Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another step taken in the 21st Century

Admittedly, I think I was the last one to jump into digital photography. At the very least, I was way behind the curve. I’ve been a self-proclaimed purist all my life, and when the digital realm invaded photography, I was having none of it. Oh, it was fine for snapshots and everyday photos, but I was still quite attached to my 35mm even for snapshots and everyday photos.

“When there’s a digital equivalent to my 35mm, I’ll think about it.”

Then I began reading that many professionals were making the switch, so I investigated their thoughts on the pros and cons. Not that I’m any where near that level, but I figured they were purists just like me. Some loved it, some hated it. I talked at length with the owner of my local photo store about her thoughts. I waited.

Soon, an issue of photography’s flagship, National Geographic, showed up in my mailbox with references to images on their pages being created with digital cameras. Okay, I’ll bite.

Then I saw the price. So I waited some more, and saved, and waited and saved. I researched the camera that would be the closest digital match to my 35mm… and I saved some more.

In the spring of 2006, I took the plunge. I can’t say “I never looked back,” but it certainly has its advantages. Everyone proclaimed unlimited shooting as the biggest advantage. Hey, that never stopped me with film. In my mind, it was always “just another frame.” I always knew out of every roll, there’d be one shot, maybe two that were winners. Nothing’s changed with digital. A poor composition is still a poor composition and bad lighting is still bad lighting.

Granted, the mistakes don’t cost as much any more, but they’re by no means free. Quite a lot of time is spent downloading, editing, cataloging and archiving. In retrospect, some days it really was easier just to drop off a canister (or, in my case, canisters) at the photo store and wait for the results.

For me, the biggest advantage has been getting through airport security. No more insisting that my film be hand-checked and arguing with TSA staff to heed my request because the ISO was below 800. I guess they were often put off by the quantity despite the fact that I had all rolls out of their containers and in a clear bag.

So with a nod and tip-of-the-hat to another facet of the digital revolution, even I don’t use the adjective “digital” any more when referring to my camera. In fact, quite the opposite: My older one is now called my “film” camera. Another forward step in the 21st century.

So with all that said, I’m taking the liberty of posting my favorite shots from the year just passed. Maybe you’ll enjoy them, maybe you won’t. And the internet is just like TV: if you don’t like what you see, change the station… or turn it off.

Cactus at Zion; effervescent happy hour; Angel's Landing trail
Note: Seems "Blogger" doesn't allow me to post as many as I'd like, so for the rest, click the link to Flickr below:

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