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While both presentation topics are of interest to me, I could really identify with the ones relating to digital photography, especially the article about missing moments because you're too busy taking pictures.
I attend a few concerts a year, and always bring along my point-and-shoot digital camera (except when the artist or venue prohibits it). I've been to concerts where I've taken around 100 photos and ones where I've taken just two or three. I have to say that I enjoyed the concerts where I only took a few photos the best. I was free to just experience the moments, the atmosphere. I wasn't worried about getting my camera settings right or snapping the picture at just the right moment. However, I do enjoy looking back at the photos I have taken, so I don't think I could leave the camera at home deliberately. Perhaps I just need to learn to be more discriminatory with regards to when I take a picture.
I found it interesting in the digital photography articles how they both discussed this concept of missing the moment because we are taking part in a mediated experience. We becomes so invested in recording memories that we fail to experience them as they take place.
I find that some of my friends, more than others, record rather than experience an event. And for the most part I find it is those friends who have smart phones. And among this group of friends the photos are typically quite mundane - often times the food they are about to eat. And what is more entertaining is that social media completely encourages this. Twitter and instagram seem to capitalize on visually recording the mundane.
But even with that being said, I don't believe the proliferation of photography is necessarily a bad thing. As the BBC article pointed out, photography used to be a hobby of only the elite due to how expensive it was. Now that photography is so pervasive, we are seeing the power it wields in the hands of the disenfranchised. Low quality cellphone pictures and videos have been instrumental in social justice and political uprisings.
The readings about digital photography are so interesting. Since the invention of timeline, I've been thinking of the way technologies sort of "own" our lives and our special moments. I'm not a huge picture taker, and I feel like all of my friends constantly want to get pictures of each other at every event we go to. While I feel like I missed out if I don't document the events in my life, I also don't enjoy taking pictures. I'm not really sure why. Maybe because I don't like looking at myself in them. But like I said, I feel like I miss out if I don't get at least one picture. I do so many events and activities in any given month, it's really easy to forget them, and looking at a picture brings back great memories. And sharing them with my friends is important. I've actually wished that my parents would join Facebook (which isn't a very common thing for a kid to wish for) so they could see my "life in pictures." But sometimes, we spend so many time taking pictures, or coordinating a picture, that we aren't even enjoying the event we're at. If we put away the camera and enjoyed ourselves, would we remember things more clearly?
I also thought learning about the environmental impact of books was super interesting. I had never even thought about the negative impact books can have, because I've always thought of them as so entertaining and educational. I will personally stick with printed books, but I get them from the library...so that helps, right??
I think e-readers are a great invention for people who love to read a great amount of books, newspapers, and magazines. For individuals, e-readers allow users to take hundreds of books anywhere on the go, without actually having to physically carry them. This also allows people the convenience to purchase multiple types of print media and store them all in one spot. The other really cool thing about e-readers is that you can touch or highlight a word in the text that you may be unfamiliar with, and it will immediately display for you the definition. I personally have a kindle, and this function is really useful if I come across something I don’t know while reading a book or an article. It allows me to continue on with reading, without feeling like I missed something important because I don’t understand what they were talking about. I also hated carrying around a physical book with me; mostly because I enjoyed reading Harry Potter and they can be pretty heavy books. I feel like my kindle has allowed me to want to read more, not only because I don’t have to carry something around but because if I get bored with something I am reading, I can simply exit out and pick up something else or purchase something else on the go.
One of the articles discussed how they have a major impact on improving the sustainability and environmental impact on the publishing industry. I can definitely see this as being true, since producing paper and bindings for books does emit carbon emissions. Publishing companies will also save a lot of publishing fees by providing their books and magazines on e-readers. If this continues on and we become a paperless society, e-readers could very well be contributing to a greener world.
I really enjoyed reading about both of these topics. In the articles about digital photography, I was shocked when it said that the royal wedding was said to have taken over 327 million pictures. That is insane! But, no shocking. In my opinion, our society is obsessed with taking pictures and "Capturing the moment". Tourists and travelers barely even soak in scenery and experience because they are so concerned with getting the pictures. Pictures are important because you can look back on them, but sometimes they get in the way of really experiencing something and being present in the moment.
I also thought it was interesting to think about if the camera phone will be taking over the place of the digital camera. I could see it happening. People are constantly uploading photos online from their phones, and they usually have more pictures on their phone because the phone is something that is always with them, and it also has video capabilities.
