Hitech could kill pho­tos

Waitaki Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLA WOLFE

Lo­cal busi­ness owner Ian Cope is warn­ing peo­ple to print out on­line pho­tos or risk los­ing them.

Cope, of Fo­tographix Fugi Film Im­age Ser­vice has echoed the mes­sage in an ar­ti­cle in the United King­dom’s Tele­graph quot­ing in­ter­net pi­o­neer Vint Cerf.

Cerf warned the 21st Cen­tury could be­come a ‘‘dark ages’’ due to the amount of data stored on­line that could po­ten­tially be lost.

Cope said one of the main rea­sons be­hind data be­com­ing in­ac­ces­si­ble was de­vel­op­ing tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘We won’t be able to ac­cess data for the same rea­son we can’t ac­cess a web­site from 20 years ago – soft­ware changes.’’

Com­puter viruses, lack of stor­age space and sys­tem crashes were also a cause.

He said there had been a no­tice­able drop in photo print­ing when stor­ing pho­tos on de­vices and on­line be­came a vi­able op­tion.

‘‘There was a big drop when it all started go­ing on­line. Peo­ple started stor­ing on com­put­ers, iPhones, iPads be­cause they could eas­ily show them.’’

It moved back into print­ing be­cause peo­ple found it more dif­fi­cult to find what they were look­ing for, com­put­ers crashed, and there was not enough space to store their pho­tos, he said.

How­ever, there are still a vast amount of peo­ple stor­ing pho­tos on­line with no back up – most in their teens and 20s, he said.

‘‘It’s danger­ous. It re­ally is. Any tech savvy per­son could hack any­thing and steal your pho­tos and you have no con­trol over them and you can’t get them back.

‘‘Once it’s on the net, yes it’s safe and se­cure and what­ever, but look at all those celebri­ties who’ve had their ac­counts hacked,’’ said Cope.

He also made men­tion of sev­eral past in­ci­dents where own­er­ship of pho­tos posted on­line had been dis­puted.

‘‘I wouldn’t be rais­ing this if it wasn’t im­por­tant. Print them out. There’s no way a virus can get to them or they can be deleted.’’

Waitaki Dis­trict Ar­chives cu­ra­tor Chris Meech also en­cour­aged peo­ple to print out their pho­tos as they are ‘‘an im­por­tant part of pre­serv­ing his­tory’’.

‘‘ Pho­to­graphs have rich per­sonal mean­ing. Many photo- graphs are unique and if lost, the in­for­ma­tion they pro­vide can never be re­placed.

‘‘They are im­me­di­ate and very ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple of all ages . . . [they] cap­ture de­tails and nu­ance of daily life that the writ­ten word can­not cap­ture.

‘‘ Dig­i­tal pho­to­graphs can be un­sta­ble and de­grade over time, they need to be looked af­ter just as pa­per records do,’’ he said.

‘‘ To prop­erly look af­ter your dig­i­tal pho­to­graphs you need to fol­low th­ese four sim­ple steps: Iden­tify, De­cide, or­gan­ise, and Make copies.

‘‘Iden­tify means find out where you have dig­i­tal pho­to­graphs – they may be on a com­puter, a phone, disk (and so on).

‘‘De­cide which pho­to­graphs are the most im­por­tant. Or­gan­ise the im­por­tant pho­to­graphs you have cho­sen. Make copies and store them in dif­fer­ent places.’’

Cope agrees said that now peo­ple have pho­tos on their phones they’re tak­ing hun­dreds. ‘‘Pick the im­por­tant ones.’’ The rest can be stored on ex­ter­nal hard drives and on­line web­sites de­signed for per­sonal photo stor­ing, he said.

He rec­om­mended in­ves­ti­gat­ing all avail­able web­sites and check­ing de­tails like past his­tory and how long they’ve been in the in­dus­try, whether pho­tos are their main line of busi­ness, stor­age and pri­vacy, ease of ac­cess for print­ing and whether you can talk to some­one lo­cally if you re­quire help.

He said he and his fam­ily use web­site www.fis­pho­tos.co.nz

Pieces of his­tory: Waitaki Dis­trict Ar­chives cu­ra­tor Chris Meech said pho­tos play an im­por­tant role in pre­serv­ing our his­tory.

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