The importance of future friendly formats
What we’re able to do with photos and videos today is impressive. What we’ll be able to do in the future will be astounding. Make sure your photos and videos are in a format that can benefit and last.
A legacy, by definition, lives on after you. Therefore, it must be in a format that is compatible for the future.
There’s no debate that your physical photos and videos are not in a format that’s fit for the future. Not only will they inevitably suffer degradation and damage over time, but they’re simply not compatible with the increasingly tech-driven world we live in.
Thankfully, with digitization, your memories are no longer at the risk of becoming obsolete, and instead are open to a whole new world of possibilities.
The importance of future friendly photos and videos seems obvious; your visual history is always accessible, it can utilize the technology that is currently available, and it will live to experience new technological leaps and creations that are yet to come.
For example, a digital file today, can: be corrected for blurriness and dust, have color added to originally black and white images, utilize facial recognition across time and context, be automatically organized and searchable through metadata, etc.
Digital files, in the future, will reap the rewards of the continued advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual/augmented reality, among many other exciting horizons.
The significance of such digital freedom is even more impactful when you see it in action. Peter Jackson’s film, They Shall Not Grow Old, is a perfect example of this.
In They Shall Not Grow Old, Director Peter Jackson compiled hundred-year-old footage from The First World War, brought it to life by adding colour and sound, and made it available on the big screen for all to see in 3D.
At the time this footage was filmed, such a possibility was unthinkable. Today, it is a way to transport and better understand an important moment in history.
Jackson reiterates the importance of keeping such history accessible for the future:
“Technology allows you to be a magician and to put things on screen that no one’s ever experienced or seen before - what I like about this movie is that we’re using technology to bring 100 year old footage to life.
I hope that film archives of the world take note, [...] there’s no reason why other people couldn’t do what we’re doing and we could certainly take some time now to get all this historical stuff looking really good for the future”.
These sentiments also ring true for photos.
Recently, Time Magazine compiled a list of The 100 Most Influential Photographs of all time, 30 of which they had professionally colourized. The result is a powerful one. Take Dorothea Lange’s famous Migrant Mother for example.
Historical black and white photographs often feel otherworldly and disconnected from us as we are in present time. But, add colour, and suddenly these moments feel personal, real and not far from ourselves.
All of this, and more, which could not be possible if these photos and videos were not digitized into a format which allows them to be experienced in new ways and to be continually appreciated in the future.