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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The death of film

My heart sank when Konica Minolta decided that it was time to pull out its camera division because it wasn't going to make money for them in the long run. I'd been a long supporter of all things Minolta, even up to the point where they merged with Konica and everything. Minolta wasn't the most popular of cameras, amateurs and enthusiasts alike opted for the more popular Nikons instead. I liked Minoltas for their ease of use, the feature set, and their excellent optics. That was undeniable.

Even now I still like shooting with film. Give me that anyday, I say, compared to digital. There is a certain magic about shooting with film. Battery is almost never an issue, and I never had to think about shooting in what resolution.

So it saddens me that eventually that will be a thing of past, and film will be a rarity, and my cameras, antique. Of course it did cross my mind to get me a digital SLR since they are getting progressively cheaper anyway, plus with the closure of the photography division I hope that their products will get cheaper as well, although that remains to be seen.

Progress, that's what happened. Its all about instant results, and instant gratification. We really are going to lose our identity amidst all this digital revolution. I am an adopter of technology, no doubt, but technology does not make us who we are, it makes things easier, faster, cheaper.

Some months ago I wanted to set up a darkroom, but the whole process proved to be quite a hassle, from getting equipment to setting up a designated room with all the bells and whistles. It was not the most cost efficient thing to do. Then I thought about setting up a semi-digital photolab, which consisted of film processing and digital scanning of the negatives. Well that would've worked if I had put money into it, but I didn't. Now, you can simply take the photos with your digital SLR and print it with your printer. It was a simple 2-piece of hardware process. But for some reason, I feel that you can't take the word film out of photography. It just doesn't sound right.

But maybe in the near future its not what sounds right or not, it'll be what seems the most practical. Perhaps that would paint a sad picture of my last remaining rolls of film amidst my Miles Davis or John Coltrane recordings, never to be understood by anyone else outside this wonderful, magical world.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lazy technology

I swear, technology is making us a whole lot lazier. The other day I came across this Chinese New Year promotion for Motorola bluetooth headsets. These are the things that you see attached to various heads like a rechargeable leech that has become quite popular these days.

I started adopting this Bluetooth headset years ago when Ericsson came out with the first headset that was featured in the Tomb Raider movie. I told myself that I would have to get it no matter what, and I did. For months and months I was the proud image of a Universal Soldier. Until of course I dropped it someplace and never bothered to get another one again.

Cut back to the present, the headsets are so incredibly cheap (as compared to what I paid in the beginning), which makes me wonder, do I really need one? The formula for these things is that if you can use it and if the price is reasonable, you must get it. I didn't need one. I had a Bluetooth module for the car which I am incredibly proud of for figuring out how to wire it to the ignition. My justification was that I only need the handsfree when I'm driving, and if I'm not driving I can always pick up my phone and answer it like millions of other phone-enabled humans around the world.

But...its so cheap.

Then you start to wonder, how your life can improve if you had it. I started to think about the times when I had to contort my body to answer my phone while it was being charged, and having to scribble notes, or that all familiar ear-shoulder clamp manouvre which actually is very dangerous because you can seriously sprain a neck muscle or drop your phone since they make them so damn small these days anyway.

It is about that time that you think, yes, I think my quality of life can drastically improve, if I had a Bluetooth headset. Plus its cheap anyway.

Now I'm wondering when I would use it. And suddenly it dawned on me. I would have to put it on all day. So that I can have my hands free to do other stuff, to move around, and be truly mobile! What a lazy, lazy boy!

I tell you, sooner or later we're going to have these things implanted into our ears, and we'd just be one big walking implant. Its going to be a real pain when something new comes out though.