As for the articles about e-readers vs. printed books, I personally cannot decide which on is better for the environment. I don't think the articles know what the better one is either, they both ended by saying the library was the best option. Hopefully the companies that produce e readers can find solutions to manufacture their products in a more environmentally friendly way. It is still a fairly new invention, so I think there is a lot of room and time for improvement.
The photography articles just reminded me how much I hate taking pictures. The article talking about missing the moment was all to familiar to me. I am going abroad to one of the most beautiful places on earth, New Zealand (Lord of the Rings.. come on), and I am already stressed out about whether to buy a camera to take photos of this beautiful place, or if I just want to remember it. I also found it interesting in the other article of how cameras on phones have changed things. With it being so convenient to take photos on the device that you potentially use for everything else technological, it only makes sense for the common person to use a camera on their phone as opposed to purchasing an additional device that does the same thing and may not be as convenient as it may be more of an inconvenience to put the photos up online as most of us do.
Like almost everyone else commenting, I think it’s interesting to see how picture taking has become such a common place thing that actually tends to get in the way of simply enjoying a scene or having a good time with friends. I also think it’s interesting to see how many “professional” photographers have emerged due to the extreme high quality of cameras that one can buy and the editing softwares that exist. Now there seems to be a hierarchy of photographers: the old-timers who worked with actual film before digital, the newcomers who have studies photography, and finally the youngsters who just have a really nice camera. Overall, I think we’ve all been victim to that friend who wants to record every moment of a fun night with hundreds of pictures; it’s funny how Facebook and “tagging” and “untagging” yourself from pictures is such a widespread thing that girls everywhere commiserate over. Most of the time, I tend to side with the position of not taking many pictures and simply enjoying the scene. I think I enjoy going back and looking at pictures when they’re in albums; although scrapbooking is a big hobby in the last few decades, I think it’s slowly becoming true that people don’t really print out as many pictures as they used to. Instead, they kind of just hoard them on their hard-drives, so it seems a little pointless to spend so much time taking them.
I was incredibly surprised to learn both that print media was one of the most carbon footprint heavy materials made but the sheer factor smaller the footprint left by the ereaders is. This in my mind is one of the purest examples of an advance in technology that I can think of, both providing something that objectively can serve the same purpose with no additional hassle (even less in many cases for not having to deal with storage of books) and is objectively better for the environment and the general wellbeing surrounding it. Though I do love print media and how it feels in my hand, I admit there are very few books that I have read that would be unable to be shown on an ereader as they stand now. As far as the carbon footprint goes, a factor of 7 is incredible as far as the reduction goes. If we could achieve similar reduction of energy waste with lightbulbs, it would be an incredible innovation.
Although unfortunately not everyone downloads 22 books per year, the amount to offset the reading of print media, I'm sure e-readers will only get more advanced and will attempt to use less and less energy.
With their advancement, we may see a loss in the majority of print media, although it may be a long time before they can accurately represent images and differing font sizes and shapes on their 'pages'.
I had never considered getting an e-reader until recently, when I began downloading books onto my computer, and now after reading these articles about the energy impact of books versus e-readers, it seems to make sense that they become the standard form of reading offered. Children should get e-readers to use in school, and instead of going to the libraries they could just stay in the class room and check out books. The schools could purchase e-reader textbooks for the kids, and use the savings to go to music programs, or many other areas that have been cut from schools. It seems like there are infinite advantages of e-readers over traditional books, and if it is purely for sentimental value, then I ask, are you going to chose your personal feelings over the greater good?
I have dealt personally with both of the topics that the articles are dealing with. I have often noticed that picture-taking really detracts from the experiences I'm having, at least when it is overly a part of what I am doing. An occasional snap shot is much better, yet the feeling that I might miss the perfect shot sits in the back of my mind. I realized that I remember more fondly the times that I was actually aware of what was happening rather than living through a lens. It is a truly strange experience to view life in such a way.
As for e-reader technology, it makes complete sense to me that the paperless way would make a big difference. I have an e-reader and had never bothered to pursue the facts about the effect it could have as far as carbon footprint goes. Surely consumer technology isn't always manufactured in a manner that satisfies environmental groups, but pushing out the delivery methods and need for pulp can allow the paperless way to lead us to a better environmental standing.
This page contains a single entry by Capper Nichols published on March 11, 2013 10:13 AM.
"Consumption and Dispersion" - David Nye; "Why Not Electricity?" - S. Scott & K. Pellman was the previous entry in this blog.
"Introduction" from Alone Together - Sherry Turkle is the next entry in this blog.
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