Time vs Technology vs Photos

As life has progress for me, I’ve noticed that time “seems” to be more at a premium than normal Smile  I simply don’t have the time I need to do the things I’m doing.  It’s not that I don’t use my time effectively, I do, but for some reason, there just never seems to be enough of it.

When I take a harder look at things, I look at what I do for a living that might be different than others.  I’m an IT consultant, I have a bit of real estate, I have grandkids.  AND I have the “toys” Smile  Yes, I own my own house (or the bank does at least), and it seems like there’s this never ending list of “house things, reno things that just goes on and on.  And then, of course there’s the technology side of this.

You know – I love what  technology has done for our lives.  It allows us to communicate better, it gets things done faster, you can do more things.  Maybe that’s it!  Because technology has allowed us to get stuff done faster, I think we tend to do more things and hence tend to be “busier”. And when you dig “under the hood” a bit that technology comes with it’s price – because of the technology, it does take time to maintain it too. When I look at my recent jump into photography and where I’m heading, here’s what I’ve discovered:

1.  When you start to get a little more serious about photos, one tends to take more photos.  That’s a given.  With the digital age upon us and ability to process those images, we tend to spend more time with our images.  I find that I’m spending more and more time working with my images than the 35mm days.  Back then, you took your shots, got them processed at the lab – you may or may not do some of your own stuff in your own lab, but in the end, it was sort of the end of it.  On to taking more pics.  Or whatever – on with life perhaps Smile

2.  There’s lots of information out there to absorb.  One thing that jumped out at me right away with digital – compared to 35mm, there are a lot more feature sets in the new stuff/equipment.  If you are new to photography, one may just start shooting (and there’s a lot of merit to that).  It you are more advanced, you are going to study every nook and cranny on the gear to get the most of out it.  Another given.  Cost – time.  In 35mm, one had to be pretty serious to either go into a rental lab or their own lab to process their own stuff.  It was one thing to have the camera gear to take the pics, a whole new level to do your own.  Very dedicated at this point.  Today’s technology allows one to do things that were unheard of in my days of 35mm – right in your home on your computer.  I sometimes wonder just how many people print nowdays – I’m thinking there’s still a lot of people out there.  I know that for us, we only print what we need for various projects.  My wife is a scrapbooker, so yes we do a fair amount of printing.  BUT it’s at home too, not a commercial lab. 

3.  From the equipment standpoint – they’re getting the demographics  pretty specific.  Even in he area of the compact system cameras, which is kind of a neat area – they have it carved up too.  I have a Nikon J1 with two lenses – designed for what I would call the quasi serious amateur – wants interchangeable lenses, a bit of control, but mostly will be in auto mode – for someone who wants the manual zoom.  Let’s also not forget that these things can also do movies pretty well Smile  AND there’s a whole new space for the person like me, who wants manual over auto, close to DSLR quality but not the size.  Simply amazing.  Even in the budget stuff – there’s a lot of functionality there.  Or another area – the holiday or traveler person that wants just that “extra”.  My Fuji F800 is almost like my X10 in what it can do in it’s manual mode – but small enough to fit in a pocket and can do 20x zoom with good quality – to something more automatic but still the functionality like the Panasonic ZS25.  It’s even smaller!!  Each has some feature sets that are unique enough that I feel that that people looking here, SHOULD have a pretty good understanding of what they want.  They all work surprisingly well.  For me, I don’t think I could take just one travel cam – On a vacation, we’ll say – I would take either the X10 or the LX7 and one other.  My J1 or GX1?  Not so much – not saying I wouldn’t, just that from my past experience, the bulk difference wouldn’t be worth it unless there was something that I knew I couldn’t do with the others.

4.  If you weren’t brand conscious, and just getting a new camera – buying purely on price wouldn’t be necessarily be a bad thing.  It’s getting pretty hard to buy a bad one these day.  It’s highly likely that even a new person getting a new camera would know Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Olympus as a minimum.  Maybe even Fuji or Panasonic which I’m partial to. 

5.  Accessories aren’t the easiest to find.  Sort of…This is dependent on the camera you get, but many cameras nowadays don’t even come with a case.  OR in some cases, you don’t even get a charger – just the USB cable so you can charge on your computer.  When I look back in time though, this really wasn’t any different from today.  AND today, it’s easier AND harder at the same time.  If you are not in a hurry, we have online shopping.  Didn’t really have that back then.  If you are a “touch, feel, buy” person, and I tend to be for a lot of things, it can be at times pretty touch to find something.

6. Certain things seem more expensive than before.  In fact I was pretty shocked at flashes and tripods Surprised smile  Since when did base flash units start at $200 and go up in a brand name??  Or tripods!!  Holy Smokes!!!  Maybe it’s the electronics to the new cameras… I dunno….  I do expect to pay a bit more for leading edge, but in these areas, I’m planning to wait for a bit anyway.  A lot will depend on what I’m going to be doing that requires something beyond the built in flash. 

7. You can spend almost too much time doing image processing.  This I caught as soon as I started to get a little more involved with the software side of things.  I’m trying to do as little post work as possible but it still sucks up time like crazy. 

8.  Maintenance takes up time.  I don’t know about the rest, but one of the things I try to do, is not offload my images after every shoot.  I try to do that, actually as little as possible unless there is something that does require that.  Event shoots which I can see coming up – they will have to be processed right away.  Other things, though, I can wait. 

In the end, when I look at things away from photography but still in tech stuff – there are always backups, upgrades and on and on.  I sometimes wonder that despite the fact that technology does some wonderful things, we don’t win on the time side Smile


About gkamitomo
IT Busines Analyst

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