One of the reasons for me studying this course is to improve my digital photographic practice. My previous course, The Art of Photography, taught me how to spend longer composing my shots before pressing the shutter button. After taking a photograph I would be so eager to see the finished product that I felt I didn’t necessarily take the time to process it first. My workflow would almost be as short as: taking the photo; plugging my camera into my Apple Mac to download the file; tweak the exposure and saturation; and then either post it online or print. Time was usually an issue, but also having a limited understanding of the types of adjustments I can do when editing my photographs. Therefore DPP is a good transition for me after completing TAOP.
1. Hard disk
2. Zip drive
3. CD-Rom or DVD
With these suggestions Freeman (2005) warns about the potential hazards of using them. Hard disc drives have evolved into extremely high capacity storage devices now available in terabytes. A terabyte is the equivalent of 1024 gigabytes. This means that 250,000 4 megabyte photographs could be kept on a 1TB hard drive! However images can be easily erased or a hardware malfunction could possibly corrupt files, making them impossible to retrieve. There is the danger that a lifetime’s portfolio of images could be lost forever.
Whilst Freeman (2005) referred to zip drives, a more up-to-date replacement would be flash drives / memory sticks. These solid state drives are becoming cheaper as technology advances enable larger storage capacities. Unlike an internal hard disc on a computer, these memory sticks are portable, making it easier to share and transfer images on different computers. However this portability can also be a disadvantage. Memory sticks are usually very slim and small, making them easy to lose or vulnerable to being broken. These drives can also develop faults which could mean images are unable to be recovered.
The third storage method Freeman (2005) refers to is CD-Roms and DVDs. These forms of physical storage enable a large number of images to be archived with an excellent cost per megabyte. However discs can become scratched and subsequently unreadable, so it is important to keep them stored carefully.
When this edition of Photography was published in 2005 the Internet was still relatively young and underdeveloped compared to today. Therefore Freeman (2005) briefly discusses how images can be shared by email. However recent advances in web 2.0 technology has led to the rise in popularity of online community and social network sites, such as Flickr and Facebook, which enable users to upload images that their friends/contacts can view and download (depending on restrictions).
The Internet can be a life-saver, offering access to content and a facility to communicate with others 24/7. I’ve got a Flickr account which I use to upload my edited photos. I’m able to tag my images and organise them into sets, and put sets together in collections. As of today (7/2/11) I’ve got 2,123 images stored on Flickr, and my account has been viewed 5,311 times! Other Flickr members are able to comment on my work and even annotate suggestions for crops etc. Whilst there are lots of advantages to the World Wide Web, unfortunately it doesn’t offer a fool-proof solution to protecting your photographs as illustrated in this article. Fortunately for Mr Wilhelm Flickr managed to retrieve his photos, but it has made me wary about relying on using the Internet as the sole place to store my photos without backing them up. This view is reinforced by Freeman (2005, p. 46) who states that:
…digital data does not exist unless it is stored in at least two places at the same time.
Whilst typing this blog entry I’m now worried about whether Word Press will be able to look after the content I’m posting here!