Why it is important to print your images

Avoid the risk of losing those precious photographic memories, and get printing today!

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Our grandparents had leather-bound photo albums, but we, the digital generation, have social media. While it has made sharing your holiday snaps easier than ever, the digital revolution has also meant thousands of people risk losing their precious memories due to hardware failures, accidental deletion or the loss of cameras or smartphones.

Last year PMA and Fujifilm launched a ‘Print it or Lose it’ campaign to encourage Aussies to start printing their digital images.

PMA director of Australian activities, Peter Rose, said there is a real risk that people’s photographic records could be completely wiped out simply because electronic images do not have the same preservation properties as printed images. He said natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis had seen the destruction of millions of images, but if a print exists, not all is lost. He cites the Photo Restoration Project in Japan as an example.

“While many people lost everything, hundreds of thousands of printed photographs found in the mud and rubble were able to be restored, despite being affected by salt water. However, many digital photos captured on electronic devices were not as fortunate, as they could not survive the impact of the catastrophe.”

Rose said the only way to really guarantee your digital photos will last a lifetime is to print them. Camera House fine art print specialist, Peter Lang, agrees. Lang said he couldn’t count the number of times people have come in to the store hoping to have their digital files rescued after accidental deletion or damage. “There’s always tears when we encounter that,” Lang told Better Pictures. “Printing is definitely the way to go.”

For Lang the best way to ensure your images are preserved for posterity is to print them. Plus he is quick to point out photography is a visual medium, and what better format to view your photos than in print?

As a speciality store, Camera House offers shooters plenty of options when it comes to printing their photos. From paper selection to assistance in tweaking images to achieve the best-looking print, Lang is always happy to help.

“We have wet lab – which is the traditional silver lined print – and that has an archival life of roughly a hundred years and with the inkjet you’re looking at a 100 years plus with that. Everything we print now is going to outlast me,” he laughs.

Lang said he often prints for professional shooters – whether it is works for a gallery exhibition or for commission – but most recently he has seen the rise of the photo book as a popular choice amongst everyday consumers.

“Dragging out your iPad to show your pics from the trip to Tuscany is the iPad equivalent of the slide night and it’s as boring as hell,” said Lang. “So a lot more people are coming around to the idea of presenting their photos in a photo book that shows the story of their trip. It’s more documentary in style. Photography is about storytelling at its essence, so when people put their mind to it these books are great.”

He said he is always available to give advice to newbie shooters and suggests the most important thing to consider before you even click the shutter is as simple as shooting in RAW.

“I’ll go through things like colour management so they realise the difference between what they print and what they see on screen…. When people understand and see that, and really get it, it’s wonderful. But doing a few basic rules of colour management – like shooting in RAW instead of JPG and setting up their camera – there basic things that really help before you even consider printing. I’m definitely happy to talk to customers about that. Just try and shut me up!”

Visit your local Camera House store to discuss your print options.

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