Digital Free Association

SearchingThe irony of my photo career is that I am the Manager of a large scale digital photo studio at an Ivy League institution but I am also a committed film lover. I own half a dozen film cameras but not a single digital camera. I have always been able to borrow a digital camera when needed. Well today I bought a tiny digital point and shoot. Why? Well, because lately I have been thinking about the medium of digital. What is the essence of digital photography? How is recording light on a photosensitive sensor fundamentally different from capturing light on film? What possibilities are opened? I have not seen any photo series that captures the essence of digital. Now there may well be but I am not aware of them, mainly because I have not found the answer to this question.

I started free associating the meaning of digital and came up with words and concepts like instant, ubiquity, dispersive, share, diaristic, spontaneous, and on and on. I decided to buy a small point and shoot and decided on the new Nikon P6000. What made me decide on this camera was that you can shoot in a square format. Neat! I love square images. Well the image accompanying this post isn’t square but it does demonstrate how I react differently to digital. Usually I would not shoot such a composition but with the digital camera in my hand (it was a Nikon D300 and I was shooting a friend’s wedding) it made it easier for me to just snap it and not have to worry about wasting a frame.

I am going to try and shoot and post a picture a day (or every couple of days) that I shoot with my digital P&S to try and get at the essence of “digital photography”. Stay tuned!


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