Sunday, April 22, 2007

Film or Digital: Part - 4

Digital is More Fun

The reason why digital photography has taken off at an incredible rate over the past few years is quite simple. As more and more people are discovering, digital photography is great fun.

It is simple to realise and say this, but more difficult to explain exactly why this is. But I think the major difference between film and digital photography is not a matter of technology or new skills that it involves, but of the different social roles it involves.
Digital - a Rise in Sharing
The take-up of digital photography over the past few years has happened at a much greater rate than most of the pundits anticipated. Their forecasts were largely based on technical issues, but the driving force has actually been changes in how we have come to use cameras and photographs, and in particular in the ability to share them with others.

Although some people have converted from being users of film to users of digital, there has been a great increase in the number of people taking photographs, and in the number of photographs that we each take.

Digital has brought the social interactions involved in photography very much to the foreground. People out with friends will take pictures on their digital cameras and then can immediately pass the camera around so they can share them. Working with people on the street, I’ll often do the same, showing the people I’ve photographed the picture I’ve made of them. With phone cameras, you can even share the images immediately with absent friends.

Being a photographer has often been seen as being an observer of events rather than taking part in them. Many spent long hours on their own in darkrooms too. Although it wasn’t a stereotype that fitted many of the great characters of photography, some of whom were adventurers and extremely gregarious storytellers, it gave photography a certain unattractive reputation. A rather more glamorous reputation came from fashion photography, fuelled by the images in films such as 'Blow Up' in the 1960s, but it was still that of a loner, if one of attractive and sexy genius.

Digital cameras have put their users back into the centre of things, with the taking of pictures becoming much more a social activity, something that can be immediately shared with everyone involved.

This different usage of digital cameras has also influenced camera design. Sharing your pictures when you are taking them has made people want better and larger displays on the back of the camera. Using the display to take your pictures means that you are beginning that sharing experience, holding your camera out towards those you are photographing, and seeing the image exactly as they will see the picture you take. Holding the camera to your eye and looking through a viewfinder does seem much more like spying on people, although most photographers find it a more convenient way to work, especially in sunny conditions.

Many cameras have now dispensed completely with a viewfinder, at least in part to enable the viewing screen to be larger. Since holding the camera at arm’s length greatly increases camera movement while taking pictures, technology has come to the aid of users with image stabilisation, seldom of great importance when we used cameras at our eye, but near essential when we wave them in front of us.

Of course you could share photographs before, but it was a different and much less immediate activity, waiting for the films to be processed, then meeting up again to pass the prints or an album around. There were instant materials, but prices per exposure were too high for frequent use by most people.

The continuing growth of the Internet also makes easier the process of sharing photographs, through online albums and services such as Flikr. Digital images can be shared directly, while sharing images taken on film requires extra effort, either by scanning them yourself (if you own a scanner) or getting scans written to CD-ROM as a part of the processing.

For most people, it is these social aspects of digital that have made it more attractive than film, and any technical or quality considerations are very much less important. Of course it helps that in several respects digital is easier to use.

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A mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zakariya.

3. When he called upon his Lord in a low voice,

4. He said: My Lord! surely my bones are weakened and my head flares with hoariness, and, my Lord! I have never been unsuccessful in my prayer to Thee:

5. And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir,

6. Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoub, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased.

7. O Zakariya! surely We give you good news of a boy whose name shall be Yahya: We have not made before anyone his equal.

8. He said: O my Lord! when shall I have a son, and my wife is barren, and I myself have reached indeed the extreme degree of old age?

9. He said: So shall it be, your Lord says: It is easy to Me, and indeed I created you before, when you were nothing.

10. He said: My Lord! give me a sign. He said: Your sign is that you will not be able to speak to the people three nights while in sound health.

11. So he went forth to his people from his place of worship, then he made known to them that they should glorify (Allah) morning and evening.

12. O Yahya! take hold of the Book with strength, and We granted him wisdom while yet a child

13. And tenderness from Us and purity, and he was one who guarded (against evil),

14. And dutiful to his parents, and he was not insolent, disobedient.

15. And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life

16. And mention Marium in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place;

17. So she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man.

18. She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent God, if you are one guarding (against evil).

19. He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy.

20. She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste?

21. He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy to Me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter which has been decreed.

22. So she conceived him; then withdrew herself with him to a remote place.

23. And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten!

24. Then (the child) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you;

25. And shake towards you the trunk of the palmtree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates:

26. So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today.

27. And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They said: O Marium! surely you have done a strange thing.

28. O sister of Haroun! your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman.

29. But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle?

30. He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet;

31. And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live;

32. And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed;

33. And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.

34. Such is Isa, son of Marium; (this is) the saying of truth about which they dispute.

35. It beseems not Allah that He should take to Himself a ! son, glory to be Him; when He has decreed a matter He only says to it "Be," and it is.

36. And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serve Him; this is the right path.

37. But parties from among them disagreed with each other, so woe to those who disbelieve, because of presence on a great

38. How clearly shall they hear and how clearly shall they see on the day when they come to Us; but the unjust this day are in manifest error.

39. And warn them of the day of intense regret, when the matter shall have been decided; and they are (now) in negligence and they do not believe.

