Picture a day - Running the numbers

The first reason I love digital photography is that I do not have to develop pictures. Before digital I was embarrassingly bad at taking pictures. Only about half of my pictures would turn out at all. Of a role of 24 I would usually have one that was in focus and framed correctly. I would always get that slip of how to take better pictures. It really was not worth the money for the film and development.

With digital my mistakes do not cost me any extra money. I can just delete them or play with them in photoshop. I am also amazed how bad pictures look artistic as a desktop or in a screen saver. There is a pure joy in being able to take as many pictures as you like. I have a 256 MB card for my camera. I can take 109 pictures at the highest resolution, over 1300 at the lowest resolution and 325 at the resolution I use the most 2048x1536. I have taken 300 pictures in a day once. With the picture a day project I see myself taking a lot more pictures.

When I bought my first digital camera, a sony Mavica MVC-FD88, I thought about how much the camera cost per picture. That camera was almost grand. My idea was it would be worth the money if I took 1000 pictures with it. For some reason $1 a picture seemed to be the sweet spot. That is what it seemed to cost to shot film and get it developed.

In the two years I had that camera, I think I took 859 pictures with it. I know I feel really short with it. I never bought any accessories for that camera because I knew I would not get my money out of them. The camera was large and hard to carry around. Since it did not have any internal memory, I always had to have floppy disks around. (I guess that patent is really making money for Sony right now). It just was hard to take pictures on the fly. I did not get to that magic dollar number. I still have this camera, but I do not have the battery charger. Since I do not have a computer with a Floppy drive anymore, I have a hard time thinking I will take any more pictures with this camera.

I had a little Aiptek pen camera that I owned at the same time as the Sony. It was a fun camera because it was tiny. I like snapping lots of pictures with it. The problem was there was no way to turn off the beep. Everyone could tell I was using it. It lasted about four months before it broke.

The next camera I owned was an Olympus D-550. This is a great work horse of a digital camera. The only problem was the size and weight. It was small enough to fit in my pants pockets, but it would pull my pants down. It was like carrying a brick around in my pocket. I did use that camera a lot. It was finally small enough that I could use it were ever I went. It was still large enough that I left it behind sometimes. It was also a hog on batteries.

Before my European Vacation, I bought a new camera. I wanted something small enough to fit in my shirt pocket. I picked the Olympus Stylus 300. I liked my other Olympus and it seemed like a good idea. It was the perfect travel size. I took over 900 pictures on my vacation, so I got my money out of it right away.

I have really enjoyed this camera. I have fun taking a lot of pictures. I take photo without care. I snap 20 or 30 within a few minutes. I have been using it a lot, but there are big gaps in my pictures. I go a few weeks without taking a pictures and I will take a few hundred in an afternoon. Part of the point of the Picture A Day project is to even that out. I should be looking around myself more often.

Here is how the money breaks down. I have taken over 4150 pictures since 1999 with the I has spent about $2300 on cameras and accessories. (That number looks awful big now. I did not realized I had that big or a photography budget.) That breaks down to about 56 cents a digtal photo. I want to take a lot of pictures this year. I have not idea how big of a number that will be. It will be interesting to look at the end of the year.


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