Thursday, September 1, 2011

Image isn’t everything, but it looks pretty good in digital print

Ben sent me a great article today, all about old technology and how one guy captured the past on a 19th-century camera. It was a wonderful story, and the images of Mayan princesses in Guatemala were resplendent in the black and white photos that appeared as aged as their bygone culture.

But unlike these beautiful stills of Mayan royalty, the best process to capture a great moment on film is not black and white. Rather, it’s to the eye’s own choosing.

On the heels of reading about this freshly dusted off, 19th-century box camera, I saw a Google Maps car this afternoon, in from California, getting gas at the pump like a regular vehicle. Ah, but apart from having four wheels, there’s nothing regular about it. It’s got a 360-degree camera posted to a pole on the roof, and I’m convinced is actively communicating with outer space. Block by block, street by street, it’s documenting our planet. While the antique camera sits in a box, this one is a perfect sphere – just like its subject, the lovely ball spinning under our feet.

Working in marketing, I’ve learned that presenting an image is just as important as capturing it. Personally, I’m just glad we have cameras today with shutter speeds fast enough for people to smile when their picture is taken. Mirth definitely makes a better photograph. (Make-up helps too.)

As technology has evolved over the years, so has our capacity for using the beloved photograph. Yes, they took our Kodachrome away, but they gave us digital printing. Fast and versatile, digital printing gives us the instant gratification we need in today’s fast-paced climate, along with an endless array of applications to showcase great photographs. Think about the many splendored needs a single stock photo can fulfill.

Still, most of my favorite photos are the ones I take myself. And working with, I have a plenitude of ways I can show my pictures off. I can personalize my Christmas cards, moving announcements and party invitations, not only with my own message, but with my own photograph as well, featuring my superbly awesome picture-taking skills, or even better, my photogenic, smiling self.

The best part, I can get my pictures printed on a magnet and send them out to my closest friends and family. There’s a unique joy in knowing my loved ones will plaster their refrigerators with my photographs, and I’m thankful to help others have the same opportunity.

And in our digital, print-on-demand world of today, I’m also pretty thankful for photoshopping.

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