By now, most of us are on our second or third DSLR camera body, fourth or more for the full time pro shooters, and we’re well entrenched in our new shooting, editing and processing workflows.
Digital photography is the way of the world now, so much so that Chase Jarvis thinks we ought to dump the word “digital” and just go back to calling it photography. Maybe he’s right. We can debate that another day. Go leave a comment on his blog about it if you disagree.
At any rate, let’s take a minute to look back at those pre-digital days. No, not to reminisce and gush about all the reasons why film was so much better than digital. You’ll have to find another blog for that too.
No, just the opposite. We’re going to run down a few of the things we DON’T miss about those long lost days. Follow along – You know what they are.
1. Photo submissions Remember when you had to pull slides from numerous boxes and file drawers when you wanted to send images to a client? And then you had to package them up with cardboard, plastic bags and tape, and then stuff them into a Fed Ex envelope. If you were lucky, the driver came and picked them up, but more likely you got the request at 4:00 PM and had to get it out by 5:00, which meant racing to the nearest Fed Ex dropoff location.
2. Putting slides away Of course every photo that you sent out had to be returned to it’s correct page in the box or file. How many hours did we spend refiling slides or paying someone to do the job each week? I always got behind on that task and to this day there are still pages of slides sitting in my office storage in Colorado that I never got around to refiling before I moved to Alaska.
3. Scanning slides There was that transition period between film and digital when we discovered the benefits of delivering digitally scanned images to clients. Remember how long it took to scan a page of 20 slides to hi res? Yea, I don’t miss that, although one of these days, I may find myself going back and scanning more of my older work. Not looking forward to that. May just have to outsource.
4. The waiting I actually never really minded waiting for film to come back, it somehow made the whole process more exciting. There was adventure in anticipation. Of course, I was at a different stage in my career back then. I can’t imagine having to wait a full day, or even a whole three hours to see what my images look like now. Oh Lord, thank you for the LCD panel!
5. Having to reload at 36 If you were lucky, you could push it to 37 or 38. Sometimes I could load a manual camera and get 39 frames on a roll of film, but c’mon, 39? Are you serious? Talk about a momentum killer. We’re WAY spoiled now. These days I get 155 14-bit RAW photos on my 4GB cards. I’ll bet that those of you who use 8 and 16 gig cards and can shoot almost the entire day without reloading. How cool is that!
Ok, time to get back to Lightroom.
Dan Bailey is a professional adventure, outdoor and travel photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska. He just published his latest eBook, Making The Image- A Conceptual Guide to Creating Stronger Photographs. Follow his own blog at danbaileyphoto.com/blog, see his daily updates at facebook.com/danbaileyphoto and follow him on Twitter @Danbaileyphoto.