6 Apr 2013
Preserved ?-Well maybe not.
The Pont Du Gard - the Roman aqueduct near Avignon in southern France.It was built in 19 AD - and is a classic example of civil engineering and longevity.The photo was taken in 1959 by Roger Putnam with an entry level Agfa Silette on Kodachrome 64 film.The slide is in great condition a tribute to Kodachrome's stability and longevity.It is also very sharp which shows how good even relatively cheap German lenses used to be.
With today's digital photography there is a real possibility that very few of our photos such as this will be preserved for future generations.
We really do not know how photos saved on hard drives are going to last.If we send our photos to the "cloud" will the servers still be there in 50,or even 5,years time and if so how will future generations find the worthwhile photos? At what point will Flickr start discarding old photos? Indeed will Flickr stay in business for the very long haul or one day will it be "curtains" and "au revoir" to 4 billion photos? After all we are talking about public companies who run these clouds and presumably they are not doing it for charity.Look what happened to My Space or even Kodak .
If you have time take a look at Found in an antique shop .What a great story and one which will not be repeated with today's photos in 100 years time.
As well as the great quality of this 54 year old slide reflect on how occupational health and safety has changed visits to monuments such as Pont Du Gard .Back in 1959 there was no restriction on walking across the top level with its broken flagstones and total lack of handrails.On my recent visit to Myanmar I had a flashback to the pre OH&S era with steep, dangerous climbs up the sides of pogadas with no handrails but that is very much the exception-now overcaution is the rule.
Although not everyone was happy that day walking across the top level of the aqueduct even in 1959.Take a look at the top level on the right-magnified below.Someone is not enjoying the view .
Thanks to John Maries for spotting this little gem in the big picture.