Are Today's Image Makers Fools?

Stack of photos and smartphone with image gallery app

In case you had not heard, Costco has announced the closing of the Photo Centres in many of their US based stores. Costco does not process film. They make prints. They can put those prints in frames or in books or on greeting cards. The common element is the print.

Why is Costco, that purveyor of nearly anything (no alcohol in Canada, wouldn’t be appropriate for intelligent people to make decisions about how to buy their beverages) shutting down their Photo Centres?

Because people are not making prints.

There is a word for this sheeple! The word is MORON

Fair warning, this isn’t one of those articles where I try to teach a technique or an approach, it’s more a rant against stupid

Yeah yeah, all your photos are on your phone. Until it dies and you discover that your backup wasn’t backing up, because who checks to see if backups of their phone are happening? You guessed right! No one checks.

Your photos are all on your computer too? That’s awesome because a computer has never ever crashed resulting in the loss of, what was that word? Oh yeah, EVERYTHING.

Don’t worry, my completely irreplaceable memories are IN THE CLOUD. Woohoo! Where is that cloud by the way? What do you mean there really is no cloud at all, just a data centre who knows where holding your memories linked to a userid and password. NOTHING has ever gone badly with a userid and password. No worries there.

Besides everyone has been sure to place these identities in a secure but recoverable place in case of personal disaster or loss, because hey, those memories are irreplaceable, and if you were gone and no one could get to them, that wouldn’t matter, would it?

For decades humans have put photos in albums, on the wall, in shoeboxes. More times than not, memories have been discoverable long after the fact, often by people who were not even alive when the memory was created. How about those pictures of your parents when they were young? Are they on your phone? Thought not.

Have you ever tried to find a photo shot more than a month ago on your phone or in your computer or in the ever so vaporous cloud without having put in place a rich and curated organizational strategy and method ahead of time? What’s that, repeat that last part? Who needs organization! AI can find anything! What do I mean that AI can’t find the photo of your long since departed Aunt Martha that you shot on your digital camera in 2001 and faithfully backed up on the now rotted and unusable CD?

I’m gonna offend a bunch of people right now. If you press a shutter release and do not make prints, you are an idiot. I’m not talking about professionals or serious amateurs with lots of money and time invested in their images, although most of them don’t print either. I’m talking to you who pulled your smartphone out when you and your friends were all together four weeks ago having a blast and the only memory of that event that is marginally retrievable is buried in the miasma of selfies and lunch snaps on your phone. That very special memory is already gone, because you won’t be able to find it, partly because Google told you that organization is not important, because they can find anything. However marvellous Google may be, they won’t be able to find an image of “that time you, Cindy, Mike and Amy all had a drink after that really lousy movie”.

I get it. Making images and short clips is so easy most people don’t even think about it. And since they don’t think about it, they don’t think about how to find it after it’s been made. Sure lots of these images truly are completely disposable, that happened in the old days too, but what about the ones that aren’t?

If you aren’t making prints, you’ve decided that your memories are irrelevant. Maybe they are and if so, I’d feel sorry for you, if I didn’t know it was your own damn fault.


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I'm Ross Chevalier, thanks for reading, watching and listening and until next time, peace.