Film-Based Black and White Vs Color Digital Photography

The last ten years in photography have seen a remarkable transformation. In 2000/2001 I was just beginning to be exposed to digital cameras. I had done some experiments around 1998 with a Nikon/Kodak D1 which cost $5,000 and was, if I remember correctly, just a 1 mp camera! Now our $30-40 telephones have cameras with at least a 4 megapixel rating!I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised as I witnessed in the mid 90s how the graphic design world made an even faster transition from traditional (i.e. non-digital) methods to digital in a matter of a couple years for most designers. As a long-time practitioner of film-based photography and having used the early digital cameras and seen that the price/quality relationship was ridiculous I guess I tended to discount the threat that digital might offer-until, not so long ago now when I first heard that digital cameras had outsold film cameras one year. At that point I understood what was happening. I think it was only a couple years later that Nikon and Canon reduced their production of film cameras to just two or three models each after having had at least a dozen not so long before.I’ve actually been a bit surprised that there hasn’t been more of the type of film or digital arguments that one heard about Mac of PC computers in the 90s but I guess the transition was so swift and there were so few people that recognized a glaring difference in quality between film and digital that the debate barely got started and it seemed to be over already. And as the vast majority of people using cameras aren’t professionals and so could live with being limited to smaller prints so long as the use of the camera was cheaper than working with a film camera with its film development and print charges just to see what the images looked like. It was hard to argue with the financial argument that digital was cheaper-at least for taking pictures (not necessarily for printing them).As for the art photography world, the change was equally fast. When I was in graduate school in the early 90s photo students at Tyler School of Art were working almost equally in (traditional) color and black and white though probably more in black and white. But at that point, as I remember it, the galleries and museums showing photography were overwhelmingly still showing almost exclusively black and white imagery and of course very little digital color images yet although some film-based color work.Jump forward to 2012 and it seems that most of the last ten years have been devoid of much new black and white work in galleries. Although not the only reason, this transition undoubtedly owes a lot to the improvement and greater affordability of digital cameras and of digital printers.And while Epson certainly did lead the way in addressing the long-standing problem of color fading in traditional color photography, it seems that in some ways the change was due to a desire of many to see something new and different-be damned any technical obstacles (like color fading)! Of course, it should be mentioned that while digital certainly was an important component in the growth of color photography in art galleries and museums, some of the most successful practitioners were actually still shooting color film-but instead of making traditional prints they were scanning their images and making digital prints.Color photography in the art world is definitely here to stay but having recently exhibited a large collection of black and white and even older techniques in photography and having been able to talk with many visitors to the exhibit, I can see that there is still a real desire to see black and white as well as analog images. As beautiful as prints can now be coming off a high quality printer like an Epson, there does still seem to be a subtle difference between a film based image and a digital one. I don’t say that one is inherently better than the other but I’m wondering if maybe we aren’t tipping back away from the ultra precision imagery that has saturated the art photo world for these past ten years.Ultimately, I think it’s best if we can maintain a wide scope of different approaches to photography. We need all the variety of techniques and looks that we can get to enable as broad a range of photo work as possible. One of my regrets about the growth of digital photography is precisely that so much of it looks the same. This may well be a consequence of more people with less experience in photography who now have easier access to showing their work on websites and convincing curators and such to show their work but it’s still a very regrettable condition for the photo world to fall into.

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Vacation Traveling with Your Pet

Going on vacation is one of the most pleasurable times in our lives. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most stressful times for our beloved pets. For some, sending Fido or Kitty to the kennel is out of the question. So here is some important advice for anyone wishing to travel with his or her four legged companions.Common sense is our precious ally when traveling with our pets and the following is a list of great tips to ensure the safety of our pets:Must not forgets:
Your pet’s favorite bed and toys.

Plenty of food. Changing the food can disrupt the digestive system.

Copies of up-to-date records of all shots, especially rabies.

Collar and leash.

Identification tag.

Prescribed medications, if any.

Lots of treats.

Photos of your pet.

Your veterinarians phone number.
When traveling by car:
Stop at least every 100 miles or every 3 hours to give your pet a chance to stretch, walk, drink and of course empty his/her bladder. For your cat put a small pan of litter in the vehicle.

Always have your pet on a leash when traveling, even if he/she is off-leash trained. In a strange area they may not obey as easily and can get spooked.

Always clean up after your pet.

Use a harness that is made to clip into the car’s seat belt while traveling.

Make sure your pet is wearing an identification tag with a phone number that is appropriate for your trip. The cell phone number that you are carrying with you is best.

Never leave a pet alone in a car, especially in hot or cold climates. Extreme temperature changes can happen in minutes and can be fatal to your pet.
When traveling by plane:Many airlines will allow you to travel with your pet on the same flight. Small pets, generally less than ten pounds, can travel in an airline-approved carrier that will fit under your seat. For larger pets, the airline has accommodations in cargo. Be sure to check with your airlines regarding fees and restrictions. Often there is limited space for animals, so if you plan on traveling with your pet you should try to book as early as possible.Pets brought for travel on airlines must be at least eight weeks old and be fully weaned. In addition, airlines will not allow pets that are uncontrollable, ill, in heat or pregnant. Pets should not be sedated for air travel. All pets for air travel will need a recent health certificate (generally within 48 hours of travel) as well as documentation of vaccinations and any medications he/she may be taking.When traveling in cargo, it is important that the crate you choose is large enough for the pet to stand without touching the top, turn around and lay back down comfortably. The crate needs to be clearly marked as LIVE ANIMAL and should also include your name, address, and phone number (a cell phone number is best). You should also include your final destination just in case your pet is misplaced in transit. The inside of the crate must have a food and water cup attached to it and a ziplock bag with some extra food in case of any delays.Smaller pets are easier to travel with you because you can be there to care for him/her. A soft-sided carrier bag is generally all that is needed. Check with your airlines for any size requirements.Upon Arrival at your destination:Many hotel chains and campsites welcome our companion animals as their guests. When booking your room, ask about additional fees for having your pet stay with you as well as any rules. Try not to leave your pet alone in the room for long periods. Remember this is a strange place for him/her and he/she will be nervous if left alone.If you are staying with friends or relatives be certain to ask their permission to bring your pet. Do not assume that just because you love Fido or Kitty so will they. Upon arrival ask your hosts where they would like you to walk your dog and always clean up after him/her. Or ask where you can put the litter box for your cat (they actually have disposable boxes now). Always be respectful of your hosts’ home.So why leave your favorite pets at home? With a little bit of planning, your companion can enjoy in all your family festivities.

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