DEAR ABBY: There is an explosion of computer-related activities in the photo industry. Between digital cameras, photo restorations and putting pictures onto CDs, business is good.
The downside is the public's lack of important information about printing pictures on their computers. Most of the customers I talk with don't realize that these are not photographs. They are simply ink printed on paper and will fade rapidly. (This includes the paper designed for computer photos.)
What sets real photographs apart is the fact that they go through developer, bleach-fix and stabilizer. This assures that your memories will be around to be handed down to your children, and their children.
Another problem is: Computers crash, and you can lose images forever. Memories of your wedding, children, family gatherings and vacations are priceless. So always shoot some film, or have negatives made from PC photos. We try to educate our customers, but more needs to be done to let the general public know this.
As a professional photographer, and as a dad, I know how important it is for photographs to last for generations. -- THOMAS S. ROBERTSON, PRESIDENT, 1-HOUR PHOTO CORP., OLD BRIDGE, N.J.
DEAR THOMAS: Your letter is sure to be an eye-opener for many who have been lulled into thinking that the new technologies have made sharing pictures as easy as "point and click."
Caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware. A little extra work may be required for families who would like their computer photographs to last a lifetime or beyond. Having negatives made as a backup is a sensible precaution.