Another Earthbound Light PhotoTips Anniversary: 12 Years And Counting
Although the site was started even earlier, I posted the first PhotoTips article here at Earthbound Light back in October of 2001. It's been a good 12 years, and I wanted to take a moment to look back as well as ahead.
Back in 2001, photography revolved around film, although digital was fast approaching on the horizon. The glorious Nikon F5 debuted in 1996. I used to shoot with a pair of Nikon F100 film SLR cameras that came out in 1999, the same way the same year the Nikon D1 digital SLR was introduced. Although there was eventually a sixth camera in the Nikon F line of professional cameras, the F6 in 2004 was the last. That same year, the digital D2X came out and has been followed by various D3 models, and now the Nikon D4.
I started out writing mainly about photography basics such as composition, using a tripod and depth of field as these were applicable to every photographer. My first digital camera was the Nikon Coolix 990 that came out in 2000, although it was more of a toy than a serious camera. While at 3.1 megapixels, it actually had more pixels than the Nikon D1's 2.7 megapixels, beyond that and the price difference, the comparison greatly favored the professional D1.
I bought a Nikon D100 in October of 2002, the year after starting writing here on Earthbound Light. The following October I went fully digital and sold my two F100 film bodies. That was when Nikon came out with their wonderful 12-24mm DX lens to give me back the ability to shoot ultra-wide angles. For me, there was no turning back, and the articles I wrote here increasingly reflected my switch to digital. As a humorous side note, Fuji announced their Velvia 100F film in April of 2003, not long after I switched to digital. As a longtime lover of ISO 50 Velvia, I was seriously conflicted. I hadn't yet sold my last film body, but it really didn't make sense to buy a case of 100F to try out as I would have done even a year earlier. Film just no longer held a central role in my photographic life as it had for years.
Once I did start writing more about digital, I got praises from many readers just moving into digital themselves for clearly explaining what seemed inherently overcomplicated. With film, unless you had your own darkroom, your work was done once you pressed the shutter release. But especially when digital was new, you were pretty much on your own dealing with all the files your camera produced. Even just looking at them accurately required special raw conversion software, color management, and numerous other obstacles.
I did also get feedback from some diehard film shooters that they'd rather not hear about all that digital stuff. They really wished I would go back to talking about general photography or perhaps film if I did come down on one side or the other of the film versus digital divide. Today, although the reports of film's demise are somewhat exaggerated, its role has diminished to the point where no one asks for film articles anymore. Film is very much the exception today rather than the rule as used to be the case.
A similar transition has occurred over just the past few years as many digital shooters transition from a Photoshop-centric workflow to the use of Adobe Lightroom for most everything. Originally, when I wrote about Lightroom, most readers were appreciative, but some who hadn't dipped their toes in the Lightroom pool (or whatever) wished I would stick to writing clearly explained articles about arcane Photoshop techniques. Lightroom can't yet do everything, but trust me, if it can do it, it can do it a lot more easily than Photoshop can. Lightroom is the future, much as digital itself was back after the turn of the century.
Periodically, I've also touched on other topics here on Earthbound Light including photographic ethics, the creative process and the philosophical side being a photographer. In a sense, many of these articles bring me full circle, back to discussing things that should be relevant to all photographers, regardless of whether they shoot film or digital, whether they use a compact, prosumer camera or professional DSLR.
So what I'd like to at this point is what you are interested in. Many of you are longtime readers and I value your opinion. Since I've been publishing weekly articles now for 12 years, there are well over six hundred PhotoTips articles here now. But there's no way I can or ever will address every question you wish I would or could. And I can't promise that I can write an article covering every topic you request either, but I do promise to get to as many as I can. Let me know.
By the way, if you appreciate the wealth of information you can find here on Earthbound Light, feel free to support my efforts via PayPal or one of the other links below. Thanks.
Here's to the future of articles on Earthbound Light, as we make it together.