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"PERILS OF THE DIGITAL AGE"
"I'VE GOT YOU, WHO'S GOT ME?"
Don't get me wrong. I love digital photography. To me, in terms of the control of the photograph, digital photography is light years ahead of film photography. I love digital photography, except when the technology breaks down and bites one on the proverbial posterior. One thing that I hate with a passion is changing computers. While many tech geeks look forward to "upgrading" as they characterize it, the task seems to me to be a giant hassle and much unnecessary, unwanted work. To say that upgrading to a new operating system---as I did just yesterday in moving from Windows XP to Windows 7---is labor-intensive, is a vast understatement. Recently my old computer lost its mind, forcing my migration to the very computer I sit and write this on. Getting this new thang to work yesterday, took on the look of a Charlie Chaplain silent movie, except that it included sound. The sound of expletives deleted, that is.
I tried to project an internal happy face as I unpacked my new Dell XPS Studio laptop yesterday, hoping against hope that the photography-related software that I had to install would coexist properly with the new operating system. It sure was pretty. Its good looks however, much like an insincere sexy siren, masked the perils ahead. How did I intuit that a broken heart was dead ahead, beyond the next curve?
My naive hopes were not destined to be realized. Things would not be as easy as my heart wished.
I had no problem in installing Photoshop. My primary problem was that the Nikon software in CD form that I had from my Nikon D1x DSLR, would not install. This mounted a buyers' remorse in terms of having acquired the new Windows 7. However, I do realize that there is no choice beyond looking for old refurbished computers with good 'ole Windows XP. This bump in the road---mogul is more like it---led to much gnashing of teeth and hair pulling. A self-admitted disclaimer:
I'm no technical whiz.
Truth be told, I'm barely adequate when it comes to tech geek stuff. I was however, able to search the World Wide Web (courtesy of our good friend Google) to solutions to my problem. A digital camera is of little use if one can't import the images onto one's computer, no? So here's what I did to eradicate the notion that I spent mucho dinero for a new computer, for nought.
I was able to download a newer version of the Nikon program to ease my images onto Photoshop, for finalization. This new Nikon program, didn't allow me to directly import my images onto my computer. Through blind luck and perserverence, I found that I can import my RAW images through Windows. Then it's a matter of this 'n that before heading on over to Photoshop, where my real talents lie. I will tell you immodestly, that 41 years of working in professional photography, including a stint as black and white print developer in a commercial lab, has translated well to my prowess in digital processing of images. The nature of the tools are different, but the underlying principals of development are the same, whether the medium is borne of the film plane or digital sensor. So, I am basically back in business, and am able to use my old generation Nikon D1x, which I love, with my new computer system.
I did briefly flirt with (or more accurately, whimsically thought about) the idea of returning to film shooting. But that idea was shot down by the fact that my scanner software would not install on Windows 7. A film image that I can't import to my computer, is useless to me. I sure wasn't going to spend money on a new scanner. Undeniably, getting in front of one's computer is a far more attractive option than spending money on film, taking one pictures, then shlepping to the lab miles away, and waiting days before the privilege of paying for slide processing. That's processing of images incidentally, that's free when one does it in one's own digital darkroom. Black and white film developing, which I'm an expert at? Forget it. Chemicals are expensive and increasingly hard to obtain. Besides, I don't have a lot of time that wet darkroom developing would entail.
Oh well, now that I'm back in the saddle with my digital SLRs humming nicely with my new system, what's not to like about digital photography? It avoids the cost of film, not to mention to hassle of going to far-away labs that still process slide film. Hey man, it doesn't get any better than this. Digital photography rules, baby---unless your computer breaks down. Later.