What has digital taught me?

Aperture Library
I use Aperture to organise all my digital files, by year, camera and then into projects to track my work.

I’ve been using digital cameras now since about 1999. [I’ve been using cameras creatively since about 1987] of all shapes and sizes, and while the first few years were all a bit weird and mysterious I can now comfortably look back at my digital archive and see how my images how ‘improved’ as well as my shooting style generally.

  • Digital has freed me from the tyranny of cost. In the pre digital era cost was a major driving factor in the frequency of my image making practice. Colour being even more expensive was even less frequently shot than black and white.
    Digital being cheaper allows me to look and experiment in ways that were prohibitively expensive then; but no more.
  • Digital has allowed me to work spontaneously, and trust my spontaneity more, again mainly due to costs.
  • I now actively contemplate both my Analogue and digital archives, tools like Aperture, and Lightroom only recent additions to the digital landscape have made this so much easier, anybody remember the app called iView?
  • Images made nearly 20 years ago become more relevant and I can now make new work based on them, or begin new ideas all together, again lower overheads and speed and ease of post production have helped here.
  • I have been able to relearn the mechanics of lenses, the hard way, diffraction, and point of focus is more critical I feel with digital gear than analogue. My project “The Natural, the constructed and the in-between” reminded of the importance of these things.
  • In my film days a ruined film was usually ruined beyond repair and only then discarded. Digital files are a different beast and now with all camera manufacturers allowing RAW image capture on most of their range of cameras, not deleting a picture has become a mantra. Finding them years later is another kettle of fish.
  • Having access to a wide range of social media networks means I can now link images together in ways inconceivable prior to the World Wide Web. Indeed hyperlinks generally have allowed me to expand and interconnect work that even I am only now beginning to truly grasp.

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