitors and the hardware required
to color calibrate them! They do, right? Ut-oh...

Fortunately, you won't have to worry about that laptop for long--it will die and so will
fhe SD cards within a couple of years. And so, probably, will the images.

The first computer I used was a Burroughs 5500 mainframe. I've been using computers
ever since and I've observed this: all digital data eventually goes *Poof!* and disappears.

I have boxes full of media that either is no longer readable, or for which a drive is no
longer made. Repeated migration to new media is fine until something goes wrong.
Backup and restore is fine until something goes wrong.

History shows what is truly permanent. If you want something to last, carve it on the
inside of a pyramid. The pyramid text of Unas is perfectly readable after
4,300 years. But we also have silver prints from the Civil War that look great (especially
the "sepia" sulfide-toned ones).

Photographs used to look like the attached. Now they're mostly slick things in garish color,
with limited resolution and depth-of-field. But wer're assured that the gadgets that take them
and print them are really high tech. They work so well, we have to keep replacing them
every couple of years. (But hey, that's good for corporate profits and executive bonuses.
Thanks, guys!)

And who could fail to love a computer printer. What's not to love about a paper jam?
Or a plugged inkjet head? Of course, everybody here can repair their own ink jet or
laser printer, or even build one. They all undrstand how the firmware works....and all
about page description languages and bit-mapped graphics....

Joe Consumer (and his Uncle Bob) are the kings of photography, these days. They decide
what gets built. . Professional photographers have mostly gone out of business and
so have camera stores and labs. The last fine art photographer has just been stuffed as an
exhibit in the Smithsonian Insitution

Consumers don't produce--they consume. They aren't in control--the marketers are.
Nobody just woke up one morning and said, "I think I'll have a glass of caramel-colored
carbonated sugar water!" You can thank Coca-Cola Company for that wonderful innovation.
(And dang, they took the cocaine out of it!)

Photography is no longer about looking at photographs, it's about the fun of taking them
(preferably with a "selfie stick").

Last year, film director (and Polaroid still photographer) Wim Wenders was looking for a term
for "that activity which looks like photography but isn't." I suggested "fauxtogtraphy".

Welcome, fauxtographers (and you few poor souls who struggle to make decent sized prints
out of these low res, heavily processed image files). Who needs resolution when you can
just run "sharpen"? Increase color saturation and everything looks like a sunset--how wonderful!
Welcome to Oz, Inc.

Eastman Kodak made many poor cameras, but they were inexpensive and reliable. Kodak never
lied or misled anyone. And its lab research and technical documentation were excellent. Besides
which, Geroge Eastman started as a professional photographer.

And I still shoot that Retina IIIc folder fairly often.

Carleton Watkins, "Cape Horn, Columbia River", 1867 (this is just a digital scan -- the original is even better).


(Download)

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Jan 9, 2019 18:20:33   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
Curmudgeon wrote:
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I woke up about 4AM a couple mornings ago with this simple thought running through my mind: The trouble with digital photography is there is no analog output.

No, stop, wait a minute! Before you go off on a rant, let me set the ground rules. This post is aimed a specific group: Over 65 years of age, grew up with parents, grandparents and if you were lucky great grandparents, owned a box camera of some kind and worked up from there, you took snapshots because that's what you did with a Brownie Hawkeye, your parents took snapshots with a Brownie Junior Six-20 or equivalent.

Now, it is holiday season 1954. The family gets together for a three generation dinner. After dinner everyone is in a mellow mood, a little wine, a drink or two for the adults and a sugar buzz for the kids. The oldsters start to tell stories about the good old days and suddenly grandma's eyes light up and she leaves the room. Two minutes later she's back with a stack of photo albums, grandpa is right behind with his arms full of shoe boxes, it's picture time. Ten minutes later there are pictures and photo albums scattered all over the room. The stories are more animated now, more wine. The kids who are still up start to learn what it was really like in the "Good old days".

Now we fast forward to 1963. Great grand parents are gone now and parents host the annual family dinner. Same scenario. Drinks, wine and dinner albums and shoe boxes come out again and we watch another generation grow up. This time though some of the pictures are Polaroid. Still everything is a snapshot.

Fast forward again 2018 we are the grand parents, maybe great grand parents. If we are lucky we still have the family dinner, we have too many drinks and too much wine. After dinner we sit around with our family and the topic drifts to the "Good old days". Suddenly my wife's eyes light up and she disappears down the hall and returns a few minutes later with a lap top computer and a stack of SD cards.

Probably just an old man's nostalgia but it doesn't seem to project the same warm feelings as passing pictures around and trying to remember where and when they were taken and telling stories about what the mean and not what they show.

That's what I mean about no analog output. There is something important being lost. To me, reading a book is preferable to reading a book on an electronic device. I hold a picture in my hand, the paper is stiff and crinkly, the picture is probably a little faded and brown but it is somehow more real than an image on a screen. The very fact of holding it makes the memory more real somehow. Again all of this could be the fantasy of a nostalgic old Curmudgeon, but...
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I... (show quote)


I'm 74, now a grandfather, and grew up with my parents ('till the age of 15, when work took me away from home in 1960), and grand parents, on dads side, lived not so far away. We had family dinners, however old photographs were never pulled out and there was very little alcohol. We discussed what was happening in our lives, catching up, and plans for the future. We never stayed ovenight.

