Photo Streams to Streaming Photos

From Photo Stream to Streaming Photos

The Evolution of the Slideshow, from projectors and slides of the past to social media apps of the future.

Click and there it is… Before there was an embed button there were…

The Scissors, Negatives, Plastic Casings, Extension Cord, Plug and (hopefully recently cleaned) Projector were ready for the big family event. My uncle was fidgeting around with the last of the slides he had been meticulously “building” in preparation for what was sure to be an exciting flashback of the years good times. Especially for us youngn’s, who, as expected, had wasted an exposure or 5 by clicking random buttons on what soon would be considered an artifact of a camera. This gathering was taking place in households all over as a way to share the pictures produced by new technology which was evolving faster than many predicted at the time. Each slide required the operator to hit a button on a remote that had no signs of becoming wireless any time soon, and in the case of this common style of projector, spun a circular holder containing the collection of slides that were being projected onto the wall. The whole device was noisy with a fan constantly reminding you that the machine was only seconds from overheating as it’s bright bulb projected the low resolution, which at least in my early memories, color images onto the wall. It used to be work, followed by a family affair, a labor of love that brought everyone together to see what the other had seen and experienced on their last vacation without the need to print the images and pass them around on tint 4’x6′ piece of fingerprint absorbent glossy paper. With each click and squeak came another uhhhhhh and ahhhhhh from the audience of friends and family as we studied each image to its finest details, likely due to the past decades pleasant lack of bombardment of images the advertising industries have used as they ironically desensitized our eyes and ears to the point where we no longer seem surprised or affected by even by digitally altered photographs or other some visual stunt we were amazed by only weeks, maybe only days before. This exponential increase in edits as well as excessive digital alteration to perfect images, where the original seems but a distant fragment of what is being presented to us, has caused an unnoticeable change in the industry. Today, the word photographer encompasses a range of skills including the once manual operation of the camera to the ability to incorporate extensive digital image retouching and graphic designs. Overall though, the fact that technology has automated tasks such as focusing, white balancing and even spot removal of minor blemishes, yet replaced it with the need for the new skills has kept the playing field level between the few traditionalists who remain amongst the 21st century photographers.

As a photographer, i strive to capture the moment, and with today’s cameras we do have the ability to capture a scene or subject in a new and exciting light, yet i still find myself searching for any aspect of the photo which could require a few clicks here and there to meet the standard that an audience has come to expect and often without appreciating or knowing the extensive touch up work that went into it, as the standard in quality. This caused both my job in the field to become more demanding once the image is uploaded and opened with the raw process and minor correction that was once greatly appreciated, is now expected to be flawless in every image displayed in hundreds of platforms and unique mediums. In the 1990’s, with the dawn of the digital age and technology like scanners beginning to become a household name, the simple projector was slowly shoved behind boxes of other ancient technologies in order to make room for more compact machines and easily shareable formats.

“Levitating Panhandling” Not Everything is as it seems. Technology along with the ways to implement them are always increasing as the biological tries to keep up.

I remember the first few pictures we scanned onto our computer, a process that at the time meant waiting minutes (yes MINUTES) to transfer a printed image from the attached device to the display in front of you. The quality, by the standards of the time was mediocre, often missing the smooth gradients and transition between colors that film or modern methods of transferrring the image from camera to desktop provide. Scanners that would produce the quality of image we were used to seeing printed during that time were expensive so the technology seemed to be at a standstill. DO we continue to print our images and share them via snail mail ? Or, compensate quality for quantity and accessibility ? We Didn’t really have much time to think before the entrance of Today’s standard. The digital camera and./or chip which captures images to a little disk or stick of information which could be directly inserted to the computer without the need for a scanner to transition from camera to print and then to the display. This allowed us to take more images, even make mistakes, and with the now slowly increasing speed of the internet, ability to share the images worldwide in a short period of time.

We can test multiple exposures without the fear of wasting film. The debate remains, does this help or hinder creativity ?

The negative, now Becoming a distant memory and the print following closely in its path to the storage, tucked away “to look at sometime” as they collected dust and lacked the draw of viewing images on a bright, clear and quickly accessible computer screen. The images had to be sorted somehow and much like the projectors, we could arrange the images into slide shows. The first were simple fades from one image to the next, but as we became more tech savvy, we were able to have the pictures come flying in from different directions, especially in applications like power point, which also began to game-ify the experience of viewing slides on different pages. Today, we log on to the net and have so many different choices, Picasa Web albums, Google Photos, Carrousels and fun names to say like smugmug. Suddenly, we were ble to provide our content to larger audiences. No longer were amateur photographer limited to the audience they could pack into the living room, but instead had the entire world waiting to tune in for Joe Schmoes exciting trip to Yosemite or even less thrilling images of people photographing themselves in the mirror in 360 different positions, letting us know.. “yes i really love myself” (often trying to cover up the exact; more like a cry for reassurance). No longer did u need to be a pro to be seen, and with youtube, you could even broadcast your slideshow with an additional touch of music or narration. The amount of images have began to clog up many different channels of the internet, and although I, as a professional, want everyone to enjoy the art, have to refrain from commenting on why this picture is not worthy of posting on 8 different networks, a habit that has caused picture bombarded companies like Facebook to limit size and quality of uploads to an extent were i often Don’t recognize the colors i had spent my time and energy on by carefully correcting to be at the right levels and viewable both on printed mediums as well as wide range of monitors, most of which had never been color corrected therefor displaying something different than your neighbor may be seeing. The amount of time that goes into trying to find a happy medium for digital viewing by moving images between my 3 monitors, checking it out on a phone is a task in itself, but well worth the effort if seeking to display online where people with all types of devices will be checking them out. If printing them is foreseeable, keeping a second version with the color corrected monitors settings was also important because one of the most annoying things is to edit a photo ion a screen that is too bright, therefor showing the colors in all of their glory only to have them print on a dull piece of paper that lacks back lighting can frustrate any amateur photg. who did not take this factor into consideration. I often have to catch myself from wanting to turn the screen up a little bit, just because it does look better to have the colors brightly jumping off the screen, but i know that keeping it correctly adjusted, as i hereby recommend you do as well, will pay off once you print the photo and hang it up for display. Overall, the combination of all these factors has changed the way we look at photos. We no longer look at a small selection of home made images but have access to almost anything we want to view in that moment. Need an outfit idea. Done. What does an albino rhino look like. Done. Even checking to see how the back of your head looks after a new haircut can now easily be done by snapping a few pics and viewing them as you slide the images from left to right with a easy 1 click action that really makes you take for granted the fact that you do not have to run to the store, develop them.


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