Of all the devices and gizmos I own I think the Kindle and the digital camera are among the two most sublime creations every developed.
The Kindle, capable of holding hundreds of books and a charge for weeks instead of days. Print as large or small as you need. Reading with the barest tap of a finger to change pages.
And the digital camera… how can I express how digital photography frees the photographer? No buying or loading film after only a few shots. No paying or waiting for developing.
I went out yesterday morning before the dawn. I stopped by my favorite beach, Pelican Beach Park in Melbourne put the camera on its tripod kicked back and watched the sunrise. I left there and stopped by the Grissom Wetlands, another favorite spot. Leaving the Wetlands I chanced upon a road I’d never taken but had read about online. A nearly four mile dirt road out to a wilderness conservation area in the middle of nowhere but only miles from a bustling city. From there I cruised by Wickham Park, found a shady spot under a tree and read a book on my Kindle for a couple hours.
While I was out I shot just short of three hundred pictures. Out of those I’ve kept thirty-six. A single roll of film’s worth. From those I will pick maybe a dozen that I’ll share with friends and on Facebook and from there I’ll put just three or four on my Flickr account.
Consider that; around $5.00 a roll for decent 35mm film. Not taking into account the aggravation and time of getting the film developed locally or sending it out and waiting for it to come back. At least eight rolls of film would cost in the neighborhood of $40.
Then processing; both York and Clark labs, two places I sent a lot of film to for developing in the past, don’t even do film processing now. I did find a couple sites online which would process 35mm film for between $7 and $10 a roll, this doesn’t include prints or shipping. Walgreens stores also still process film, for $12 a roll, again not including prints. The eight rolls of film I would have used at an average of $9.50ish per roll is over $47.
Had I been shooting 35mm color film (add lots for true B&W processing plus days of delay) yesterday’s trip would have cost me easily $80… to keep $10 worth of pictures and I try to get out and wander about with my camera at least a couple times a month.
Instead I popped the $14 memory card out of my camera, put it into the card-reader built into my PC and moved all the images to the computer in about a minute and a half leaving the memory card empty and ready for another day’s photography.
It’s astounding the freedom these technologies have given us.