So what is it about digital photography that makes it so interesting to people?
- The technology and how images are generated digitally
- Is it because they are great gadgets
- The ease of producing images instantly on your computer
- Is it the quality of the image
- The flexibility given for post production
- Is it the DIY side to processing
Whatever it is digital cameras and photography have become incredibly popular. Everybody from the complete beginner to the professional photographer are using them. I suspect it is a combination of the above statements for most people, I know it is for me. For me it would have to be a bit of all of them. And this is how they have become so popular, they have a wide appeal to a wide range of people.
It’s has taken a while
I think at first it took a while for digital photography to catch on. The cameras were quite expensive on their own, but then if you wanted to take full advantage of their capabilities then you needed a computer as well. Not as many people had computers a couple of years a go and I think this affected how they sold.
But with electronic prices crashing and price wars in full swing. The prices have dropped drastically for the cameras and for computers, and a lot more people have both now. Therefore the savings that can be made from film and processing costs are now being seen. And in turn that makes them rate highly in the affordable gadget category. I know I waited until the prices came down before I bought one!
Has it changed photographers forever?
Digital photography has changed the way photographers take photographs. For the professional it must have saved a lot on film and waiting for developing. But also it instantly lets them see what they have taken, and given them greater flexibility in the post production process. And they have had to become more computer friendly! It was the other way round for me. I became more computer friendly first, then I bought a digital camera and started to realise the great potential that they had. I suppose I didn’t like change, and it took me a while to change from film to digital.
I’ve also fallen into the trap, that I really tried not to do of pictures collecting on my hard drive. I like to look at photos, I don’t want them all on the computer or disc. It’s nice to take the time to look at ‘physical’ albums sometimes. But I don’t get around to printing them off as often as I would like. Which makes backing them up even more important!
The digital revolution has made digital photography available to even more people as it’s appeal has spread, and has seen a lot of new people taking it up as a hobby. Helped along by the speed at which the technology has advanced. With new cameras coming out all the time with greater power and resolution. It wasn’t that long ago that 3 million mega pixel cameras were the best point and shoots around. Now you can easily pick up a 10 million mega pixel camera for the around the price, that the 3 million was when it came out a couple of years ago.
And the fact that they can be fitted to other devices like mobile phones and digital camcorders etc, makes them available to groups of people that would not normally have been interested in photography. Digital cameras fit nicely into the way we live today, we need to be mobile and have everything at our fingertips. So having a phone that is a camera (and pretty much a computer as well now) makes it easily accessible and instant to capture that moment and send it on.
It will be interesting to see where this digital revolution is going next and whether it will stay as popular as it has become. I hope so, because anything that helps more people take photos and enjoy them better, is good for photography.