“No man is an island, entire of himself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” John Donne (1624)
When we changed from shooting film to capturing digital images, we described the action with a new word. Here we go again…
Figital definition 1995: a photographer who uses film and then scans to make digital prints.
Figital definition 2017: unable to draw a distinction between the physical world and its digital equivalent. Generation Z, those born after 1995, don't use computer devices, they live with them.
As a baby boomer, the beginning and middle of my life was entirely analog… that’s another way of saying it was LIVE. Back in the 1900’s, I picked up my first camera, processed film in a makeshift darkroom in my mother’s laundry room, using my father’s film canisters.
Contrast this with 2017, my Lightroom, the place where I store and process my photos, contains just shy of 200,000 images, or an average of 25,000 per year. In terms of film, the analog equivalent would be 700 rolls of 36 exposure film, or about two rolls per day. Back in the day, we might shoot one roll of 12, 24 or 36 frames a week, and more on a special occasion.
Part of why I am passionate about photography is that I love interacting with people, being outside, bearing witness to nature, and capturing those moments with my camera. I have 50 years of experience, including 22 years fully or partially digital. Unfortunately nowadays being a photographer eventually comes down to sitting in front of a computer. I have a love-hate relationship with computers. Just as I think “Hey I got this, they up and change the answers.”
So different than members of Generation Z, who have never known a life other than with digital, and who may learn all they know about a subject via the web. Case in point: A neighbor and I were talking about her grandchild, who she thought had much potential for sewing, all aspects of which had been learned by watching YouTube videos. The grandmother wished the girl would try one-on-one lessons with an accomplished seamstress, for she would stand to learn a lot about sewing, and also benefit from the years of experience.
So go figure that the computer software I rely on to do my job…Adobe Lightroom, decides to give me problems right when I need it the most, Thanksgiving week… You know, that holiday in the Fall, when generations and points of view collide, hopefully to express gratitude and interact with one another, hopefully sans digital device.
My first thought is to call a human for tech support, except there was no option for that. When you live on an island and you're the local expert in the subject, it's hard to know where to turn when you have a problem. So I turned to the web, and what I experienced reset my thinking about how we learn.
I began by posting my problem on the Adobe forum where other users would propose solutions. None worked, so I reached out to the self proclaimed guru of Lightroom. Two days later, still no response, when Victoria Bamford, Lightroom Queen/Owner/Moderator/Lightroom Guru finally responded: “Hi Carol, we missed your thread. Are you up and running?”
No. Encouraged by a shout out from anywhere at this point. I sent screenshots, pictures of the my computer’s actions and error messages. We tried fix after fix, but none were working. Days passed. Never a big fan of upgrading my software, I muttered never again: “If it ain’t broke...don’t fix it.”
The day after Thanksgiving the Queen sends more instructions: “Hopefully you're still sleeping off all that lovely grub, but I'll waffle to myself in the meantime!” (The Queen lives in the UK if you were wondering.)
When that fix failed, the Queen says she now see’s the problem, and if I would send her my catalog when I go to bed, it should be fixed by the time I wake up. (The digital doctor’s equivalent of take two aspirin and call me in the morning.)
Finally, after three attempts at tweaking my catalog, JOY! I responded “All is good hallowed Lightroom Queen. I can get those Thanksgiving photos online for proofing. (www.lilsalt.com) You are amazing, in that you were really there for me. Like when you said upload the file when you go to bed, and it will be fixed and ready to go when you wake up! Who does that? And those comments you made about Thanksgiving dinner for me on that date... I am sure you have a different tradition in the UK... so thoughtful. So REAL. You have given me ~ this old school kinda gal ~ a new perspective on how we learn.”
Suddenly I realize I've been working on this journal posts for hours and I'm about to go blind. It’s time for a break.
Time to go LIVE.
This photographic website provides me the opportunity for self-expression, for sharing