Technology on a Whole New LevelSaturday, June 25, 2005
I recently wrote how iPod technology has changed the way I buy, collect, and listen to music. Gone are the days of buying CDs, except for special anthologies, box sets, and hard-to-find local and world music.
iTunes allows one to collect, store, and purchase music, and burn creative mixes to CD via little effort. And the sound quality is superb, and will only get better. All sorts of accessories allow you to play iPod through your car system, home system, or office boombox.
Besides music, another thing I totally enjoy is photography. Technology has totally revamped my direction there, as well. I went digital only two years ago –being very cautious of moving from 35mm.
Digital photography wow’d me; once it grabbed me, it never let go. Photos could be numerous – without charge – and instant. I carry around a mini-portable hard drive and a laptop for instant viewing. Photoshop gave me my digital darkroom, and total control over results. Photo management systems, such as ACDSee, allow me to manage and tag photos, file them appropriately, display and search them, make contact sheets, make slide shows and collages, and easily send PDF’s slide shows or photo displays to others.
But the darkroom wasn’t quite complete. I still had to send them off to an online service to have them printed, and worse yet, it was time-consuming to upload numerous photos to a photo production website. Photo printers, in the past, had never quite made it onto my radar, becaue I had never seen the quality I wanted and expected.
Then recently, I came home with a Canon Pixma 6000 photo printer. Watching a customer print his pics from that printer at a Micro Center store totally sold me on the idea. This unit is perhaps the best buy I have made in a long time.
The printing quality blew me away. My digital photos – which already capture clarity, sharpness, and bright colors via a digital camera – are printed perfectly, exactly as I saw the subjects. This 6-color printer does far better work than I have received via taking 35mm prints to a professional lab. And the results – and thus corrections – are immediate: no waiting, no dropping off film and picking prints up; no dust issues (printing from negatives with dust specks on them); and, best of all, I have complete and total control over the output. I’ve tried super-gloss papers and satin paper, and the results are all spectacular. Finding the perfect way to print photos has changed my hobby completely. In fact, I will be gathering up and selling all of my 35mm cameras and equipment. I cannot stop recommending this printer to anyone who wants spectacular results at a low cost. The printer was on sale for $149, plus there’s a $20 rebate. A bargain indeed.
Last, but not least, the final hole in the digital darkroom was filled when I hooked up this puppy:
A Samsung 21.3 ” monitor. It’s gorgeous. I was finally able to see colors as they were, and this totally changed the way I was able to clean-up and edit photos in Photoshop. Before, I couldn’t get it right – epecially exposure — and that was due to looking at an old-fashioned, CRT monitor, with little or no ability to produce life-like color. My photos are now done right, and thanks to this wonderful technology, I have the ability to do it all in my pajamas, without moving from a small, dedicated section of my home.
It’s a great era in which to be alive, experiencing all this technology growth and whatnot.