Collecting ‘Memories’

I don’t think I’m that unusual as a photographer to find that over the years I collected more and more equipment. Aside from the allure of the “shiny & new”, as your photography develops , the markets you work in and the clients you work for evolve and change, so do your photographic equipment needs. Digital has added fuel to the fire to this accumulation, as kit is out-of-date and loses monetary value faster than driving a brand new car off a garage forecourt. This need to upgrade doesn’t just apply to the big ticket items – the latest Digital Medium format back, the latest Canon/Nikon/Zeiss lens that you “must” have, but also more humbler items. In days past there would have been a cupboard in my office holding blocks of Neopan, Tri-X and Reala complemented with a fridge holding boxes of Ektachrome and Velvia ( with some in the freezer ). Now for the digital equivalent of film, CompactFlash cards (CF),  there are three Pixel Pocket Rocket wallets and a forgotten drawer that I discovered this morning.

The cards range from a paltry 160MB to a whooping 32GB but are all identical in size. Four of them are the IBM Microdrives, a system that lost out to the CompactFlash card as the latter’s capacity increased. They show a progression using digital since I jumped onboard in 2001 ( the horrible days of digital with magenta skin tones ). My latest addition, the 32GB cards cost me £130 each and looking at an old invoice from 2004 for a 2GB card, I paid……£172!!! Using cameras such as the Canon 1DS MKIII and the 5D MKII has prompted this progression. Shooting both RAW and large jpeg files in the 5D MKII, gives me a capacity of over 900 images on that one card – and all the ‘perils’ of having so many files on one card – but after a long shoot recently in which changing cards was not easy, these cards will give me options – it’s not as if I haven’t got lots of smaller cards to use if the doubt sets in. All seems a long way from the days when my Domke bag pockets were stuffed full of Fuji rolls each with a ‘large’ capacity of 36 images!

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