The Masses Have Gone Digital

August 28, 2007

Jeff Harrison and I recently returned from our European Boot Camp Cruise. The ship was massive with over 3500 passengers plus 1200 crew. As we observed our fellow passengers, we noticed that almost every camera we saw was digital. That really wasn’t a surprise. It was surprising that people knew so little about their cameras. I would say the vast majority knew how to push the button to take a picture and push whatever button it took to bring the picture up on the screen.

On many of the shore excursions we would visit a location that allowed pictures, but flash photography was forbidden. A good example of this is the Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina). We saw flashes going off everywhere. The tour guides and security would go crazy. The problem was that the photographers had no idea how to disable their flash. Of course, they probably didn’t realize that if they did turn off their flash that the pictures would be no good.

A perfect example of this lack of knowledge was Gladys. We were talking about this issue at dinner, and she admitted that she had no idea how to use her camera. If I remember correctly, it was a gift from one of her kids. Jeff spent 2-3 minutes showing her how to disable the flash and do some other basic things.

Now I would expect that the typical Graphics Unleashed visitor knows more about their digital camera than the average user. Unfortunately, your clients probably don’t know that much. Maybe you can spend a few minutes with them so that they can deliver you better pictures for their projects. And if you need to know more about your camera, it is worth reading some of the manual. Believe me, even a fancy camera has a very short manual that can be read in 30 minutes total.

There is one other thing to remember with a digital camera. Make sure to have a big memory card and a spare. Jeff was at the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre pendante di Pisa) when he realized he was running out of space. The last thing you want to do when you are visiting a cool location is to waste time deleting a few photos so you can take more. If you haven’t looked at memory cards in a while, the prices have really dropped in the past year.

Hopefully next time I’m around large groups of tourists, they will be a little better digital camera educated.

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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