I have a friend who laments the popularity of digital photography. He even has handed his DSLR over to his wife and returned to his film SLR. He loves to tease me and go on “digital-is-evil” rants with me, just to get me going.
And while I understand his point that film holds value that digital cannot replace, I cannot imagine going back to my film SLR. (Although I do hold onto it for sentimental value as it belonged to my late father.) In fact, going to a digital SLR camera was perhaps one of the greenest (and easiest) choices I have ever made.
You see, when I had my first child, my father had recently passed away and I had inherited one of his Canon SLR film cameras. I loved photography, but new very little and I had not used an SLR before. I remember staring at my new son and thinking, “Well, I guess I better learn how to take beautiful photos of you.”
So I picked up that SLR and started learning.
In the first year of my son’s life I spent approximately $2,000 on developing film. And that wasn’t even on enlargements, etc. That was just to develop them, check out how I had done, learn from my mistakes and then toss out the tons of garbage shots.
As everyone who has ever photographed children knows, you can’t take one or two shots and hope you got the perfect picture. No, each photography session included hundreds of photos to get the ones you want.
And, I actually often developed with duplicates or triplicates, (I know – shudder!) But it cost a dollar to add in the extra set and a heck of a lot more than that to get copies of any that happened to be good enough to share with the grandparents. So I was throwing hundreds of copies in the garbage AND I still have boxes and boxes of unsorted photos in my basement!
When my son Jackson was about two years old Canon introduced the first digital Rebel. I was desperate to get it, but I waited, hesitant to buy the first one out of the gate.
But not much later, my twin sister’s first baby was due and her husband bought the brand new Nikon D70. He had barely ever taken a photo in his life, so the arrangement was pretty much that I got to use the camera and take all the photos I could of their daughter. Worked for me!
And so my digital photography life began.
I now shoot with a Canon 50D (I had to return to Canon – it feels like home) and my DSLR is my most precious possession. (When my Canon 40D was stolen on the way to Disney World I was completely lost without it. I still have nightmares about losing my cameras.)
As I download thousands of photos on to hard drives, I am so grateful that not only am I saving thousands of dollars not developing film, but I am not tossing thousands of printed photos in the garbage.
Yes, my DSLR might just be my “greenest” (and my favorite) part of my day. If only all “green” choices were as easy to make!