I bought my first digital camera in 1997. 17 years ago, I decided to go digital to reduce the cost of processing the photos from my growing collection of disposable cameras. Photography had become my way of capturing the beauty of the world, from the vantage point of the sky, as I worked on my private pilots license. Digital cameras were expensive then, and not many of my friends owned one. Photography was expensive and back then much thought went into each picture that was created.
Now we fast forward to 2014. Digital cameras are everywhere. Every self-phone, I mean cellphone has a camera 5-10x better than my first digital camera. Now instead of seeing beautiful pictures of the sky, social media is bombarded with hoards of selfies. The camera, which was once a tool to capture the world ‘outside’ has turned on its owner. It’s owners no longer have interest in sharing where they have been, instead they prefer to fill the frame with their face.
This morning, I still remember holding my disposable camera close to my eye, as it gazed over the Long Island shores. I remember hesitating a moment before pressing the shutter, to make sure that the image was well framed and composed. I remember waiting until the last frame before rushing to my corner CVS to develop the film. Each frame was precious to me. I could hardly wait to have my photo prints in hand, to share with my family and friends, and relive the moment in the sky with them.
When photography was expensive, the world was void of selfies, but now that cameras are free with even cheap cell phones… selfies are EVERYWHERE…