Flash!

June 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ready…

One… Two… Three. Say “Cheese” everyone!

“Cheeeeseee” and FLASH!

Just like that, memories that last a lifetime have just been created.

Looking back at pictures taken from my tenth birthday, I still remember my friends and I splashing around, giggling and screaming, as our laughter fills the air. I remember seeing my beautiful princess-inspired cake being placed on a table off to the side in our backyard. It was a pool party. With balloons and streamers decked around I remember how happy I was, grinning from ear to ear.  The toys, I cannot possibly forget all toys that were everywhere!  This was, by far, one of my favourite childhood memories…

And thanks to digital cameras, it was one I would never forget, having captured so many shots from so many different angles—instantly knowing whether they were good or bad—there was not a single moment missed; my parents captured it all!

This blog shall discuss how the introduction of Digital Photography has impacted and changed society for the better, as well as, the directions it has taken.

BUT FIRST, WHAT EXACTLY DOES DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY ENTAIL? 

Digital Photography has revolutionized the way we produce, store, and view images. Shifting its availability to mainstream society and at more affordable prices than ever before, switching from analog to digital, in a nutshell, has never been more convenient. Being one of the most popular hobbies to date, digital photography has enabled so many the gift of documenting the good, the bad, and the ugly. From major milestones, scenic views, and revelations into the mind’s creativity, it evident digital cameras have changed the way mainstream society views life as they venture through it. With approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide owning one, digital photography is beaming.

Essentially, according to the authors of Digital Basics, Digital Photography “…is the reproduction of an external image (i.e. your grandma) through the use of a medium such as a digital slr camera (dslr), digital compact camera, or some other digital capture device such as a web-cam, cell phone, capable of reproducing/storing an image digitally.”

Depicts the Changes over time from: Analog to Digital

IT’S CHANGED SOCIETY: THROUGH THE GOOD!

Digital photography has opened the doors to a new way of communication; a new way of thinking. This article provides a summary of such lasting impacts, some of which include:

  • The ability to instantly capture many shots, view them, and then discard any unwanted photos, something which prior to digital technologies, was not available.
  • The ability to take pictures at virtually no additional costs as a result of films and developing of printouts via black rooms are no longer necessary.
  • The ability to alter images even easier than ever before, which has been perfectly depicted in the fashion and magazine industries.
  • The ability to take more pictures and select the best ones to touch up has also become easier than ever, with many cameras now offering such in-camera editing functions.
  • The ability to change the way we communicate with family and friends all over the world; dwindling any distance with our new capability to instantly send a vast amount of images simultaneously.
  • The ability to help buy and sell items online (via eBay for example), including ourselves (through online dating websites),
  • It has even had the ability to play a powerful role in influencing news and political agendas. Particularly shown through the classic examples of  the Abu Ghraib and Tami Silicio uproars.

The awesome power of lightning combined with digital photography.  Picture taken and edited by: Amy Renfrey

IT’S CHANGED SOCIETY: AND THE BAD!

While this all sounds pretty amazing–especially for amateur photographers–this technology has drastically impacted the lives of some in negative ways. In particular, this development has hurt professional photographers.  In a field that was once flourishing, now find its self destructing, with little chance for mobility. In fact, newspapers and magazine which once held major assignments for professionals to shoot ads, now find themselves in 41 percent declines thanks to the Internet and it’s availability to find and license stock photos with a few quick clicks.

SO WHERE HAS THIS TAKEN US TO DATE?

The rise of ‘smartphonography!’ Okay, so although this word is made up, it definitely helps term a phenomenon taking the world by storm. Averaging at an estimated increase of 27 percent, smart phones with built-in cameras are redirecting digital photography into a different realm. For instance,  Apple’s iPhone 4S ranging at 8 megapixels, which provides 60 percent more pixels than its pervious generation, has certainly given digital cameras some competition.

A run for their money! The above picture depicts a comparison of the same photo taken by an iPhone 4S (on the left) vs. the Canon 20D (on the right).

CAUTION!

DISCLAIMER: A myth which surrounds megapixels exists: higher pixels equals higher quality photos? NO! It does not.

However, with that being said, the convenience of  having both a phone and bulit-in camera has become abundantly clear,  users are now able to take reasonably well photos  and upload them into emails or widely popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, as it happens and within a matter of seconds…

No matter where they are!

