Thursday, October 24, 2013
Digital over darkroom
This technology thing throws a curve every once in a while.
But in this case, it doesn’t make me long for the days gone by.
Friday night, back at the office getting photos off cameras from football games, DeMill Dixon and I hit a brief snag.
When putting his camera card into the card reader attached to my computer, it said 32 minutes to download. That’s an unusually long time. I stopped it and it basically crashed my computer.
Then I couldn’t get any of the computers to take his card.
That’s when he retrieved his laptop and burned his photos onto a CD. That worked – successful in getting the photos onto our South Reporter server via Barbara’s computer.
Then Saturday morning when I came back to the office to pick out photos, I could not get his homecoming photos to open on my computer or Linda’s. But they did open on Barbara’s.
At least I knew we had the photos.
Monday morning, Barbara and Linda easily remedied the problem, by resaving his photos by a different file name. I wish I would have thought of that. Instead, my mind dwelled on it all weekend.
Digital cameras and camera cards and card readers and such like have been a wonderful blessing for the newspaper industry.
Particularly for those of us who used to spend hours and hours and hours in the darkroom. And I didn’t spend as much time there as the photographers who have worked with me over the years. I don’t call myself a photographer – just lucky to get a good photo every now and then.
We still have our darkroom at The South Reporter. Now it’s a junk room.
Developing film, picking the best photos and printing them added up to a time-consuming process.
At some places, we’d print contact sheets – small versions of each photo on the negatives. Then, as editor, I’d circle my choices for that week’s newspaper with a grease pencil.
At another place, we’d bypass the contact sheets at times. I’d hold the negatives up to the light and do my best to pick out the best ones. Then I’d clip the end of the negative – next to the photos I wanted printed.
But the process didn’t end there – as far making the photos as part of our layout pages. I won’t go into all that detail.
Needless to say, I prefer the photography method of today. It’s made my life so much easier.
Plus, thanks to the continuous progression of technology, I can now take good quality photos with my cell phone or my tablet.
And it’s made it easier for the members of our community to contribute photos. They can take the photos and simply e-mail them. We have many, many photographers – from the schools to the volunteer fire departments – and we appreciate everyone who is a part of our team. All are contributing to their community newspaper as we strive to cover Marshall County from one end to the other.
I do hope to be able to purchase a new digital camera at some point in the near future. Mine is about 12 years old.
Cameras have come a long way in 12 years.
Plus, as I get older, I seem to be having trouble getting the best focus all the time.
I’m sure a brand new camera would solve that.
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