Sunday, October 09, 2005

Quality Digital Photography

I recently stumbled across an old set of photos I took with my original digital camera.

Back in the day (I was 21 - 11 years ago) digital cameras were inordinately expensive (still sub-$600), very limited in space (32 pictures), very poor in quality (sub-VGA), with no preview, no zoom and pathetic batteries.

It was my grandfather who made it possible for me to get it - introducing me into an era of digital potential far before the ordinary Joe could even understand any potential value of such a gadget.

Anyway, back then I was careful with the pictures I would take. It was like a role of film and when it was out it was out (at least until I could get back to a computer).

These days, in contrast, I have multiple SD cards weighing in at more than a few GB (thousands of pictures or hours and hours of video) and rechargeable lithium batteries that can outlast marathon runners.

What else is different is that I take millions of pictures compared to then. In this set I was just looking at I took a somewhat crooked photo of a colorful tree in autumn. I can remember how hard I tried to make the picture somewhat artistic because I knew I didn't have but a few chances.

Today I would take it crooked, straight, zoomed, from a few angles and exposure settings. It's crazy because there's nothing really limiting. Then the question is - are the photos actually better now that I don't feel the pressure to actually take good pictures?

I will say that having children is an undeniable argument to go digital - if for nothing else, then just to make sure you don't grind your teeth every time the little ones smile and then look away just as the shutter snaps.

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