Over the years I have seen a lot of changes in technology as has everyone. In the late 90s, I was making websites and the internet didn’t have much bandwidth so I had reduced the quality of photos to deal with that. So over a long period photographs that I scanned were made ready for the web of the time. Storage was expensive and I never thought of keeping the original scans. I had backed up data but mainly the web-ready work. Over the years you can’t always get access to the original photos and so a lot of work I tried to promote on the web in the late 90s is pretty useless now in terms of quality.
The way I feel about the rise of mobile phones and technologies centred around that is the quality of photos now supersedes scan quality and is great but the platforms that share these images have to reduce quality to deal with the sheer volume of data that needs to be moved around the internet. So in a way, we have gone forward with quality but popular platforms bring us back almost twenty years in terms of quality. That is why now I upload full quality to Flickr and will make large file panoramas. Some people on Flickr will make full quality images private or store them in a backup as some images are massive.
They are literally too big for any platform. My original Photoshop files are backed up to Dropbox and they are huge files that can’t be put on web-based platforms. It is amazing that we can have images at high resolution on web platforms and the web can handle it. That is why after all of these experiences with technology I try and stick to better platforms than social platforms which have to deal with insane volumes of data and reduced file sizes. It literally puts us all back in the past. Recently I went through a lot of old back up CD’s that are decades old. I did find some original scans of some work. Unfortunately not that much. I think I took a lot of stuff for granted back then.