When digital cameras first hit the market, they were kind of a novelty. My mother bought one, but she didn’t love it because it was just an expensive, complicated way for her to get a physical photograph.
And that’s all that mattered to her – the physical photograph. The digital version was an annoying step in the process. My wife was the same way for a long time.
Related to this, two years ago, I posted a short item about how global paper use is declining. In it, I quoted this:
“Paper is no longer the master copy; the digital version is,” says Brewster Kahle, the founder and director of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library.
This has also become true with pictures. We had family portraits taken a couple weeks ago. They turned out great, and my wife made an appointment with the photographer to pick the ones she wanted. She asked me which ones I wanted, and I was a little taken aback by the question.
“Well, I want all of them,” I responded. “Can’t you just get a CD?”
“Maybe,” Annie said. “But which ones do you want…for real? Like, to put in an album?”
I honestly couldn’t figure out what I would do with a paper photograph. I was at a loss of what the value was. It seemed so…limiting.
I just got 400+ pictures from a friend of her vacation to Italy. I put them on my iPad, which is fantastic for scrolling through large sets of pictures. This is frankly all the photo album I think I will ever need.
So, image media has officially been reversed. The digital version used to be an annoying stepping stone to a physical version. Now, the physical version is almost a weird afterthought.