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Wessex grasp the nettle of non-Digital Photographic sustainability
#1
Last year the only remaining manufacturer of colour reversal (slide) film ceased production of its ISO400 film, bringing into question the sustainability of using photographic film in archaeology. Since then Wessex Archaeology has been investigating the possibility of a digital only photographic work flow. Whilst there is certainly resistance to any such change amongst some stakeholders Wessex Archaeology believes that it is the only long term response to wider developments in photography.

This issue has already been discussed with a number of bodies including the IfA, and now WA would like to try and engage a larger audience in the debate so that as an industry we can come to a lasting solution to the growing shortage of suitable film. As part of this process we are publishing our draft digital only photographic policy for all interested parties to see. Please let us know your views on our policy, and this issue in general, in the comments section.

As part of this process we are publishing our draft digital only photographic policy for all interested parties to see.
http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/system/files...s8yFh.dpuf


Please let them know your views on our policy, and this issue in general, in the comments section : here http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/blogs/news/2...hic-policy
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#2
Digital is the only way forward.

Its silly that some dinosaurs still insist on colour slides and BW print if you ask me.
Printed photographs fade.
Digital images (if properly archived and backed up and barring a nuclear assault) do not.

The only argument against is changes in format/compatibility as the computer industry (some of it anyway) is fond of making their new products incompatible with others and even their older products.
But even saying that, we are all still using jpegs etc...........how longs that been?
Besides its not that difficult to save a bunch of old stuff to a new format as and when and if the need arises.

Computer viruses aside, your photos are then safe from whatever damp, light, temperature, mould, critter-based issues that I am sure plague the storage of BW and/or colour slides.........

Or am I not seeing the bigger (35mm format) picture.....grin
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#3
Jack Wrote:Or am I not seeing the bigger (35mm format) picture.....grin

I think you'll find that 35mm is the smaller format.

The dinosaurs have a point. 'Real' photography has been around for over a century and there's plenty of evidence for what materials survive, for how long and in what conditions. I am old enough to remember friends involved in the early days of the ADS scrabbling round for defunct hardware and software to try and access digital data.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
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#4
Sith Wrote:I think you'll find that 35mm is the smaller format.

The dinosaurs have a point. 'Real' photography has been around for over a century and there's plenty of evidence for what materials survive, for how long and in what conditions. I am old enough to remember friends involved in the early days of the ADS scrabbling round for defunct hardware and software to try and access digital data.



But, but, but, Jack says jpegs have been around for ages, which is certainly more convincing evidence than your claim that prints have been around for over a century so there is clearly no problem. Presumably that's what he teaches at his high-quality school. :face-thinks:

I too can remember people struggling to get information off old storage formats and it is easy to imagine how much fun that might be in 100 years time. The thing that is going to determine the issue is not whether archaeologists decide they want to continue using print or slide, but whether you can still buy the bloody film (and get it developed) somewhere, which is already getting difficult in some cases. Archaeologists will ultimately have no say in the matter.
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#5
RedEarth Wrote:But, but, but, Jack says jpegs have been around for ages, which is certainly more convincing evidence than your claim that prints have been around for over a century so there is clearly no problem. Presumably that's what he teaches at his high-quality school. :face-thinks:

I too can remember people struggling to get information off old storage formats and it is easy to imagine how much fun that might be in 100 years time. The thing that is going to determine the issue is not whether archaeologists decide they want to continue using print or slide, but whether you can still buy the bloody film (and get it developed) somewhere, which is already getting difficult in some cases. Archaeologists will ultimately have no say in the matter.
exactly that
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#6
We've had to re-scan hard copies of a load of our old reports due to inability to open the files any more (and I'm sure one day they will eventually make it onto the interweb...?) .rtf was meant to be a 'permanent' format, but it seems one can't open them any more either....
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#7
The Wessex draft says
Quote:Any archive requires appropriate management to ensure its survival, and with digital information there is no reason why it cannot be preserved indefinitely.
I get a bit lost in the reasoning bit. Archiving is the problem bit of the making pictures and making them part of the record to be archived. All the wet chemistry archives are going to be a nightmare to maintain for much longer. What the current situation shows is that the method of making pictures change as well.

Wessex go on to say
Quote:Images will be captured in a RAW format using cameras with manual controls and sensors of at least 10 megapixels. Images will then be converted to uncompressed baseline v.6 TIFF for archiving. All images will have accompanying metadata specifying; photo ID, capture device, converting software, colour space, bit depth, resolution, date of capture, photographer, caption, and any alterations made to the image.
Are they saying that this should be the standard? Some cameras now give a gps position.
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#8
he's back!
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#9
P Prentice Wrote:he's back!

I for one am glad about this.
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#10
what!

arse-over-head yet again...thank you, but we do not need any more bloody photoindex columns, faffing around with muddy fingers, reams of data entry, or sound-so-good-but-does-it-ever-happen 'method statements'....etc etc

do these people really know what they are talking about? >>>>

10 megapixel !!!(10!) - planning for motoway billboard ads ?Please get Real : this is 3-d mud, not 4-d hubble deep-view!(idiots) http://server1.sky-map.org/starImageView...mage_id=71

What about lens specs?
sound expensive these 10-megamegamega pixel things.....if they have good lens set especially so....
....just one per site then i presume?
full set of interchangle lens? flash?, light reflectors?, .... are you really getting the most out of all those pixels?


BTW:those digital cameras, LCDs, and motherboards just lurve moisture...
....i can strip down and reassemble my ancient all-mechanical Zenit (about as old as an AK47 and could also probaly stop a few rounds from one}Smile).... tried that with a broken compact digi for a laugh once (whoopsies!)- circuit boards and flash memory are great, until thier not, then they are utterly FOOBAR

[perhapes only guilty mind would worry some much about image alteration - it is very hard to fake entire sets of records,... but honestly, who has time/energy/tools for gods sake! i suppose you can always piont the camera some where else if you want 'less' archaeology, not matter the pixel count) - also v.important : all digital cameras manipulate the image, it is called processing, it is software bassed, beyond user control, acutally quite varibale, and generally more aggrsive than any end user tinkering..just a thoughtto be going on with......


take a million digital phots per site if you like - its very easy, and can build great archives...

-but keep a seperate Core Set of high resolution, well lit, key photos, that document key evidence very clearlry, and can easily singled out - as many mp as you want, employ a photographer, or even use film if you like Smile- - but focus effort on getting a seperate core set of very good photos, alongside any number you want of more 'everyday' record shots, working shots, etc...


(10 no-less ! 10 megapixels -... laugh!?, i nearly lost me sharpie!)


PS/

people are niave if they think digital data can be piled up endlessley without repuccsions -

-long term (250+years) is very far from certain - current technologies/materials in that ball park are expensive in the extreeme and limited in stroage capacity-
micro-fiche, conservation grade papers, vellum, and carved rocks are all cheaper, have less capacity limits (if your sheep/rock is big enough) - AND ARE ALL SELF EXPLANATORY !
>>>>
[i believe chinese engineers have made quartz crystals with digital data inscribed interanlly in 3 dimensions with a laser - it will last literally forever (unless shattered)
very clever and precise - of course the problem is having the exact right tools to read it, or to even to know that it isn't just a thick chunk of glass !]
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