Value of a digital photo

You might think that I am reminiscing about the past too often, but I kind of miss the days when cameras were not digital. Very few people used to actually carry a camera and whenever they uncovered the lens cover, the entire gathering used to freeze. A camera roll used to cost us INR 100/- (in 1990s equal to a 1000/- today) and would hardly take 35 shots and an additional 6/- were spend to develop and print the picture. So everybody used to make sure that they were their best when the pictures were taken.
Fast-forward today and cameras are ubiquitous in every hand held device and soon in every glass/spectacles. With digitalization, people don’t give any importance to the photographer (unless he/she is renowned or carrying an expensive D-SLR). I agree that many realistic shots are being taken these days compared to pre-dominantly staged shots taken earlier.
Net result, people still preserve their old film based developed prints. At my home, we do spend time going through old albums of childhood. But most of today’s digital shots are never printed and people are too lazy to even tag their yesterday’s digital shots when they archive it.
A camera is supposed to be a portable device to preserve a moment, occasion or memory. However today it has become a race to fill the hard-disk and rarely gets referred again.

street, Bengaluru South, Karnataka, India

5 replies on “Value of a digital photo”

Wow! Nice insight. I agree that today, even a chimp with a D-SLR thinks of himself as a professional photographer. Photographs, indeed, have lost their high regarded status. I am reminded of an incident in the book “Three Men in a Boat” where a large number of people having picnic along a riverbank dandied themselves and froze up because they saw a photographer setting up. This was late 1800s I think. Of course, hilarity ensued in the next paragraphs, but the value of a photograph where one might appear only as a distant spec was still high.
There are, however, a couple of points that do make this advancement in the field of photography worthwhile, considering your last line lament. Apart from a big industry and people getting access to low cost cameras, this has been immensely helpful in the field of journalism, professional or otherwise. I have also seen people involved in minor accidents getting down to take a picture for insurance and/or legal purposes. As a non-professional photographer, one gets several chances to get that picture perfect moment. And trust me when I say, people do tend to revisit their hard disk a lot for their memories.

chimp with a D-SLR… 😀
mobiles and low cost photography and almost zero cost of film/developing is making inroads in several… but still feel there r just too many pictures to view

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