Toronto. When photography was first announced back in January, 1839, the world was ecstatic. Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, was visiting France that year and brought the Daguerreotype process back home with him to America.
It was an exciting time to be alive. Technological inventions rapidly followed one another – telephones, automobiles, movies, airplanes, radio, radar, television, transistors, lasers, computers, integrated circuits, smart phones and many more – and this was just in communications!
In our industry, an important part of communications, things moved in leaps and bounds. media resolution improved, media speed improved, practical colour arrived along with flexibility and simplicity (to the user). Camera design, glass design, and lens design, kept pace with media to improve the final result (photographs). Then film, glass plates, and chemistry faded as digital technology became the primary means to photograph everything from bacteria to bugs to people to stars.
A modern user has no need to learn the skills so necessary for success in the days past. The slightest touch can take a full colour, technically perfect image on a smart phone and another few finger presses can sent it off to anywhere in the world. So simple. So complex.
The lady shown here in her kitchen holding the telephone was taken over sixty years ago. She couldn’t even predict how the world would change for her grandchildren and their grandchildren.
NB. The title of this post is from a book titled ’Captains Courageous’ written by Rudyard Kipling in 1897 – two years before the lady pictured above was even born.