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Don't worry, be snappy: Stop complaining about your digital camera

Christopher Breen | Aug. 4, 2014
When one has done something long enough (and, for the sake of this particular argument, let's say living can be reasonably counted among them) there's a tendency to take the long view--we have some notion of where we've been as well as how things are now. Recent complaints about the state of Apple and photography have compelled me to take a journey down the historical highway in the hope of gaining some perspective on just where we stand in regard to taking and making images with our cameras.

I suppose we'll see some kind of taste-filter intelligence come to photo-editing apps one day — "No, that's a terrible picture. Unless you present a compelling argument to do otherwise, it's going in the trash." — but until that day comes, it's hard to argue that today's apps don't provide you with ample means to put your images in order.

Images everywhere

With Apple's recent unveiling of Photos for OS X (and the other-shoed retirement of Aperture and iPhoto) there has been a measure of panic from the short-sighted.

"I have 80 petabytes of images. How dare Apple force me to store them in the cloud!"

Putting aside the idea that cloud storage will be an option rather than requirement, can we stop the grumbling for a second to acknowledge that there's something pretty wonderful about snapping an image on your iPhone and having it appear on your Mac and iPad moments later? Or that the notion of printing and mailing or even emailing an image to a friend seems positively prehistoric now that we can share images over AirDrop, Messages, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Insta-this-or-that ...

One of my greatest pleasures is tweeting iPhone pictures I take during my morning beach walks that tell the world "I am here right now. Stuck in a soul-deadening open office though you may be, take comfort in knowing that the tides roll in and roll out every second of every day." This is a message more powerful than thumbtacking that same image to a bulletin board weeks later.

Picture imperfect

The point being, in regard to capturing, manipulating, and sharing images (as P. Simon is wont to say), we live in an age of miracle and wonder. Of course more can be done — more can always be done. As we accumulate scads of images our tools should perform faster and provide even easier ways to filter and catalog our pictures. Hardware and software will appear that let us manipulate images as if we were still standing in front of the objects we were capturing. And the tiny cameras that dot our mobile devices will eclipse cameras that we paid hundreds of dollars for in earlier days. This will happen. In the meantime, anxious though we are for more and ever-more, it doesn't hurt to stop, stand, and appreciate just how far we've come.

 

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