Alaska Walkabouts

The adventures of an Alaska Wildlife and Nature Photographer.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Coming Of (Digital) Age

In the spring of 2003 I entered the digital age. I was taking a few classes in preparation for my GED exams and one of them was a basic computer class. One day I asked my teacher to go to CompUSA? with me so I could buy a computer and a digital camera. At that point in life I had other things on my mind besides photography and my budget was...well...student loans so I ended up getting an HP Computer and an HP point and shoot camera that was a grand 2.2 megapixels and also shot some terrible video clips. I got wrapped up in the novelty of instant gratification and the ability to print photos right here on my kitchen table. But I still had my Nikon F2 camera and shot some slides every now and then for the special shots. My puppy Bryn and I hiked all over the place that spring and I shot digital like crazy.

One of my earliest shots with that little HP camera was this one. I was mostly just shooting for memories and it sure worked for that.

Bryn hunting mice on one of our hikes in 2003. He was so darned cute! 

It wasn't until several years later when I was doing the shoreline cleanups that it looked around and realized that I was throwing away too many opportunities for photography. So I began my quest to get better gear but I will leave that for another post. I love digital. I love being able to see instantly if I got the shot or not. In the old days when we sent our film off to Kodak in Palo Alto California, or turned our Fujichrome over the the local labs, you had to wait and hope it all turned out. Usually it did but once in a while, like shooting aurora, it would be all black. Now I can take a shot, preview it, and make the necessary adjustments. Also, once you took a slide that was what you got. Those who had the knowledge and their own darkrooms were able to manipulate their film but I never did any of that. Now I can open my files in Lightroom or Photoshop and go nuts if I want. To me it's the freedom of digital that I like so much. So I say bring it on! I think Ansel Adams would have loved the digital world and Photoshop.