I remember my first computer, an Apple IIGS (short for graphics and sound). In elementrary school I remember programming games and graphics in BASIC and Logo. I remember writing code with pencil and paper before typing it into the computer. I remember plotting pixel coordinates on graphing paper. I remember 5 1/4″ floppy disks.
All of this to say I remember a time before I was introduced to computers.
I was born in 1974, the year Nixon resigned, and the year the first UPC (Universal Price Code) was used to sell a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum for 67 cents. By that year, computers were pretty well embedded in the public consciousness. They featured prominently in movies. They were being used in industry. But the personal computer revolution was still a few years away.
My first Mac was a hand-me-down Mac 512K (with an astounding 512 kilobytes of RAM!) I had a massive (physically) 20MB external hard-drive (that plugged into the external floppy-drive port). With the Mac, I left programming behind and started producing graphics in programs like Apple Paint, and Aldus Pagemaker. I still have my first copy of Photoshop 1.0 on floppy-disk somewhere. I spent my high school years in the art room and the visual communications lab. I designed the school newspaper, helped run the printing presses, installed and maintained the first LAN, and pretty much lived and breathed anything visual.
In 1994, 10 years after the introduction of the Macintosh, Apple introduced the first consumer marketed digital camera — the QuickTake 100. While not a huge success, the QuickTake, and Apple’s vision even in their roughest period, heralded the beginning of digital photography as we know it today. (Coincidentally, 1994 was also the year an interesting thing called the World Wide Web went mainstream).
In this context, it might not be an accident that I am currently the VP of R&D for iStockphoto, a company that revolutionized the creation and sale of stock photography.
Today, we are in the midst of other revolutions. The near ubiquity of computers and the internet. A transformation in how we produce and consume media. Right now—today, this very second—mobile devices, social networks, and open platforms are supporting a convergence of experience, the full scope of which we cannot possible comprehend in this moment.
This convergence is the impetus for this blog. I’m not a full-time photographer who can teach you the latest HDR techniques. I’m not a hot-shot graphic designer with a requisite black turtle neck. I’m not the world’s greatest programmer. I’m an observer, and I always have been. I also like to think I’m a good synthesizer of information. This blog is the place where I will share what I see, and hopefully, start a conversation.