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Looking Down The Road

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2001, 12:13 AM
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Looking Down The Road

Looking down the road what do you all see as the future of digital retouching as opposed to graphic design? Is there a future here or will what we do now become a marvelous hobby,an anachronism or something else? What advances in technology, both from the hardware and software aspects do you expect or would like to see. Come on everyone, lets hear your thoughts! Again, it makes NO difference if you are brand new to this or are a seasoned and scarred veteran. Your opinion and input is needed and valued!!! Thanks in advance, Tom
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Old 08-21-2001, 06:58 AM
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Boy, you know how to ask the tough questions. It's hard to say what the future holds. The one thing I see that might be a deterrent to sustained business for restoration artists is the fact that there are always new image manipulation programs coming out, and they get easier for rank beginners to use. So here's my take on it: Since everybody will have a family member or friend who has the software (likely) to make certain corrections (mainly tonal) easily, the market will dwindle. I think that there will be enough jobs for some people, but a large percentage of them will fail in business. The ones who do make it will necessarily need to be extremely good at restorations, good at marketing, and have a very good knowledge about handling historical photographic items, and how to preserve them. That's where the market will be -- museums, private collections, etc. Sorry to paint such a dim picture, but that's how I see it.

Ed
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Old 08-21-2001, 09:32 AM
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I didn't mean to imply through my last post that the restoration market for the public will be gone. I really don't have a clue as to how much of the market share is from individuals whose needs only include minor surgery, so to speak. The ones who have pieces missing, or other work that requires more skill to fix, will always have a share of the market place.

I do think that for someone to make it, they will need to do the business things that they would rather not do because they aren't the "fun" part of the business. In other words, when a hobby becomes a business, it is just that -- it takes work, long hours, and plenty of commitment.

Ed
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Old 08-21-2001, 09:54 AM
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Ed,
Bleek as it is, you are probably closer to the truth than you realize. We as photoshop users have now stolen some of the market from those who do actual restoration on the originals. We now do it faster and cheaper on computer. A few years ago no one would have forseen the popularity of photo manipulation in the average home and I wouldn't have even considered that aspect of art. I have done some airbrushing but that field was far beyond my capabilities. Now with the computer, it's not. So is it so hard to admit that as computers become even more accessable to the average user, so to will the skills we possess. There will still be a portion of the populous who don't or won't do this but the market will definately diminish by some degree. Tom's ideas of finding ways to expand our market and services is not only good but prudent.
DJ
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Old 08-21-2001, 09:59 AM
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Debbie,

When it gets to "you push the button, we do the rest" on computer programs, that's gonna hurt - at least the market share for those needing minor work. I agree with Tom also about looking at expansion possibilities.

Why is it that I always have to edit my post for a forgotten word or something like that?

Ed

Last edited by Ed_L; 08-21-2001 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 08-21-2001, 10:11 AM
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What do you mean Ed....I got a lot of those little "last edited by" lines at the bottom of my posts.

It usually means your brain functions faster than your hands. That's a good thing, I think.
DJ

Just re-edited this post twice.
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Old 08-21-2001, 10:49 AM
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As the "push a button and see instant result" type software continues to be refined I think some of the work we now do will begin to dry up, but areas like Archiving photo collections, family albums etc. are time consuming and I think there is a lot of potential there. Even with the best software and hardware there will always be user input needed, as it were, requiring at some level the skills we are developing today. I dont think we will become obsolete any time soon.But keeping a close eye on emerging technologies and software developments is critical, as is figuring out ways to apply them to our business models, as well as refining the existing ones to branch into new areas. All things evolve and if we keep tuned in as new stuff emerges I think we can successfully adapt with it. Heck, HP is set to release DVD RW units real soon---What about DVD family albums,transfering VHS etc data to DVD? Lots to look into. Tom
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Old 08-21-2001, 11:20 AM
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Sounds great. I know I have alot of vhs home movies I'd like to get onto DVD for future protection. I doubt the vhs format will hold up well during the years to come. Most of my son growing up are on those tapes. Wonder what new toys we will need to do that? This ain't a cheap hobby by any means.
DJ
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Old 08-21-2001, 12:33 PM
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I guess a good mantra might be "diversify or perish". WOW THAT was one of my more brief but pointless utterances! The cost of the HP units is suppost to be in the $599. range with the DVD+RW ( the "+" is not a mistake--thats the format identification to distinguish it from DVD-RW and DVD-RAM or something like that. Right now the 3 formats are fighting among themselves for industry standard recognition. The DVD+RW seems to winning.) discs to be priced around $16.00 each with a reported 4.7GB storage capacity. The first units are suppost to be peripheral devices featuring Firewire connectivity although at least one major computer manufacturer is reported to be looking into adding them as a "built in" either later this year or early next year. Tom

Last edited by thomasgeorge; 08-21-2001 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 08-21-2001, 12:35 PM
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You may have something there Tom.
DJ
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