There are many ways to look at the world.
We can use our eyes to see. We can use our ears to hear. We can use our nose to smell. We can use our hands to touch. We can use our tongue to taste.
But in addition to engaging our senses, there is one other way to look at the world. We can use our eyes to see through a lens of a camera. And, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
I’ve always loved taking pictures. Because I take a lot of pictures with a manual Nikon camera and my point-and-shoot, it is fortunate I was born in the age of digital cameras.
I never had the chance to use a camera where you couldn’t preview what your photo looked like before deciding to print it. To be fair, I don’t print nearly all of the pictures I take. But I do believe there is still value in printing pictures, despite the digital rage. I also believe that smartphones, no matter how good of pictures they take, shouldn’t be a replacement for digital or manual cameras.
Using a camera to capture parts of the world or the people in it is a different way to see things. You can share your experiences with other people.
You can look back in 10, 20, 50 years and see snapshots of moments in time. That could include memories from vacations, family gatherings, hanging out with friends or things you find beautiful or unusual. It can capture history in the making.
Having prints is an added way to share our experiences by putting them in photo albums or hanging them on the wall. It also serves as another backup in case our computer crashes and we lose all of our digital images saved on it.
Photography has changed since the introduction of smartphones. Using a smartphone to take a picture of yourself, known as a selfie, is extremely popular these days. These selfies appear on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Pinterest posted using a phone.
I read an article on the website Steve’s Digicams called “Are Smart Phones Replacing Compact Digital Cameras?” In it, it said a new study in the U.K. revealed almost 50 per cent of smartphone users use the phones instead of compact cameras for photos and videos “even though most users and experts agree that image quality is better from dedicated digital cameras.”
The logic is easy to understand. Why have a camera when your phone can do that using one device? Most of us carry our cellphones will us at all times. Plus it’s an easy way to share what we see in real time with our friends and with the public on social media.
I’ve done it too and it’s quite handy. But unless I immediately want to share a photo, I will always use a compact or manual camera first.
The quality of smartphone photographs has improved by a lot in the past few years. Newer models have more megapixels, which increases the quality of the photo. People can and do take amazing images with smartphones and I encourage that.
However, I will always believe in the value of a digital camera. Taking the time to process photos on your computer, I think, adds value to what you’re doing. It means more. We can take more pride in our work because we’re not just rushing through it, as is the trend with pretty much everything these days.
So take a minute and slow down. Appreciate what you’re doing.
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.