The photos shown in this post were taken in 1905. The ones that are missing were taken 100 years later in 2005. The ones taken in 1905 are in an album and are still available for us to see. The ones taken in 2005 are missing.
How can this be?
It’s very simple. The ones taken in 1905 were taken with film and prints were made of them. The ones taken in 2005 were taken on a digital camera and were never printed. The owner of these prints and missing files is my husband, John. His plan had been to go to England and find the spots where his grandfather had taken the pictures and take pictures in the same spots. One hundred years later!
He found most of the spots in and around Chillington, England. He was even able to match the first picture of his grandfather leaning on a fence with one of himself leaning on the very same fence. How exciting it must have been to have found the same spot that his grandfather had stood 100 years ago. He still has the pictures from 114 years ago, but not the ones from 14 years ago.
It must have been very exciting to plan and execute this trip following his grandfather’s footsteps.
But he only has his memory of the trip as those matching pictures are gone.
It’s a perfect example of what will happen in the future. In 100 years, our descendants won’t have any images to show how we lived. Unless we make prints.
Even if you’re running low on wall space, printing can still play an important role in archiving your images. The physics of how light bounces off a piece of paper and into your eyes is not going to change, but the way a computer reads an image file does change. JPEG, long the standard of compressed images, is beginning to give way to the new HEIF format. Optical disks like DVDs used to be the gold standard of photo backup, but now they’ve all but vanished. External hard drives have gone through several types of physical connection, from USB to FireWire to Thunderbolt — and several generations of each.
Please make prints to preserve your memories for yourself and for future generations!
Enjoy these pictures taken by Alfred Kaye in the year 1905!