I was remarking on a friend’s blog post this past week about the difference between technology ten to eleven years ago. There was not a smart phone in everyone’s hand. Not all people had cell phones and the digital era had not hit full force. We were not posting to Facebook or Tweeting our random thoughts on Twitter. If you wanted to share your thoughts with someone without a computer, you wrote a letter. My daughter, who is now 14, most of her baby and early elementary school photos are on 35mm film. There is nothing for me now to pick up my DSLR right now and run outside with my camera and take an awesome shot because it’s great and it’s beautiful and I want to format it and share it with world. I also know that my photography obsession, I can say it is an obsession, even in a cinch my cell phone has become my best friend in a pinch to capture those moments with my kids that I don’t want to forget. The age of technology has changed to the point where people everywhere are glued to their phones, there is an iPad in schools for the children’s learning, and there are laptops in coffee shops to the local park as people have taken their work from an office to many other locations because cities are now offering free wifi. Technology has evolved to the point that most anything can now be done using technology. You can now sign a document from your cell phone or iPad without having to walk into a place and do it face to face. You can now use an iPad to take notes and make recordings and email those notes and recordings to others where you used to have to share small cassettes from your hand-held recorder. You can use your cell phone as your camera and print your photos from the comfort of your home where you once had to take your film into a store and drop it off for printing and you didn’t get to see the finished project until you got your prints back, now everything happens in an instant.
In 1998 I worked for Biggs Camera store in a Virginia Mall. It was a part-time job and I sold cameras and printed photos. This is when I really realized that I loved photography. I was able to borrow cameras and take them home and take photos of things. I would go to a local pond and catch a picture of a duck taking off from the water leaving only a ripple behind. I loved the art of creating photography, it is great, it is wonderful and since I have started doing more professional photographs for others, it has become more of an outlet for my creativity than it has become a source of income.
So my tools are my Cannon EOS T3i with four lenses, a tripod, my Macbook Pro, and of course both of my cell phones. I also have a point in shoot that does the job when the kids want to capture something in their surroundings. Things today are not like they were though ten years ago. The cost of a digital camera was not very low. You mostly printed your photos at home and 35mm printing was in every store. If you wanted to give your kids a camera to take with them to take photos, you had to buy them a disposable camera. Now, there are few places to print 35mm film. There are many places to print your photos from instagram and Facebook. Gone are the days that you have to wait for the print to be created, you see it front and center and get the option to edit it where as when you had 35mm, the options to edit were zip unless you had the technology to do it.
I don’t miss the days when I would take photos and have to pay ten or more dollars to have a roll printed. I don’t miss the days of having to buy film for my camera. I enjoy the digital age and I sometimes long for the simplicity of the brilliance of taking a photo and getting the perfect shot and hoping that it would come out the way that I envisioned it. I can now create a photo and brighten the colors and crop it and add things to it just by sitting down at my computer. Technology has given us many gifts, but they have also taken away some things such as social interaction. But I think that we all know that with every great creation, there are things that are taken away in every situation. Technology ten years ago, is a total opposite of the technology that we know today.