- Education and Science
Digital Photography and me
See a picture – Snap a picture.
Let me state from the onset that ‘old’ refers to photography prior to digitizing and that ‘new’ refers to photography after digitizing.
Before digitizing modernized photography one would take a picture. Someone else would process (develop) the film in a darkroom (totally dark or extreme filtered low light conditions.) After the processing & drying of the film (a negative), someone else might print (size/enlarge, crop, burn/dodge to intensify for effect). Then develop the print (either black & white (B&W) or color) dry again then cut or mount per instructions. Finally place for pick up so you could later show all your friends what YOU had done, when actually all you did was aim then press the shutter release.
True, if you were a ‘photographer’ you in essence did a little more… Since a photographer knew or was at least aware of all that took place in the darkroom, the photographer would try to compose the photo as much as possible before clicking the shutter, thereby lessening or relieving some of the work done in the darkroom.
Let me add here that work in the darkroom had to be highly organized since the film had to be handled carefully to eliminate fingerprints or accidental exposure or ruination. Usually the developing solutions were placed from left to right in sequence with temperature and timing controlled. Of course B&W was less arduous than color processing.
Working with toxic chemicals and above comfortable temperatures plus poor lighting just added to the critical time issue.
Personally I’m glad (and relieved) that photography has been digitized.
Digitization has opened up the field of photography to any & everyone
My first digital camera was a Ricoh RDC-2E. It cost $ 600 + and did not have 1 megapixel storage capacity. A tripod was required to take a photo with low ‘noise’ (fuzziness, distortion). This was 1997. If I was taking quality pictures, the camera had a total capacity of just nine (9) on an internal storage card.
Whoa! We’ve come a long way baby… in less than 15 years, now you can get up to 12 megapixels quality in some cameras. Last year the director of research for Olympus declared 12 megapixel to be the limit.
Well, what is this term, ‘megapixel’? I like to use a postage stamp to explain. The picture or image on a postage stamp is made up of dots of ink. Likewise a photograph is broken up into a number of dots or ‘pixels’. You can get a million (mega) dots (pixels) in that image or picture. If you move the dots closer together you might get 2, 3 or more megapixels. Since you are moving/crowding the pixels closer together the image or picture becomes clearer or more distinct. Thus the higher the pixel or megapixel count, the better or more distinct/clearer the picture. I might add, the higher the megapixel count, the higher the cost or value of the camera.
Another term has changed. Instead of photo or picture, now it’s called a ‘pix’. Same thing, I guess we must all age gracefully with new terminology.
About six years ago I moved up to an Olympus 3.3 megapixel camera and paid almost $ 1000 for it. Then about three years ago, trying to stay abreast of this megapixel thing, I bought my first SLR (single lens reflex) digital camera. An Olympus E500, 8 megapixel with duel or two memory card capacity. Many companies are striving for dominance in the memory card business. Too numerous to mention here. In other words…, take your pick. There’s plenty to choose from plus the camera manufacturer states what type card is needed. Some cameras have a built-in storage capacity.
I like the memory cards; you can take them out of the camera and insert into a card reader attached to your computer. And depending on your software program you can not only store you pix but also edit them to be what you want before printing,
But more importantly, it frees up the camera, so just insert another memory card and snap, snap, snap away. You're always ready to take more pix.
With a good software program you can download/upload, edit and save your pix or delete the undesired ones.
Everyone has their own preference as to the software they like to work with. I like MicroSoft Digital Image 2006. It cost $ 100, but I was able to acquire mine for
just $ 69. It allows me to download from the memory card, adjust the color & exposure, crop, correct (remove) blemishes, add text distort background, just all sorts of swell things you might want to do to you pix, then save to file or print in a variety of different ways; from B&W to sepia tone- All at the touch of a few buttons.
Hey, I learned to do it the ‘old’ way. The ‘new’ way is much better & easier to work with. See a pic – Snap a pic!
- Did Matthew Brady start like this
most homes had a Brownie "Stand still!" "Don't rub your nose." "Hold it..." click "Did I close my eyes?" Been there, done that. I just started some taking pictures some 50 years ago, I guess; but I wonder......