Digital Photos = Digital Dilemma Part II

In Patagonia I used my tablet to take all my pictures. At first it felt awkward because of the size, but I managed.  I usually carried it by tucking it under my arm during hikes or by placing it in my backpack.  Several months ago I invested in an OtterBox to protect my tablet, which adds heft and weight to the device, but left me feeling totally fearless about snapping pics in the rain, on boat rides, and other extreme conditions.

Totally fearless with the OtterBox in rain, wind, and sea spray.

Totally fearless with the OtterBox in rain, wind, and sea spray.

I was travelling with a group and observed the different ways people were taking pictures.  Everybody used a smartphone and/or a camera. Although many of the travellers had tablets, I was the only one using it to take photos.

For over two weeks my main activities consisted of seeing spectacular, stunning things and trying to document them.  After a day or two, I noticed that digital photos present four main challenges:

Experiencing vs. Documenting – I often found myself torn between wanting to be fully immersed in my surroundings with all my senses and no tablet, or to capture the moment in images.  I started thinking about why I didn’t feel the same way with pre-digital cameras.  When using older cameras, film was expensive so I was more judicious about where and when I would take pictures.  For example I would wait to reach the viewpoint to take pictures rather than snapping them along the way as I do now with the tablet. When I reached the viewpoint I would take a few pictures, not dozens, the way I can so easily with a digital camera/device.

Volume – It is easy to accumulate large amounts of pictures in a short period of time.

Multi-formats  – Cameras/devices take video and images, both of which pose slightly different challenges for organizing.

Synchronization – As I mentioned earlier, most people used a combination of devices to capture images, all of which indicates the need to consolidate them in one place.  Some people used a smartphone instead of a camera because it facilitated sharing photos, via a wi-fi or cellular connection.  Additionally the smartphone could tag the image with geolocation data making it easier to keep track of where the picture was taken.

Stay tuned as I figure out the dilemmas. I’m especially interested in the synchronization bit.

In the meantime, here’s another pic to enjoy:

Parent penguin feeding a large chick.

Parent penguin feeding a large chick.

3 comments for “Digital Photos = Digital Dilemma Part II

  1. Anonymous
    21 January 2014 at 09:12

    Ging to be a challenge to organize and add captions to the pics. Good luck! Love the blog.

  2. James
    22 January 2014 at 11:15


    Although I do think you give everybody a different view on whatever subject your writing about. On this this one I think you may have over thought it. It is my opinion that a digital camera is the absolute best way to take digital pictures. Why? First, digital cameras off you the highest resolution. The higher the resolution the more you can do with it. Like blow the picture up to an 8×10 or bigger.
    Second, With a digital camera its way easier to experience the scenery and document it.
    Third, The digital camera offers the ability to have multiple formats where the cell phone or the tablet usually only offers one format. If you keep the same format for all your pictures such as jpg or gif it should help you in your organizing.
    Four, Volume shouldn’t be an issue in my opinion as you can get a cloud drive of 5 gigs or better for almost nothing. You can up your storage if needed for very little.
    Five, Synchronization, is simple. IF you use iClould or google drive all you devices can get whatever you put in the cloud.
    But this can be a bit hard on the novice.

    • The Deletist
      25 January 2014 at 10:37

      Yes! You raise some excellent points and I agree with all of them. Digital cameras offer a lot of benefits, but I think along with the added perks, there come some new challenges. Regarding volume, yes, not an issue if you keep acquiring more and more space to store everything. But The Deletist is about saving strategically, not saving everything, so in the context of this blog, volume becomes something of a concern. Thanks for your comments!

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