Additionally, there is also an array of free apps are available for download onto smart phones that can allow for editing and even the integration of special effects (such as vintage setting, black and white, animated sketches, etc.) to enhance one’s beautifully captured images.

 And all this can be accomplished WITHOUT the need to connect onto a computer!

OTHER INTERESTING ADVANCEMENTS: 

Another promising direction digital photography has led us into surrounds the medical realm, where it has become a magnetic tool that has altered the way physicians perform, read, and communicate to patients, colleagues, and  the general public.

Digital Doubles?

Programmers are innovatively coming up with services in which users can manage and store the images taken by themselves and others from an endless list of  websites that allow its members to upload and share their photographs. This service generates an automatic digital double of their pictures into one place, their own dropbox.

The video below describes how this service works:

WHAT NOW? 

All in all, I think it’s safe to say digital technology has dramatically transformed our lives. Whether its implications to society’s longterm susbsistence is for the better or the worse is still unclear. So, I suppose all we can do is stay tuned and embrace this journey we embark on, one flash at a time!

Until next time!

Cheers,

H.A.

Private? Not So Much!

June 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Innocence. Connection. Relevance.

What do these three words all have in common? Many of you may be sitting in front of your computers wondering the very same thing I once did while trying to come up with these words. Well, the answer is easy…

Facebook!

Ahh, now I imagine you are making the connections…  

To me, Facebook was an innocent, entertainingly fun way to connect with people I knew and loved from all over the world! Whether they were friends, family, or even coworkers staying in touch had never become so easy! With just one click I was instantaneously updated with the things that mattered most to the people in my very own network or ‘community’ so-to-speak. I could read about their relevant transactions as they progress through their day-to-day lives. Just like that, with a couple more clicks: wall posts, status updates, pictures, videos, games, etc. could all be captured and  then shared with the rest of the world!  Some of one’s most memorable, inspiring, and interesting moments have and continue to be uploaded and talked about right now as I sit here writing this blog. I mean how does that not sound amazing?! It certainly is…or was…

Until slowly, I began to realize that staying in touch and connected with everyone comes with a price.

Privacy. Or, should I say, lack thereof?

Watching the video below, of  Jon Friedman, a Marketwatch Media columnist, we see a simple yet ever-so-true message being presented: Facebook is not private and never will be. People need to get over it.

& That’s just it! Facebook is a social network site, which believe it or not, is a place where people have the intention to broadcast their existence for everyone else (in their social bubble and beyond) to know about. Particularly, what they are doing, where they are going, and with whom they are spending their time. However, what we fail to realize is that other, personal information such as one’s place of work, intimate interests, age, exactly whom their friends and family are, and even down to the very small detail of what school they go to can essentially all be found and revealed on Facebook.  As such, I think it’s safe to say, nothing about Facebook is private! Especially with the introduction of the new TimeLine layout that Facebook has created–and will soon be enforcing upon all it’s users–it seems one’s digital footprint of everything they have done, said, and been too since creation of their account will soon be neatly organized according to the year, month, and specific day and time!

Facebook’s Privacy Erosion Strategy from Matt McKeon. Shaded areas went from Private (by default) in 2005 to Public (by default) in 2010.   Scary huh?!

Nevertheless, with that being said, it’s also fair to say, that we do live in a world where privacy IS important to us. Therefore, I want to make it clear that I am by no means saying we have NO control over how to protect ourselves while online and ‘innocently’ attempting to entertain ourselves. In fact, there are several ways in which one can help protect their privacy while on Facebook. Consumer Report.org offers some great tips worthy of looking at that aim to help control what others see and know about you.

*Furthermore, and this cannot be stressed enough, if someone is looking for ultimate privacy,

then choosing to have a Facebook account is probably NOT the way to go!*

On a final note, deciding to remain broadcasting one’s life on such a massive social-networking platform, like  Facebook, was never enforced upon us and as we all can see, with it’s many advantages comes some serious limitations. Thus, it has become abundantly clear, when we clicked  ‘activate account’ it meant we were giving up ‘ultimate security and privacy.’ Entering us into an era like no other–where employers can know what you’re doing in and out of work (and even fire you for it); where stalkers and predators can gain insight into your personal information and whereabouts so easily; and ultimately a place where we to choose ignorantly disregard the scary truth.

This was a gamble we choose to partake and a crazy load of issues we will just have to deal with.
Until next time.

Cheers,

-H.A.

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