The Real Cost of Working Digital

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What does it really cost to work using digital photographic technologies? Upgrades, hardware… more upgrades…what does all this mean when you price your works? Hybrid Artist Stephen Schaub explores this brave new world of digital photography and provides some interesting points to consider both for and against digital. Also referenced and discussed in this audioblog is the current issue of PDN and the article “Digital Confusion” by Sara Coleman. This is a great listen for anyone considering the plunge into digital photography or for the photographer who is slowly drowning in an ocean of upgrades and unforeseen costs.

Thought For The Day.

Our Fearless LeaderSadly enough, it bears repeating (and repeating…): digital and analog are different and choice is good. Why does one have to win? I just came across oh-yes-yet-another-article in which the author in the very first paragraph states that digital is better than analog. “There. I said it,” opines self-described “fussy pro” Jim Richards in NARFE magazine.

Nice, of course, to see the huge ad for a SONY digital camera-whoops, I mean “illustration”- inserted in the article as “content”…who do you think is paying for this fake article, eh? We are, as the flood of mis-information continues to poison our industry.

Merry #@$%^ ing Christmas!

The Technology Energy Vampire

By Stephen M. Schaub

Technology is going to make life and work more efficient (read better) and allow us to have spare time to say smell the flowers and play with the kids, right?

No. Or at least not from where I stand.

Every time I engage in a new time-saving technological breakthrough that is going to save me time (ie: faster software, faster printer, faster scanner; faster being the operative word here) all of which will allow me to be more productive and get more done in a short time I forget something- something REALLY important…that newly created open/free time window which is now miraculously available. This newly-freed-up time does not have to become work time, after all- it can be just quality-of-life time. (This is a concept that Americans have a hard time with.) Isn’t new technology and all this auto-magic gizmos and gadgets core selling point that it will make you more efficient and ease the burden of work?…no, that’s just an advertising lie, it really just means that now you can do 20 things instead of 10 in a day, so now you end up working faster and YES harder.

There is even a darker side to all these technological advances…cue some scary music…enter The Technology-Energy Vampire. Ever sat down at the computer for a project that you estimate will take 1 hour only to realize that your family has been waiting for you for over 3 hours and you are still not done? How did this happen? Where did time go…abduction by aliens? No, remember how technology made things faster and more efficient, well it also raised expectations as to what could be done and just how fast you could do it. Technology is a seductive mistress (she’s a whore)- you’re working at the speed of thought in Photoshop humming away at a blistering pace when you catch a glimpse of your reflection fading in the glow of your monitor…STOP, RUN your being sucked in by the Technology Vampire!

OK, I having too much fun but you get my point…technology works for us and not us for it. Be realistic in your time estimation (your family will appreciate this) and remember that life does exist away from buttons and hard drives…go for a walk in the woods or just have a cup of coffee with friends.

For safety sake, I for one am going to line my workstation with garlic and religious iconography, and randomly hit the plug with my foot just to make sure I don’t become one of the living dead in cyberspace.