lazy

Having a digital camera makes me lazy in my photography. I suppose that’s not really shocking. I take multiple shots of my subject or scene, because I can, when really, I should be more critical and careful about my compositions. My dSLR is the camera I primarily (or right now, exclusively) use when I photograph Raspberry. Obviously, it’s a boon when trying to capture a reasonable shot of a toddler who runs more often than she walks and doesn’t stay still for very long. But, like I said, it makes me lazy — I fire off multiple shots of her in the same scene, because I know that since she’s always moving, more often than not, most of my shots of her will be blurry. It’s a bad habit. When I use my film cameras, whether with Raspberry or any other subject, I take much fewer pictures and I’m much slower to depress the shutter.

I used to save practically all my digital pictures of Raspberry, even the aesthetically and compositionally bad ones. A long time ago, I had the idea that maybe one day I could put together a series of out-of-focus or motion-blurred shots. But that was what feels like eons ago, and now I just shrug at the idea.

Earlier this week, I started sifting through all my photographs since May of last year and deleting the not-very-good photographs or redundant ones (the rest of my photographs — pre-May 2010 — are still on the hard drive that the virus affected in June and other than a few meagre attempts, we haven’t actively tried to recover the lost photographs and files, which I’m certain are still on the drive; it still makes me sad and angry when I think about the hard drive and I prefer to not think about it). This is part of my attempt at cleaning up my digital clutter. There aren’t as many “bad” pictures as I thought there would be. Or maybe there really are as many as I think, except that I’m only working through the folders by months and I don’t notice everything in the recycle bin.

Ideally, I would love to use more film when it comes to photographing Raspberry (or just in my photography in general too), but in lieu of the frenzied child and cost of processing, I’ll have to stick to digital pictures for now. I used to love looking through photo albums of my baby pictures when I was little; Raspberry always wants to look at pictures of herself when I’m on Facebook (pretty much the only repository for many of her pictures at this moment) and I do so wish I had a physical album she could flip through. One day, I hope to get hundreds of her pictures printed and compiled, but that will be at least a little while from now. For now, they’ll just have to remain digital and I want to be more careful and selective about the pictures I take, so I don’t end up with a mountain of crap with scattered gems.

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10 responses

  1. I am so confused about whether we should get a digital DSLR or not. I was thinking of trying to find a Nikon body for one on craigslist. But when I think about it, I feel like it would confuse me. I mean, losing digital info is so much easier than losing negatives. Also, I just don’t know. I feel like only having fewer photos that are better quality might be just fine too. I have no idea what it would be like to have a huge library of digital photos of myself when I was a baby. What will that be like for kids when they are adults? Will they care? Guess it depends on the kid… It’s all too much to process.

    January 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

  2. Also, I get A LOT of satisfaction out of getting a roll of film developed and scanning it myself. A decent 35mm flatbed scanner for film is not cheap, but also not terribly expensive, and then getting film processed only without prints or CDs is around $2 American. And then of course, you could develop your own B/W! I have no idea how much that costs when you break down supplies, but it sure is fun to do.

    January 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm

  3. Anonymous

    I wonder about all the questions you’ve mentioned myself too. I wish I had some answers, but like you, I’m similarly confused. I think boys aren’t as sentimental about photographs of themselves as girls are, but that’s a generalization based on my limited experience with boys and their childhood photographs. Anyhow, I think if you don’t have a dSLR, then you should just stick to film. I got mine just before Raspberry was born, thinking that it’d make me a better photographer because it’d be easier and cheaper to take so many more photos, but honestly, I think I would be better if I used my dSLR less and made film my predominant medium (I’m not sure if “medium” would be the right word here!). I actually want to switch more to film, but I want to test out my other cameras first, or find some retro camera to make my primary one.

    January 16, 2011 at 3:05 am

  4. Only $2 to process film? Nice! I get mine done at a drugstore for C$3 but that comes with a just a CD (since I don’t have a film scanner). I do so love getting my pictures back though. So much more mystique than the immediacy of digital pictures. I’ve always wanted to learn to develop my own film, but never had the chance to. I keep wanting to, but it’s not up there on my list of priorities. One day :)

    January 16, 2011 at 3:09 am

  5. i’ve gradually learnt that when taking pictures, i really enjoy shooting full manual. It is to an extent guess-and-check for me still, or i’ll try the same shot a few different ways… in part experimenting, in part having learnt that what looks best on the camera isn’t necessarily what looks best on my computer screen. (Print, alas, is a total loss; my printer’s abysmal.)

    January 16, 2011 at 3:50 am

  6. I should definitely get back to shooting manual. It does take more time, but I’m generally happier with the results. I do the same as you do — the guess-and-check method, although I do hate that the little LCD screen tends to make the pictures look so much better than on the computer screen. Perhaps I really should go back to film… gah.

    Do you often print your pictures?

    January 17, 2011 at 4:23 am

  7. i much prefer to shoot through the viewfinder, rather than on the LCD, but my camera’s EVF and LCD disagree on how a given picture looks, which complicates things… looks good on one doesn’t on the other, and vice-versa.

    i almost never print my pictures… any time i try, it’s a long war with my printer, making lots of guess-and-check prints in which the image looks increasingly awful on screen but gradually comes to print, if not correctly, kind of close enough, and i’m too frusterated to keep trying… i used to have a really nice dye-sub printer; when i had that i made prints more often.

    i think i’d really enjoy film/darkroom photography, but i don’t know how to do the darkroom part. Film mailed off for someone else to develop doesn’t appeal.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:15 am

  8. I keep all of my photos and I’ve recently been backing up older photos that I had on an external harddrive. I thought about going through them and deleting the not so great ones but it’s so time consuming, I’d rather just archive everything. :)

    I also have a harddrive that died (external) and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to revive it. I think that it’s still covered under warranty but I can’t find the receipt and stupid Best Buy won’t honour it without their receipt even though they have my purchase on record. At least I think they did, they asked for my number. Anyway! I think that I’ll be able to get the photos off my laptop that I can only access through firewire if I get restoring software. I have a lot of photos that I had stored only on the external harddrive and it makes me so angry at myself for doing that and also at the harddrive for not coming with any software that forces it to mount. I think that that’s the only problem with it. Grr.. never buy a ginormous external harddrive without researching the brands first. :( It didn’t help that my old computer didn’t have a DVD burner. From now on, I’m always going to keep at least two copies in two different places of everything.

    January 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm

  9. That sucks about your hard-drive :( I think if you’re willing to pay huge amounts of money, your stuff can generally be restored. I looked into it and the quotes I got were between $400-1600. Eeep! Good idea about keeping double copies of everything in separate places. I’ll definitely have to do that. We got an external hard-drive just before Christmas for that purpose. I just hope it holds up!

    January 20, 2011 at 2:49 am

  10. I prefer shooting through the viewfinder too (although, because my dSLR doesn’t allow for shooting through the LCD, you could say I don’t actually have a choice… ha). I think it makes you contemplate the composition more, or maybe that’s just me.

    You strike me as the kind of person who’d enjoy darkroom photography. Perhaps one day soon you’ll get your chance to learn. I keep saying I want to learn, but it’s not high on my list of priorities at the moment so I haven’t done it yet.

    January 20, 2011 at 2:58 am

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