Sunday, April 10, 2005

Photo of the week feature started this week.

I've always been a very visual person. I've been taking pictures since I was about six years old. My first camera was a 99 cent wonder(yes a real working camera) that I found in the toy section at the grocery store. It took black and white photos. I remember you had to feed the film across the shutter in the back of the camera to the spool on the other side. My parents always had to help me. My earliest subject matter was such fine objects as tree limbs, garbage cans, and my cherrished Batmobile. Very few of those early pictures survive today.
When I met my wife and we married in 1985 we found that one of the things we had in common was a love for photography. She has a Cannon AE1 and I had an old Minolta that I had picked up for $15 at a yard sale. As the years went by we went through a couple more cameras then about four years ago I bought my first digital camera. It was a 2.1 megapixel Kodak DC290. I bought it used for $400.00 (Remember this was the early days of digital). The convenience and instant gratification of digital sold me and I've sworn to never go back to film.
In 2001 we took a trip to Maine and I shot over 300 pictures with the Kodak. When we got home we downloaded the pictures to the computer and there were the images that would represent our memories of the trip forever. My wife was still using film at the time and it was months before we developed all her film from the trip.
I soon learned a valuable lesson on the draw backs of digital (perhaps it is the only drawback). I had been backing up my photos on CDs. This was a convienent way to permanently store the images just incase of a computer melt down. We'll one day that melt down came. My Compaq crashed one day taking all my valuable photos with it. I felt confident of the safety of my photos though, after all I had them backed up on CDs. Here's the valuable lesson. I got a new computer and started loading my photos saved on CD to the new machine. I put the CD containing the photos from Maine in the drive and I got a read error. I found that some CDs can become corrupted over time. My 300+ photos from Main are now all but lost. Only about 40 survived on a seperate CD that I had made. Several other pictures were lost as well.
Today I back up all my photos on an External Hard Drive. This is a much more stable medium than CDs and I can more easily transfer photos from computer to computer. The External drive connects using either a Firewire or USB 2.0 connection. Now all my digital pictures exist in at least two places. My main computer and the ext-HD. Everymonth I do a back up of all the photos (and scans) taken the past month. I keep file structure the same on both drives so I can just copy and paste the folder for the past month onto the External drive.
Our cameras continue to increase in resolution. Last year my wife bought me an Olympus Stylus 400 4 megapixel camera. I had picked out the tiny camera because it had a available waterproof underwater case that I could use for taking pictures while whitewater kayaking. I take the unit with me on all my kayaking trips, teather it to my life vest and am able to snap photos while in the boat. This tiny camera takes amazing shots. I've taken photos with the Stylus that I would put head to head with the most expensive SLR digitals out there. I'm very happy with the choice.
Last summer I took advantage of the drop in prices in SLR type cameras and bought my wife the Cannon Digital Rebel 6.3 megapixel. I actually use the camera as much if not more that she does. The features of this camera are awesome and the quality of the shots are remarkable. Now we are both stuck on digital photography as is the rest of the world. Back just 4 years ago I bought a Cannon EOS film camera for around $600.00. I was looking on Ebay the other day hoping to unload the antique and it seems you can't give a film camera away these days. The best price I found for the same model was about $50.00 and no one is bidding on them.
So with my love for photography in mind, this week I've started a new feature on my video blog; The picture of the week. Ok, so it's not video but it's the next best thing. Don't worry, my video will still be evolving and the vlogs will keep comming but I though some of my photos may be worthy of viewing from my readers. So I hope you enjoy the new feature and I look forward to your comments. I'll try and make Fridays the "Picture of the week" day.
This is the Southern Video Blog, we'll see you next time...bye.

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