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I can see it happening, that is, the demise of the traditional print for competitions, displays, not for exhibitions, but certainly for most things.
It all started when those pesky dry plates came along and wet plates were so clearly superior. Lazy modern photographers wanted it all doing for them, so once the dry plate was invented then it was downhill all the way. Then someone invented film. Unbelievable. Then roll film. Then cameras shrank and miniatrue 6x6cm roll film cameras ruled the day. Then 35mm film, the ultimate insult to quality....could it get any worse?
Well yes, goodbye to Kodachrome II and hello to Kodachrome 25 was bad enough, but then no Kodachrome at all? At least we had our darkrooms and could produce very nice 16" x 12" prints to mount on boards for the camera club. Then one day came digital.....
I looked with amazement at the man from Canon who explained to me that this ridiculous little 400 pixel camera would only cost me £16,000.00 - he was jesting, surely? Somebody must have bought one, because Canon are still around though.
The penny finally dropped when my Fuji S602 Pro (3.1MP or 6MP if we cheat on the counting) actually made better A3 macro images than my finest film cameras. That is, not such good character and colour maybe, but far better close up sharpness, achieved far more easily. The Fuji S7000 was even better, alkthough subsequent models I found a bit of a disappointment. When Pentax started making reasonably priced DSLRs, the choice was clear....
So where are we now? Competitions at the camera club generate huge qualtities of digitally projected images but very few prints by comparison, probably on grounds of cost and the inconvenience of printng and mounting. Those who made colour slides out of digital images seem to have recovered from that rather strange pursuit and slides have all gone. But the digital image is there in all its glory, printed in Blurb and Albelli books for posterity, splashed across the web, projected at the camera club at a glorious size that even those at the back can enjoy.
Actually, life has never been better!