My camera, well, maybe I should clarify, my serious camera, is the Nikon D70. It’s pretty old and secondhand. By old, I mean It’s about six years old, and that in camera years is about one hundred and fifty. Although I got a good deal on it at the time, I almost weep when I look at the capabilities of the entry level DSLR cameras today. Ah, those young whipper snappers don’t know how good they’ve got it with their Active Dynamic Ranges and their ISOs above 1600. But I make do.
It’s a heavy thing, a black polycarbonate brick that one hefts to eye level. I both appreciate and curse that weight, depending on the situation. The solid feel of the camera lends a credence to its existence in the real world, that it can somehow interact with light and make it permanent. It can’t though.
All it does is take measurements and shift bits. A lot of them. In thousandths of a second.
There’s no chemical process that results in a physical object. No negative, no paper, no developer, no fixative, no finished product. Just more bits that get displayed on a screen, dependent on that screen’s size, and color depth and brightness to try to convey the moment through electric impulses.
It’s all an ephemeral stream of data. Like the very moment it’s trying to capture.
In fact, the data is so ephemeral that it can’t even last a day on the compact flash card. I am well aware of the fact that there are adult mayflies that have longer lives than some of the image data I’ve tried to acquire recently. Looking up some open source tools, I guess that hope springs eternal in the human breast.