Nowdays our small family, which is spread out a bit, only gets all together for Christmas. The conversation is still similar, catching up, and plans for the future are discussed.
Never ever do we sit around a computer or TV and look at photographs. Our oldest children are not all that nostalgic ("come in the surf with us instead just staying on the beach taking photographs"), and our youngest are very career (medicine in the case of one), and phones with screens, orientated although our youngest son is a historian by formal training and takes a more academic view. A small amount of alcohol will be consumed, depending on who is driving.
That doesn't make our get togethers any less enjoyable.
Photography by my wife.
.
Christmas eve 2016 - I'm the old guy with the grey hair.
Christmas eve 2016 - I'm the old guy with the grey...
(Download)

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Jan 9, 2019 18:21:37   #
alby
 
the generation in between pulled out racks and racks of slides and we all set around and looked at them on a screen hanging from the ceiling. we all could see them at once....... and oohed and aahed for hours.... memories

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Now You Can Master Any DSLR Camera And Take Gorgeous, Attention-Grabbing Photos
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Jan 9, 2019 18:44:34   #
Photocraig
 
Curmudgeon wrote:
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I woke up about 4AM a couple mornings ago with this simple thought running through my mind: The trouble with digital photography is there is no analog output.

No, stop, wait a minute! Before you go off on a rant, let me set the ground rules. This post is aimed a specific group: Over 65 years of age, grew up with parents, grandparents and if you were lucky great grandparents, owned a box camera of some kind and worked up from there, you took snapshots because that's what you did with a Brownie Hawkeye, your parents took snapshots with a Brownie Junior Six-20 or equivalent.

Now, it is holiday season 1954. The family gets together for a three generation dinner. After dinner everyone is in a mellow mood, a little wine, a drink or two for the adults and a sugar buzz for the kids. The oldsters start to tell stories about the good old days and suddenly grandma's eyes light up and she leaves the room. Two minutes later she's back with a stack of photo albums, grandpa is right behind with his arms full of shoe boxes, it's picture time. Ten minutes later there are pictures and photo albums scattered all over the room. The stories are more animated now, more wine. The kids who are still up start to learn what it was really like in the "Good old days".

Now we fast forward to 1963. Great grand parents are gone now and parents host the annual family dinner. Same scenario. Drinks, wine and dinner albums and shoe boxes come out again and we watch another generation grow up. This time though some of the pictures are Polaroid. Still everything is a snapshot.

Fast forward again 2018 we are the grand parents, maybe great grand parents. If we are lucky we still have the family dinner, we have too many drinks and too much wine. After dinner we sit around with our family and the topic drifts to the "Good old days". Suddenly my wife's eyes light up and she disappears down the hall and returns a few minutes later with a lap top computer and a stack of SD cards.

Probably just an old man's nostalgia but it doesn't seem to project the same warm feelings as passing pictures around and trying to remember where and when they were taken and telling stories about what the mean and not what they show.

That's what I mean about no analog output. There is something important being lost. To me, reading a book is preferable to reading a book on an electronic device. I hold a picture in my hand, the paper is stiff and crinkly, the picture is probably a little faded and brown but it is somehow more real than an image on a screen. The very fact of holding it makes the memory more real somehow. Again all of this could be the fantasy of a nostalgic old Curmudgeon, but...
Being old and not sleeping as well as I used to, I... (show quote)


Reactions:
4AM--You TOO!
Boxes of photos of people who, if I don't know, nobody knows who they are. Sad.

Remarkably sharp likenesses of many people we do love and DO remember when they looked like that. And even when we looked like that.

You forgot the greatest barrier to viewing of them all, the 35mm Slide Projector and screen or bedsheet in a dark room. (That's how I snuck drinks from everybody when I was 14. Booom ZIIIIng!

Since people don't print many photos, even US! I'd like to see an easy wireless TV viewer from that laptop. It is within a thumb and forefinger from being just that easy and accessible.

PS: One of our family members makes a Calendar every year of the grandchild generation. I think I'll send her a Shutterfly gift card this year.

Happy New Year Hogs,
C

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Jan 9, 2019 20:33:37   #
BlueMorel (a regular here)
 
This whole discussion reminds me that the art of letter writing is disappearing, too, and soon there will be no material for those wonderful letter collections of historical or literary figures for us to read. I have my grandmother's original letters to her cousin in the early 1900's, and a few letters my father wrote to my mother when he was away. I also have a few that I wrote to my parents when I was a young mother. Email and Facebook are so ephemeral and don't feel as collectible. There is no sense of the past nowadays, so the younger generations can't learn from history.

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Jan 9, 2019 21:46:06   #
SonyA580
 
That's what I mean about no analog output. There is something important being lost.

What's the problem? Print the pictures on the SD cards.

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Jan 9, 2019 21:52:29   #
Shutterbug57
 
Yup, we are getting old & times are a changing.

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