Over the past couple of decades, professional and amateur photographers alike have been increasingly confronted with an unexpected problem, an issue that seldom arose with conventional film photography. In contrast to print film technology, the advent of digital photography allows a photographer to store a near-infinite number of images in a very small space, and to instantaneously share digital photos via an Internet connection or by sending the image from cell phone to cell phone. Since the digital image can be copied without loss of resolution, adopting digital photography in favor of film may seem to be the ideal solution for preserving photos indefinitely. But while traditional prints may fade over time, gradually losing resolution or parts of the image, digital images are far more vulnerable to wholesale eradication due to a hard drive crash or a malicious computer virus. Another consideration is that whole collections of images can become inaccessible due to the rapid evolution of the storage medium. Even when taking care to save photo files in the most popular format, photographers must contend with the fact that storage media become regularly superseded by newer technology.
To avoid image loss through accident or obsolescence, family archivists hoping to preserve their children''s photos for posterity should consider making backups the first line of defense in preserving digital information. Many universities and businesses regularly transfer all digital data into new formats as the technology becomes available, and individual consumers may simply have to resign themselves to doing the same. Labeling the archived file with the date and subject of the photo, just as generations have done with print media, is always advisable. And finally, producing archival print copies for storage may be the best security: a box full of photos can last up to 100 years under appropriate environmental conditions, far longer than platforms for data storage typically remain popular.
As a whole, the passage is primarily concerned with:
A contrasting the advantages of film photography to the benefits of digital photograph
B advocating a return to conventional film photography
C recommending solutions to a problem inherent with the use of a newer technology
D demonstrating that, because the digital images can be copied without loss of resolution, this format is superior to film prints
E discussing the evolution of photographic methods over time