40. Surely We inherit the earth and all those who are on it, and to Us they shall be returned.

41. And mention Ibrahim in the Book; surely he was a truthful man, a prophet.

42. When he said to his father; O my father! why do you worship what neither hears nor sees, nor does it avail you in the least:

43. O my father! truly the knowledge has come to me which has not come to you, therefore follow me, I will guide you on a right path:

44. O my father! serve not the Shaitan, surely the Shaitan is disobedient to the Beneficent God:

45. O my father! surely I fear that a punishment from the Beneficent God should afflict you so that you should be a friend of the Shaitan.

46. He said: Do you dislike my gods, O Ibrahim? If you do not desist I will certainly revile you, and leave me for a time.

47. He said: Peace be on you, I will pray to my Lord to forgive you; surely He is ever Affectionate to me:

48. And I will withdraw from you and what you call on besides Allah, and I will call upon my Lord; may be I shall not remain unblessed in calling upon my Lord.

49. So when he withdrew from them and what they worshipped besides Allah, We gave to him Ishaq and Yaqoub, and each one of them We made a prophet.

50. And We granted to them of Our mercy, and We left (behind them) a truthful mention of eminence for them.

51. And mention Musa in the Book; surely he was one purified, and he was an apostle, a prophet.

52. And We called to him from the blessed side of the mountain, and We made him draw nigh, holding communion (with Us).

53. And We gave to him out of Our mercy his brother Haroun a prophet.

54. And mention Ismail in the Book; surely he was truthful in (his) promise, and he was an apostle, a prophet.

55. And he enjoined on his family prayer and almsgiving, and was one in whom his Lord was well pleased.

56. And mention Idris in the Book; surely he was a truthful man, a prophet,

57. And We raised him high in Heaven.

58. These are they on whom Allah bestowed favors, from among the prophets of the seed of Adam, and of those whom We carried with Nuh, and of the seed of Ibrahim and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose; when the communications of the Beneficent God were recited to them, they fell down making obeisance and weeping.

59. But there came after them an evil generation, who neglected prayers and followed and sensual desires, so they win meet perdition,

60. Except such as repent and believe and do good, these shall enter the garden, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly in any way:

61. The gardens of perpetuity which the Beneficent God has promised to His servants while unseen; surely His promise shall come to pass.

62. They shall not hear therein any vain discourse, but only: Peace, and they shall have their sustenance therein morning and evening.

63. This is the garden which We cause those of Our servants to inherit who guard (against evil).

64. And we do not descend but by the command of your Lord; to Him belongs whatever is before us and whatever is behind us and whatever is between these, and your Lord is not forgetful.

65. The Lord of the heavens and the earth and what is between them, so serve Him and be patient in His service. Do you know any one equal to Him?

66. And says man: What! when I am dead shall I truly be brought forth alive?

68. So by your Lord! We will most certainly gather them together and the Shaitans, then shall We certainly cause them to be present round hell on their knees.

69. Then We will most certainly draw forth from every sect of them him who is most exorbitantly rebellious against the Beneficent God.

70. Again We do certainly know best those who deserve most to be burned therein.

71. And there is not one of you but shall come to it; this is an unavoidable decree of your Lord.

72. And We will deliver those who guarded (against evil), and We will leave the unjust therein on their knees.

73. And when Our clear communications are recited to them, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: Which of the two parties is best in abiding and best in assembly?

74. And how many of the generations have We destroyed before them who were better in respect of goods and outward appearance!

75. Say: As for him who remains in error, the Beneficent God will surely prolong his length of days, until they see what they were threatened with, either the punishment or the hour; then they shall know who is in more evil plight and weaker in forces

76. And Allah increases in guidance those who go aright; and ever-abiding good works are with your Lord best in recompense and best in yielding fruit.

77. Have you, then, seen him who disbelieves in Our communications and says: I shall certainly be given wealth and children?

78. Has he gained knowledge of the unseen, or made a covenant with the Beneficent God?

79. By no means! We write down what he says, and We will lengthen to him the length of the chastisement

80. And We will inherit of him what he says, and he shall come to Us alone.

81. And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they should be to them a source of strength;

82. By no means! They shall soon deny their worshipping them, and they shall be adversaries to them.

83. Do you not see that We have sent the Shaitans against the unbelievers, inciting them by incitement?

84. Therefore be not in haste against them, We only number out to them a number (of days).

85. The day on which We will gather those who guard (against evil) to the Beneficent God to receive honors

86. And We will drive the guilty to hell thirsty

87. They shall not control intercession, save he who has made a covenant with the Beneficent God.

88. And they say: The Beneficent God has taken (to Himself) a son.

89. Certainly you have made an abominable assertion

90. The heavens may almost be rent thereat, and the earth cleave asunder, and the mountains fall down in pieces,

91. That they ascribe a son to the Beneficent God.

92. And it is not worthy of the Beneficent God that He should take (to Himself) a son.

93. There is no one in the heavens and the earth but will come to the Beneficent God as a servant.

94. Certainly He has a comprehensive knowledge of them and He has numbered them a (comprehensive) numbering.

95. And every one of them will come to Him on the day of resurrection alone.

96. Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds for t them will Allah bring about love.

97. So We have only made it easy in your tongue that you may give good news thereby to those who guard (against evil) and warn thereby a vehemently contentious people.

98. And how many a generation have We destroyed before them! Do you see any one of them or hear a sound of them?

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