30 October 2011

Digital memento

Was cleaning up the images folder on the computer and it suddenly came to mind again the photo book that I brought over from Miri almost a decade ago. Flipping through the pages, they contain many images that were arranged in chronological order from the oldest to the newest - Form 1,2,3,4,5,6 class shots, shenanigans in university in Genting Highlands and graduation photos; two of which that got my dad's attention because it was of me and an attractive coursemate together which ended with an anti-climax when I answered 'no' to his question of whether she is going to become Mom's future daughter in-law.

One of the four photos that gave Dad a false dawn.

All of which were taken long before digital photography was the craze due to equipments becoming more and more affordable to the average Joe and Jane. It got me thinking somewhat about digital photography as a whole - was it better that now we have greater freedom of art without the constraints of film or did it somehow made photos look more generic?

On one hand, I concur when some friends mentioned that it is harder to take quality photos using digital cameras because of the knowledge that there is no limit to how many you can take compared to film - snap many, delete the ones you don't like. Back then every shot counts as films cost money and developing them adds to the overall price of taking a memento in graphic form.

This is still used to represent 'Save' on almost all modern applications.

On the other hand it is not always true as well. I know friends with artistic tendencies who took awesome images with their digital cameras whom would probably never been motivated to do so if they had to pay for more than the electricity charging the batteries. I have seen some who did so with only the 5Mbps camera of their phones and took some great pictures worthy of those taken with their more professional brethrens.

I have personally only seriously used digital cameras to take any images of significance during my tenure at the first job as the designated cameraman for events. Even though I was given a Canon Powershot S40 to use back then with memory capacity of up to 800 images, I took each and every one like I was using film. Hence much of the time I had an idea of what I'd like to take, go to the very spot and wait for the right moment to snap it, often times with the finger on the focus button for minutes at a time.
"I waited two weeks for the bear to awaken from hibernation.
Unfortunately it was also very hungry".

One of the best I ever did was the image of a relay race from the corner where every single competitor was in view, unrestricted by the other as the front runners were facing to the right and those tail runners were just turning the arc. It was without motion blur, just perfect. I have always had the nose for thing such as image balance in terms of objects and emptiness. If anything I also had the patience to wait for the right moment to appear instead of going trigger happy with the shutter button.

Of late I only had the phone camera to capture whatever that took my attention, most especially at night where the contrast of darkness and light would usually create some interesting images although the quality was never as good as with an actual camera. Once had a photo of light shafts shining through the branches of a tree at the area near where I parked - there were smoke coming out from the backyard of one of the houses and it created an image that looked somewhat like a horror movie poster.

The only thing missing now is a priest holding a bag and holy water.
On second thought, no.
Getting caught in the jam never looked this artsy.
Perhaps I would in the future pick up the hobby seriously but for now I'm happy to steal them off friend's blogs - after informing them of course.

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