Dealing with digital photos

Recently, one of my friend asked me about how to preserve the photos in his iPhone, actually I think this question is interesting as we usually have the delusion that we can keep them forever.

Just make some recall for your photo in the early age, like ten years ago? or even longer more than 15 years? can you find them now? I think for most people, the answer is no for any kinds of reason.

The answer for me is always the hard copy, backing to my early age (15 years ago) when the only photograph device I owned is a Nikon coolpix 880, the storage at that time is not so big, and photo printing is also pretty expensive, but still can be afford for me, so I will sort the photo out every years and print some of them, then keep them in folder.

Figure: My first digital camera was stolen in a barbershop. not the one where I have my hair cut for now
At that time, Kodak(柯达) was still ruling the filming industry, the traditional photograph is still recognized by most of the funs, such as my brother who bought the traditional Canon film camera, the reason I chose to buy a nikon digital camera is because I am working for a computer company and digital device is my natural choice at that time.

Why I choose nikon digital? the reason is simple, I can’t afford the hit product Sony F717 which inspired and impressed me how a digital photo can be, even after couples years, I still bought a Sony F828 to fulfill my F717 dream(Canon DSLR 300D/350D have already launched.), although actually F828 is not a very successful product with severe purple streaks under sunny scene, I think it is caused by the new 1st gen 4 CCD sensor, anyway it is still a good company with me until I got the 1st gen iPhone.

Figure: I missed it forever.

Figure: It can still work in 2018, just keep it for memorial

Before iPhone launched, printing the digital photos every years is a routine work for me, and at that time, people usually don’t generate too much photo because the limitation of the camera, even for the digital camera.

The invention of iPhone did make a revolution for the industry as I was not aware of that at that time, I just happened to walk by the Southpoint mall in Durham,US, stepping into the apple store to look around, then I found the iPhone, so I bought 2, one for my friend and the other for me (technically for my wife. ^_^).

Figure:This iphone can still work today, and probably running the iOS 3.12

Since then, my F828 retired entirely, taking photo have never been a easy thing, so the amount of photo generated increased dramatically. BTW, iPhone 1Gen is a AT&T locked one at that time, I have to jailbreak and unlock it to use in China.

I wasn’t aware the preservation problem of my photo at that time, just sync all my photo to the Photo App in macbook every time instead of printing them, when the time of refreshing my macbook coming, I suddenly found there are more than 100GB photo library in my macbook. Long story short, finally I bought 3 USB mobile hard drive, to make 3 copy of the library, then label them with the date and the reminder information about the renewal time every three year.

Figure: Sometimes, I don’t have the courage to open it again.

From the point of view today, I still don’t think this is a good idea for practicing, because it is too risky and the category problem would overwhelm you. In short, digital preservation is always a bad idea for personal use, hard copy printing is always the good choice just as I did dozen years ago. So I found a iCloud like cloud photo storage service(, upload the photo when I figure it is worthy for printing. It usually took me one year to accumulate enough photos such as 100-200 photos, then, I directly import them online to the printing vendor( , summit in batch and the photo will be delivered to you in one week.

The cost is pretty affordable as the steep competition in the printing marketing, typical 6in photo would only cost you 0.5 RMB(7 cents $), in fact, the vendor like Apple, HP( would also offer the similar service from flyer, calendar to photo printing, but the whole experience (localization)is not as good as did.

So the preservation of photo is no longer a problem for me, the only problem is I need a bigger storage room to put the photo album in ^_^

PS. Today, The most frequently used photograph device for me is an iPhone 6P, and sometimes, I would bring my 5D Mark III for some special occasions, which is very good but really not handy. I often feel embarrass when I take photo via DSLR in public.

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