Today in a rare burst of cleanliness I extracted the duster from the closet and brushed away the accumulated bits of nastiness from my shelf of beloved cameras I have used (and abused) over the years. Ranging from completely manual Canon FTbs to the AE-1/A-1s of my "cutting teeth" periods to my beloved Canon EOS 1-n and medium format Brooks-Veriwide 100 I can remember the angst and anticipation inside me as I waited for the lab to work their arcane magic on my celluloid creations. I remember the jubilation I enjoyed when I found a lab in Anchorage, Alaska (Photowright Labs on Fireweed, love 'em) that could get my slides back to me in 3-4 hours instead of 2-3 weeks. It was like the photo fairy has sprinkled her magic dust all over me! Reminiscing about those magical old days has really got me thinking about how technology has changed things for artists in general and specifically for photographers like me.
Take this morning for an example. The birds in my back garden feed pretty heavily between 7-11am, thus I'm pretty active at the camera stand during those hours (see my blog posts for the on-going saga of "the blind", link below). As the morning went on I would shoot, switch cards out and continue shooting while downloading and running images through CaptureOne. I'd shoot a little more, switch cards, run the keepers through my Photoshop template actions for my CafePress greeting cards. Shoot a little more, keyword, upload, create descriptions, shoot a little more. So, in those three hours I was not only able to capture my little friends feeding and grooming but process the images, catalog the images, create products out of them and have them available for purchase all within (literally) minutes of the images being captured.
Despite all the changes that have taken place in the process, the motivation is still the same:
I love what I do!
If the light goes to crap (what a concept here in England) I'm able to take my hands off the camera and simply enjoy the starlings trying to get to the suet feeder while the "yard boss" robin runs them off. I can laugh as the green finches never give up trying to crack safflower seeds even though they can hardly get a single one into their beaks! Yes, I'd love to be able to pay my bills with the money made from stock image fees and product sales, but I'd still be doing this anyways.
We've come a long way, baby.