Friday, April 19, 2013

A Thousand Words

Since I am at an early stage in my career, I feel this is a good time to discuss something I have swept under the rug. Better now than before I forget.

As a Junior in high school, my future was anything but certain and I seemed to change my mind about a career path daily. After I nixed being an Interior Designer, my next focus was Photography. Family, friends, and teachers lauded my artistic abilities since I was young, so it was always assumed that I would pursue some type of degree in the liberal arts. High school certainly helped structure this as I took many art classes and excelled in them above my other classes. The only advanced class I took in high school was Advance Photography where I spent countless hours in the dark room and time analyzing life to snap good pictures. Fast forward 5 years where most people are using Instagram which has a handful of filters that you can click and within seconds have a picture that looks a few steps under professional. Five years and it is amazing how far we have come (not to mention I turned a completely different corner and God opened a door for me into Engineering?!?!?!?) :-D

Film is nearly non-existent. Getting film developed is almost like finding a computer with a floppy disc drive these days. Can you imagine the "old days" when pictures (yes pictures, not portraits) took hours to create (I mean like pinhole cameras)? I even recently got into a discussion about disposable cameras. When was the last time you tried to buy one of those? Getting filmed developed was almost like Christmas because you never remembered what you had taken photos of. I often remember getting filmed developed with multiple of the same picture in different variations.

So, I've been thinking recently about the value of pictures. I have over 2,000 photos on my iPhone alone and probably another 2,000+ on my computers' hard drive. My first thought is how fun my kids will have with some of that information some day. What use will all those pictures go to? They are good for memories, but seriously, how many 2D memories are worth holding on to? Another thought is how scary it is to think of the possible career I could be living. Good photographers are hard to come by. It truly is an art but I get stopped at the point where anyone can snap a picture. I guess anyone (this is a fallacy-clearly not EVERYONE) can solve a simple math equation too. Anyways, I now see that those classes were almost like history lessons. I likely won't use that knowledge for a real world experience or gain, but I know the historical development of photography and made some unique pieces of art along the way, that I will likely be the only appreciative one of.

So where does this land us? What purpose do pictures serve? I will say it is way easier to text a picture of something to someone than to try and explain it most of the time. Often times in meetings, ideas will be written on a white board and at the end of the meeting one person takes a picture and forwards it to everyone as an add-on to the meeting minutes, rather than copying everything by hand. I, however, have been referring to recreational/artistic pictures for the majority of this post.

I also find it extremely amazing that some cultures, such as the Amish, don't allow pictures, for various reasons. Maybe our photography will be of some use to them some day? Maybe I will compile all my pictures and make a book of it? (Joke--It's called a photo album or scrapbook). There has to be some unique market for digital pictures because they are serving no purpose tucked away on my hard drive which is sitting unplugged from anything at the moment. Maybe I'll work on that. Until then, I will keep collecting 2D memories for hopefully someones benefit.

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