I thought my project allowed me to study new media technology pretty well, considering it was about a new media form developing from an older one (Film vs Digital: A History of the Camera). Jaime Weinman’s piece on film becoming a dying medium, and that day in class that we briefly talked about film itself, made it evident to me that I wanted to do at least something related to cameras. I honestly do think my project could provide some relatively elementary understanding to people who have very little knowledge about cameras, specifically the differences between film and digital. I definitely noticed during my showcase of my project, some heads of my classmates nodding during the timeline history of the camera (specifically when I told them the first camera -Camera Obscura- was merely a box using natural light). I thought that was rather assuring, and felt like I’d at least taught a few people something new for the day. I suppose if this project had to be limiting for a student of new media, it would be that it’s mostly discussing just two of the basic types of photography, when nowadays there’s many more types (such as cellphones, GoPro, handheld video cameras, drones, etc.).
I guess, in my experience of implementing my project, it’s helped me understand how new media can influence professional photographer’s lives, especially the older ones. The photographers who have been around when film was the medium to use, have been influenced the most by the newer digital cameras in the way that people probably always ask them why they still use film, at a time when digital is considered better by a lot of people. Even during my showcase, one of the questions I was asked was which do I prefer, digital or film? And I honestly can’t answer that, it’s such difficult question and effectively depends on what I’m shooting that day or whether I feel like shooting with either film or digital that day.
A couple of the course readings that illuminated my understanding of my project experience could include Weinman as well as Jenkins’ piece on memes: “If it Doesn’t Spread, it’s Dead”, due to the conversation about something doesn’t become popular it slowly fades away into oblivion. This is something that spiked my interest in the way that film is considered this way by some, however not so much because it’s still being used to the day.
From my experience with this project, it suggests that there will continue to be ‘newer’ and ‘better’ camera-types being introduced in the future of new media. There might even be a camera-type that has not been invented yet. I do believe that any new cameras will look at the past camera for inspiration though, just as digital looked at film.
Sounds like it was a good project to dig your intellectual teeth into. 🙂 Count it.