Having an admitted love affair with the internet – I now have to admit to having a little addiction. Nothing too illegal you understand, it allows me to indulge my passion for bright shiny things, and a little exhibitionism – I love digital photography. When I was at art college, I trained to use a 35mm SLR camera, changing the film, processing it and printing my own photos – totally self sufficient.

This was the early 80’s, the height of sophistication in cameras back then were Nikon SLR’s. If you wanted music on the move, the only option was a Sony Walkman cassette version – yes, remember them? There were different formats for your film, but all used physical film to produce negatives from which prints were made. Creating the prints was an art in itself – and part of the fun of photography back then. For some it still is, but the norm, for now, is digital

During the late 90’s, my use of photography dwindled, mainly due to the costs and inconvenience of getting films developed and printed. However, since the introduction of digital photography, my love of photography has re-ignited. I’m impatient and want immediate gratification – and digital photography gives me just that.

My first digital camera didn’t have a screen on the back, so felt very similar to the old 35mm in that you used a viewfinder to frame your image and crossed your fingers that what you got was good! Fast forward 10 years and we not only have huge screens on the small cameras we have access to, but better cameras on our phones.

I love my gadgets but at first cameras on phones met with a frosty reception – I want a camera to be a camera and a phone to be a phone. Or at least I did until I started using my phone as a camera. Once you start looking at the apps available, and the ways you can share your photos immediately, it becomes more fun and suddenly you see a point to having a good camera on your phone. Being out for a night and taking photos is great – being able to upload them to Facebook or Twitter as soon as you take them gives it an edge.

Taking your holiday snaps on a camera, using connectors to download them to your tablet or laptop and adding filters to enhance them makes you feel more in control of the finished image – gives you the chance to alter your work in ways you couldn’t imagine a few years ago.

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Take Instagram – a hybrid of a photo/filter app and a basic social network. This allows you to add various filters, and then not only share on their own network, but add Facebook or Twitter too. I use Instagram a lot and love the variety of filters but also being able to view the work of others on there – professional and amateur alike. There are other, more technical apps like Hipstamatic, which allows you to alter your lens and film type and buy additional packs of lenses, films, gels, etc – but also create albums and make prints from your phone.

There are purists who would scoff but even they have to admit that cameras on phones have caught up with stand alone digital cameras, to the point that a smartphone can function as a good quality camera, letting you carry just one item that takes snaps, edit them and upload or share them via your favourite sights. I don’t think I could consider a phone now that didn’t include a decent camera, although I do still love my Leica digital camera and my Canon DSLR – my phone does a decent job too! I never leave home without one or the other!

 

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.