Old Photo Guy Into Smartphones & Selfies

Tremendous changes in photography over the past 30 years, advances I could only imagine back in the days when I lugged around heavy photo equipment. Before retirement, as ad manager for a major insurance company, I led a film crew.

We shot stills and videos for ads, news releases, magazine articles, conferences and other field assignments. After getting rid of the big cameras, we used 35mm Nikons and 16mm movie equipment. They were comparatively small and lightweight, but required carrying a bag full of extras, including flash units, extra lenses and many rolls of film.

A half-century earlier, for my Navy and news reporting duties, I often used Speed Graphics. They were big, heavy box-like cameras. They required all the extras, plus 4×5 inch film insert frames. Actually, in the century between Matthew Brady’s Civil War scenes and Joe Rosenthal’s historic World War II Iwo Jima flag-raising image, there wasn’t much difference in heavy photo equipment.

Among the most welcome digital photo benefits is the elimination of camera film and its need for processing. Earlier, we shot with roll and plate film, and had to be sure we brought along enough for each assignment.

As we did our work, we could never be certain the efforts were successful until we saw the processed film, slides and prints. Errors when shooting or later in the darkroom could erase all the creative shots of critical scenes, people and events.

Today, on the job or vacation with digital cameras and smartphones, pro and amateur, there’s unlimited opportunity to keep shooting. No matter how complex the task, it can be with confidence of doing the job right.

Digital Does It All: One of the most enjoyable aspects of today’s digital equipment is that everything a photographer requires is included in the small, lightweight camera. There’s no need to carry extra lenses, flash unit nor rolls of film. Better still, there are continuing improvements.

Over the past decade, digital equipment has greatly changed all aspects of photography. Amateurs can get virtually the same high quality results it once required professionals many years of experience and heavy equipment to achieve. And with selfies, we no longer have to plead: Hey, here’s my camera. Take a picture of me with my fave stone formation at the Grand Canyon or rock star concert.

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