I bought my first camera a Pentacon-F SLR in1958 while in my Catholic boarding school in Austin Texas.
It wasn’t until 1962 when my good friend Robert Hijar at the American college in Mexico City, Mexico City College, taught me to process film and to print the negatives. He had access to the school lab because he was getting an arts master.
When I went to Buenos Aires to do my military service in
the Argentine Navy at the end of 1964, I took with me a portable b+w film
developing kit. It consisted of Kodak HC-110 developer, a one reel Nikkor tank,
a thermometer, Kodak Fixer and a measuring device for mixing the developer with
I could not print my processed negatives but I could have them (and did) printed in commercial labs in Buenos Aires. It was not long before the portrait of me in my winter uniform, taken by John Sullivan saw the light of day.
Because I have well preserved family albums beginning in the 19th century I have a fine record of those that came before me.
Why am I writing this blog? I am raising the issue that if my contemporaries and photographers in this century aren’t careful they will lose all their images.
I have something called a syquest that I am unable to open. Will the hard drives, camera storage cards, etc, work in a few years? What happens if your computer crashes and you have not backed up your photographs? What happens if you lose your phone or it breaks down?
I have a huge set of metal archives with thousands of negatives and slides. I have printed the ones that I deem important. Since I started using my digital cameras, Fujis X-E1 and X-E3 I have printed the photographs that I think are important.
I use a very good German Hahnemühle bamboo inkjet paper that is supposed to be archival. For most of my darkroom printed photographs (1967- 2017) I placed the photographs in a bath of Kodak Selenium Toner that makes them archival.
What will happen to all those photographs being taken in this century. What will happen to them?
Does anybody care?