Photo courtesy of Erica Marshall
So all this talk about cameras with built in video got me to thinking. Video is great but the reality of it is that it is a fairly short term visual experience. Take the wedding video for example. Like most people, I had a wedding photographer and a videographer at my wedding. When all was said and done, I ended up with a bunch of photos and a video (I actually had a friend shoot the wedding so I have all my negs too). Over the past 16 years I have looked at the photos countless times and even have one framed. My Mother and Mother-In-Law have copies hanging in their homes as well as parent albums. My children have looked through the albums on more than one occasion. Guess how many times my wedding video has been seen? If my math is correct, I would have to say, just once.
Here’s another thing, my video is on good old fashioned VHS tape. I think I have one VHS player left in the house that still works. I’m not sure how much longer I will even be able to buy a VHS deck. So get it digitized to DVD, you say? I could do that, and probably will. But then what? How much longer does DVD have before it moves to the great pile of abandoned technology in the sky? Then what, Blue Ray? I hear it’s already on it’s way out before it ever really got established. Maybe not but the point is that I will forever be chasing new technology to help preserve that video that I have never watched. Even if I made a point of watching it all the time, I would still need to move it from one media type to the next. Now let’s look at the flip side, that wedding picture that I have setting on the cradenza in my dining room has been looked at thousands of times and it’s still the same picture that I had printed and framed over 16 years ago. Epson, Canon, and HP all claim that their prints have archival lives that reach into the double century mark. If that is the case, I don’t think I’ll be needing to reprint my photos over and over to be able to enjoy them in the years to come.
So what’s the point, you may ask? I’m not really sure except to say that the photographic print is something that can be enjoyed and shared for decades, if not centuries without any more effort than having the original print made. Video, while very cool, will force you to chase technology long into the future if you want to keep it in a format that you can still watch. Just try and find a Super 8 projector for those old home movies.
By the way, I also have a 16×20 wedding photo of my Wife’s Great Grandparents in my dining room. No upgrade required.