Recommended reading

💻 Nelson Minar writes about the ugly stuff that Facebook facilitates — not anti-vax, but all the way to human trafficking. And Facebook is reluctant to intervene. Read Facebook revulsion, captivity

Old US 40 concrete alignment with bridge, Putnam Co.
Canon PowerShot S95, 2021

💻 Believe it or not, there really was a Dr. Scholl. He was more a marketer than a podiatrist, however. Jill Weiss Simins explains. Read Dr. Scholl’s… or “Dr.” Scholl’s?: A Hoosier’s Empire Built on Advertising

💻 Are you overstressed? Burned out? Consider lowering your standards, says Venkatesh Rao. Read Mediocratopia: 11

📷 You know how you don’t forget who’s in your photographs? Print them and write on them. Like we all used to have to. Kenneth Wajda explains why this remains a good idea. Read We Need To Print Our Photographs So We Have Something To Write On

📷 The more obscure the camera, the better to review it, I always say. Andy clearly agrees as he reviews the Fujica GE. Read Fuji GE

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13 thoughts on “Recommended reading

  1. Lone Primate says:

    “We Need To Print Our Photographs So We Have Something To Write On”? Heh, it’s called IPTC and XMP; the only earthly reason I can think of for using JPGs at all. I wish to goodness they’d implement it for PNG already. Print them if you like, by all means! But anything you would write down if you did, you can, and should, embed as well in the file itself. Works for TIF as well, IIRC.

    • Doug Anderson says:

      We recently removed the prints from an 80 year old family photo album. The photos are in perfect condition. The album was disintegrating from age. We were pleasantly surprised to find notes written in pencil on the back of each print. After 40+ years of wondering whose wedding cake is depicted in one of the pictures we now know.

      What are the chances that anyone will be able to view our jpg’s in 80 years, much less read the ipct or xmp files.

      • Andy Umbo says:

        Plus one Doug…I’ve stated on here before the absolute possibility that no one will care at all about your digital files after you pass away, compared to “real” photographs you may have laying around. It’s going to be rare if anyone turns on your computer, but the idea that they’re going to search for embedded information is laughable. It’s not even about if they’ll be able to read .jpgs., it’s that the majority of people won’t care to, and couldn’t be bothered. A physical item is far more treasured, and will be far into the future.

      • Digital files are fungible. I moved my images from floppy disk to CD, from CD to massive hard drives with multiple local and online backups.

        Fortunately I was able to scan and preserve the rapidly fading and cracking prints of long dead relatives.

      • Adding IPTC data to each digital picture is a good idea, without a question. But still, other than carving on some material, paper is the archival media.

        The problem with digital files is that there are so many of them. No one wants to go through a dead relative’s files. Think of all the people who upload their entire camera memory card to Flickr without culling and say, “Look at my pictures.” WTF?

        And who will copy and re-copy Uncle Joe’s digital media with each new storage format? Or who will have a reader and operating system and appropriate computer to read decades-old digital disks/drives? The descendants will have their own pictures to fool with. I worked at a DoD lab, and we lost digital files in 10 years, and we even had professional IT guys to help.

      • Andy Umbo says:

        As a person who’s spent a lifetime in advertising photography, and lived through the digital revolution, I always find it funny and sad that many who have been raised only in digital are hyper-defensive about it. Like alternate opinions threaten their income. When digital photography was horrible and not even close to what a transparency could deliver; those who cast their lot with digital were savage about “defending” it and lived in horror that somehow people might wake-up one morning and decide that yes, conventional film photography IS better, and the process of producing it is far more fun (which it is)! They always savagely want to put down alternate, experienced AND educated opinions!

        Arguing about digital vs. conventional photography is like arguing that all the artist that paint in oil can just cut all that out now because they can use an illustration program on an iPad. That kind of argument and it’s variations just make those who traffic in it look foolish.

        I celebrate the physical print, and look at digital as just only one tool, and definitely NOT a superior one, to what I want to accomplish in photography. If you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and want to spend your life sitting in front of a computer screen, that’s up to you, and that’s fine; but I celebrate that many of the Gen-Zeds find film photography and printing to be a mentally and metaphysically rewarding! Doug and others, print on!

  2. Andy Umbo says:

    Kenneth’s entry on writing on photos is interesting, and I have to say, I collect interesting old photos of all kinds, from snaps to professional portraits, and I always consider it a delightful “plus” to find something vintage with writing on the back, whether it’s just names or interesting anecdotal information. I remember seeing a late 1800’s photo of a dog in a farm setting, where someone had written “my only friend”. Break your heart from beyond…

  3. Some good reading this week Jim. In recent years I have started printing many of my photos again. No-one will go through my hard drives when I am gone, but prints may get an airing. I should start writing on the back of them too!
    Facebook. Brought me back into contact with old friends that I had completely lost touch with. That has been a mixed blessing – some have aged well, and are as I remember them. Some I have turned into people I no longer recognise or want anything to do with….I use Facebook for connecting with communities that interest me, which is mostly good. But I do wonder whether on balance the cost is too high. Their marketing clearly informs me they have no regard for the truth.

    • I agree – I’m printing my favorite photos because when I’m gone I can’t imagine anyone will want to sort through the 10s of thousands of images on my hard drive.

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