All About Images Blog


I presented a paper on Long-Term Digital Preservation of Photo Books at the International Symposium on Technologies for Digital Photo Fulfillment in Manchester, England. In this presentation, I highlighted the need to think about photo books as more than a printed book, but instead as a combination of the printed book with related electronic files

Photo books document life. They record activities, events, and people. They give context to photos. They provide an unparalleled source of information about life as it is happening. Photo books are today’s scrapbooks. They are a record of the times, providing a glimpse into everyday life. Preserving the digital photo book file is certainly worthwhile.

When the digital file that created the photo book is available, we are able to find, access, and reprint it. Google and other search services can index it, and it will retain the location, time, and subject information about the original photos.

Unfortunately, most manufacturers do not provide the digital file, focusing instead on offering the lowest possible price.  These files are lost as soon as the book is printed or shortly thereafter and are unavailable to future generations, researchers, and others.

The exception to this is Forever. This company allows you to easily save and preserve the PDF file for any photo books that you create with Artisan software. I use this software to create my photo books.

If you use another service and you’re not getting the digital files with your photo book, ask yourself why not. Even better, ask the photo book supplier for the files, and tell them that if they are unwilling to provide the digital files you will go somewhere else that will.

For the original presentation, see Long-Term Digital Preservation of Photo Books.




This afternoon, I didn’t have anything to do, so like Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod and Kim Jong-un, I climbed Mount Everest. I opened up Photoshop and began editing. It really wasn’t that difficult. A few cloned body parts and a search for the American flag on Google Images put me within range. All I had to do was scale the resulting images to the appropriate size, and there I was at the summit. I think I’ll submit my accomplishment to the government of Nepal.


Now you don’t even have to open a book to read it! That’s right, scientists at MIT have invented a new camera that is able to read closed books. The new camera uses tetrahertz radiation to determine the position of ink within the book. It then uses image processing algorithms to determine exactly which page the ink is on. This system works with up to nine pages, although there is hope that it can be improved to work with longer documents.While the tetrahertz camera may not be practical for reading the latest novel, it should prove invaluable for examining historically significant, fragile documents. For more information, see Judging a book through its cover and MIT Invented a Camera That Can Read Closed Books.

Kim Jong-Un

Kim Jong-un summits Mount Everest


Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod climb Mount Everest


An Indian couple, Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, recently climbed Mount Everest in their imaginations, using Photoshop to achieve the desired results. They weren’t very good with Photoshop, and their ruse was easily detected, with the Nepal government banning them from the mountain for ten years.



When informed of the Indian couple’s achievements, North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un immediately asked to climb Mount Everest, as well.

See Couple Faked Reaching Everest’s Peak by Photoshopping Photos and Nepal says an Indian couple faked Mt. Everest summit conquest pictures for more on this story.

Pages from 45093a4_002Free topographical maps for incorporating in photo books and other projects are available from National Geographic at These maps are sized well for an 8×10 photo panel, an 8.5×11 photo book, or other similar project.


Fujifilm’s sales of instant cameras and film continues to defy logic with exponential growth as consumers look for the immediate gratification of an instant print. These sales show that film still has a place in specialized applications, and in this case, consumers are more than willing to pay for instant prints. As Don Franz and Andy Gordon reported in the July-September 2016 issue of Classic Imaging, sales of the Fujifilm Instax cameras for instant prints totaled 387 million units in 2014. Even if each camera only uses a couple of rolls of film, that’s a lot of film.

It sounds like Polaroid went bankrupt too soon.


It is with great sorrow that I report the death of the internet photo storage site, Picturelife. Picturelife, whose tag line was “protect your photos,” relied on charging $5-$15 per month or $50-$150 per year for online photo and video storage, a business model that is proving increasing less viable as more and more vendors offer low-cost or even free photo storage.

Fortunately, the 200 million photos stored on Picturelife have a second chance on life since they are being stored on SmugMug as part of SmugMug’s attempt to increase its own customer base. This resurrection will benefit Picturelife’s customers who otherwise might have lost their photos.

For more on the demise of Picturelife, see Photo-storage service Picturelife shuts down 18 months after being acquired.


All opinions expressed in this blog are mine, not HID Global's.

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