From analog to digital photography.

From analog to digital photography… The change.

Imagine this scene.

You are on vacation and you decide to take a picture with all your friends, sitting at the table, in front of a cocktail and with a breathtaking sunset as a backdrop.

You take your camera, place it and wait for an exposure time of only eight hours.

In fact, it was thus that Nicéphore Niépce took the first photo and if it seems impractical to us, it is because, from 1826 to today, many things have changed, radically.

Let’s say that, with eight hours of exposure, we would now be able to shoot a timelapse to share on social networks.

Everything is digital today!

By now, in fact, audiovisual is digital indeed, we think digitally.

The world goes fast and we want to be intuitive and fast without waiting for an infinite pose which, yes, gives us a photo resistant to light, but gray and not very sharp!

By digitization we mean that process of renewal and change, which since 1991, together with the birth of the World Wide Web (Internet), has changed the way we perceive technology as a whole.

The response of the photography world to this modernization has been rapid, starting with a total evolution of cameras.

For a long time, photos have no longer been the preserve of a few, the world of photography draws from an immensely larger user base than in the past.

Step back

Continuing talking about analog to digital photography. But let’s take a small step back:

In 1948, the Polaroid model 95 was born, the first camera with immediate development, thanks to the American inventor E.H. Land (now they are back in fashion… the charm of vintage).

In 1970 Canon made the fastest camera in the world.

Many will also remember the advertising of Kodak, a company founded in 1975 and healthy bearer of modern digitization.

The company aimed to create a camera capable of digitally rendering images immediately after shooting.

And it succeeded: after three years the patent was filed.

In the late 1980s, Photoshop software was born and in 1990 Adobe arrived, still today the undisputed leader in photo editing.

Really, post production already existed, but it was carried out in the dark room and it was certainly much more difficult, polluting and with obvious limits (even to the creativity of the photographer himself).

In fact, we recall that the production of the films, their development and the final printing involved the use of chemical products, which are difficult to dispose of. Today they are no longer needed. Unfortunately, the production of silicon-based photographic sensors still has an impact on the environment, even if the data are not yet definitive.

Finally, in the last thirty years, various features and functions of cameras have changed.

Digital SLRs have arrived, for example, which, working on aperture and exposure time, are able to produce photos, which can be easily classified as professional.

Especially in the latest generation models, without underestimating the older ones, we find a camera and applications that allow us to work both outdoors and indoors.

All this is called Mobile Photography and has become a real way of shooting.

Advantages of digital

One of the first advantages digital photography has brought to photographers of the new millennium is the ability to view the shot immediately.

In addition to a drastic reduction in development and printing times, reducing the production costs of the finished product, reducing the risk of data loss and without the expense of setting up and maintaining the darkroom (not very easy to use), or use of a professional paid service.

Today there is an initial investment in the equipment that makes everything simpler and cheaper in the long term.

The other side of the coin.

Like all technological innovations, also in this field the feeling or the false belief (as we will see) by photographers of becoming obsolete and easily replaceable has spread.

Surely Kodak’s own bankruptcy may have influenced it.

Which failed to compete with the market it had paradoxically created itself, perhaps due to a lack of foresight and systemic vision.

From mistakes like this we should instead learn to sniff out the flow of new market trends, so as not to be overtaken by innovations, to keep up with the times and reinvent ourselves continuously.

The future?

It is said that the future of photography (analogue or digital photography) is liquid, so… “Be water, my friend!”.

Continue to experiment with new techniques, have fun unleashing your curiosity and your imagination, but above all visualize the shot with the first camera: your eyes, your idea, your taste.

Technology will not be able to make qualitative decisions for you, business and creativity are not two parallel lines.

Those who deal with photography, or even just photography blogs, should not live in fear of being replaced, because there are many contexts in which it is essential.

From weddings (or important private events) to concerts and cultural events of international importance and beyond, passing through advertising, fashion, still life and other categories, the professional photographer is indispensable.

It is not technology or digitization that penalizes the profession but only the absence of a vision and curiosity, the desire to stay up to date and acquire new skills, especially in the field of post-production, where professionalism makes the difference.

An essential aspect of creativity is not to be afraid of failure.

Edwin Land