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Sunday, January 09, 2005

What do your waking thoughts say about you?

(7.00am) Considering that I flew into Boston late last night after a long (and 5 hour delayed flight) I've had way too little sleep.

Am I a freak? As I awoke (naturally but characteristically early) I found myself pondering the Wired article on digital images and automatically added meta data I mentioned recently. - and before my eyes had even opened!

In the analogue v digital camera marketplace, I realise that the tipping point has already been reached for the consumer market. I've held off to date, but I suspect that my personal resistance is weakening.

Maybe I should first explain my reservations: I'm a perfectionist and a designer. My trusty Nikon FM2 yields me incredible sharp, beautiful images. I use transparency film for the added crispness and color definition. I am very attached to the polarising filter on the Nikkor lens that gives even greater crispness and colour saturation to my photos. I like TTL (Through the lens) monitoring of my compositions, focus and filter adjustments. I like depth of field, and making decisions for myself about shutter speed. If I ever wish to 'use' the images in a design, or digital context, I can always get professional, super high res scans for my use... right? I've always used digital cameras, but for personal or work related stuff, analogue has always been my preference.

However, packing for this trip I became aware that a shift had started to occur: My lovely, dependable camera is built like a tank, but incredibly bulky and heavy. My life is increasingly digital, and the photo CD offer at time of processing does very little justice to the quality of my images. If I want to use them in a digital context, expensive(ish) pro scans are the only option for this perfectionist. Meta data! Coming back to my waking thought, I've started to appreciate how valuable this stuff is. Using iPhoto with Louise's digital camera, I've a new found appreciation for discovering when images originated. Ask me when one of my slides was taken and I'll be luck to guess the year. Ask me where some of them were taken and I'll often have no idea. Maybe it's the obsessive in me, but I do like the change in context you can get from a thousand random images - just by ordering them by date taken. You can't get that from a random selection of a thousand slides.

With the cost of the pro-ish high resolution digital cameras falling, I'm beginning to wonder if a change is coming, and... if the view from my hotel room of the beautiful curved steps below me covered in snow would be an appropriate addition to this entry.

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