Few places do the continuity of where we have been and where we have come from connect more directly than in photography, especially in determining where we are going.
Homo sapiens have been leaving images on the walls of caves from the beginning of the intellectual era, and leaving them on a broader scale and in the less permanent landscapes since. Within the last few generations, we learned to make that process far easier, much more widespread and individual, and more a part of everyday life. The vision remains intact, and unique, however.
In the modern era, photography has made images both indelible and transitory. While digital images are everywhere, they are also victimized by the ever-changing technologies that make them obsolete and temporary—ie how permanent are the images stored on a ZIP drive if no computer can open them within a decade?
A piece of black & white film remains viable for 500 years if stored properly, at least according to the National Archives. Since I started my photo career shooting, processing, and printing B&W images, I’m well-versed and proficient in producing images that, properly stored, will withstand the ravages of time. History is both what we live and what we leave for future generations.