I received some great feedback on various photo forums regarding my blog entry/article “The 5 Biggest Digital Photography Pitfalls“. Below are a few comments that I thought were great points along with my thoughts.
Comment #1: “How about RAW file retention? How many shots do you archive even though you’ll never see them again?” – Kah Kit Yoong
Comment #2: “ I think many of the items you listed as pitfalls are actually benefits of digital imaging. For example, cataloging. I bet you never had to keep up a card file on 30,000 images and be able to put your hand on a contact sheet in a matter of seconds.” – Tom Webster
Comment #3: “ Then next beef about digital is that it requires active archiving. If your images are going to last through time, you have to constantly refresh the archives on the latest and greatest media. CDs and DVDs have a fairly short life, in 20 years will you even be able to find a CD or DVD player. When was the last time you saw a 5.25″ floppy disk? They are not that old, good luck trying to read any data that you may have had tucked away on them. ” – Phillip Cohen
Comment #4: “How about proprietary issues? Namely between Canon and Nikon.” – Garrad Mathews
Comment #5: “You forgot the real No.1- It’s a bigger money sucking black hole than desktop publishing! ” – John Luke
Additional thoughts to this feedback…
Response to Comment #1 by Kah Kit Yoong
With out a doubt RAW File Retention is a problem that plagues every digital photographer. It a sleeper of a problem as it only becomes apparent when you run out of storage media and/or you try to retrieve a file from a backup. Then you notice how much clutter these additional files create.
Response to Comment #2 by Tom Webster
To Tom’s point I would say that each pitfall affords a potential benefit. There is a good and bad to each as with most things. IF you catalog and are organized then yes its of great benefit, but not everyone is disciplined in this area. If a great technology is there, but not being used or used inconsistently then I’d say a photographer has hit the pitfall mentioned. No doubt the difference between dealing with a 30,000 image card filing system, and a digital system is like night and day. Personally I think the ease in which a digital catalog can be lost (just as with an individual image file) is a real risk and with out proper backup is a potential pitfall. So in that regard I’d say the pitfalls can compound each other. To your point though when strategically and consistently used these “pitfalls” have a flip side of providing an incredible benefit.
Response to Comment #3 by Philip Cohen
Archive formats are a huge pitfall. I can’t believe I missed this one. Many never realize this until a format change hits the market. The prospect of transferring my DVD backups to a new backup standard is enough to give me nightmares. As it stands I’ve put off transfering my existing backups on DVD-RAM to DVD. I’ll have to do that before my old workstation dies on me.
Response to Comment #4 by Garrad Matthews
Proprietary issues are a problem and is the fuel behind the DNG initiative for a universal RAW format. Imagine the compounding impact of this with a new backup media standard. Twice the work and twice the nightmare.
Response to Comment #5 by John Luke
Sadly the expense of digital photography is quite high. Beyond the high price of dSLR camera bodies, lenses and other accessories the necessity of using a computer to process images means even more money gets sucked out of your wallet. Most people notice this when they upgrade cameras. The higher resolution of new cameras translates to larger files and the need for faster processing capabilities & RAM capacity. Upgrading one results in the need for the upgrade of the other.
So what was the point of all this?
No I’m not out to convince anyone to avoid digital photography. It’s the best thing since sliced bread as far as I’m concerned. The point was to have a realistic outlook to the medium. Digital photography is hyped so much these practical components are often overlooked until you’ve taken the plunge. It’s nothing that should stop someone from getting into digital photography but the information should help new entrants into the medium plan and prepare properly.
[tags]feedback, digital photography, RAW, computer, camera, dSLR, digital catalog, archive, DVD, DVD-RAM, Photoshop, Aperture, Adobe, Apple, photo, sensor cleaning, software, organization, backup, hard drive, photography, photo forum, pitfall, Photo.net, FredMiranda, NaturePhotography.net[/tags]