In the age of 32 GB flash memory, who cares to print the thousands of photos on the seemingly infinite memory? Buying photographic paper these days is such a headache as very few book stores have it in stock. There are no takers. We are content thinking that photos stored on hard drives, flash memory drives and DVDs will last forever. There are a few kinks in this argument. Here is why you should suddenly feel an urge to print your photos.
How does software rot? Unlike the obsolescence of the floppy disk, software rot is not physical wear and tear of your digital storage. Instead, it stands for mismatch of technologies over time. For example, most documents done with older formats in Windows 98 will refuse to open if you tried today. This is because the software standards are markedly different. As time goes by, different graphics formats will come up rendering the good old jpeg format obsolete, and your photos with it.
Although digital storage is vastly improved than 15 years ago, digital memory is still a fickle thing. Your flash will all of a sudden fail to open because you ignorantly stuck it in a computer that was laden with a virus. Your computer hard drive can be fried by an electric surge. Your DVDs could suffer scratching. There are many things that can happen to your digital storage to render it unusable and lose your photos forever. Printing on paper gives you alternative backup.
Perfect your skills
Instagram and Photoshop make hopeless photographers look very good with the use of filters and other enhancements. A digital screen will cover up many mistakes. Printing, on the other hand, will make you see your mistakes in lighting and other technicalities you must adjust to bring colors to life. By trying repeatedly for the perfect shot instead of using filters, you become a better photographer.
It feels good
Human nature is wired to feel good when rewarded with tangible beautiful things. That is why you give your loved one flowers instead of a picture of flowers. By printing your best photos, you have something to lay your hands on. You can look at the end results of your toil with a smug feeling of having done something useful
What will you give your kid to remember you when going away to college, a link to your IG? Likely not. But you could give her a print photo of her when her milk teeth were just coming out. Perfect.