Longer Lasting Memories

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.


  1. Hello,

    You are 200% right for this very “technologic” problem. The life of all digital support is so short that you always have to transfer data from one support to the next one.
    You forget to mention that VHS quality deteriorate with age ! So copy it quickly to DVD or BlueRay 🙂
    Now with digital photo, I print less but all go to my photobook. (Have so much box with bad photos… )

    Nobody knows if the quality of commercial print is equal to a Kodak print from 20-30 years ago ?
    We will have to wait and see.

    But now digital process allow you to copy without too much problem the photo od your great Grandparents isnt’it ? (It woulld have cost much some years ago !)

  2. With archival inks and papers becoming a little more affordable (relatively speaking) for home printing, I think your point is very strong.

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more!

  4. Jeff, I’ve had the same thoughts. What to do with all my pictures, (wedding pict, parties, friends, etc). All of our wedding picts are boxed in a closet. I think I went through them once. We do have some hanging throughout the house. The video, I have no idea where it’s at.

    Here’s a thought… make it a special night for you and your wife. Make her a nice candlelight dinner, dim the lights and cuddle up with her to watch your wedding video… she may like that… Of course the boys have to be out of the house…

    BTW… great blog, good job… I really like your training videos… Keep up the good work…

  5. James Walker says:

    I guess you could future proof your old films by converting them to DVD and then storing them with the DVD player itself. You might have to throw in your TV as well since the cable connections in the future will change no-doubt.

    We recently found some old 8mm cine films from our childhood and that was fascinating to watch. To see yourself as children in the 70’s and what we got up to was quite funny. We converted them to DVD and I put some music to some scenes and you really get the atmosphere of the time. My eldest brother used to go over the top with tomato ketchup though!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMNwupE7GXo

    Freiburg, Germany


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