Adapting to a digital world

After years of working as a traditional print journalist and 35mm film photographer I’m still adapting to a digital world. I’m shooting with a Canon 1Ds MKIII and an assortment of L-glass Canon lenses. I no longer use my PC, having dumped it for a Macbook Pro. I can crop, resize and adjust images in PhotoShop and other programs, and now I’m learning WordPress, which will allow me to manage my own website.

This latter skill followed nearly five years of struggling with a website that required knowledge of HTML. I just didn’t like it and never learned the language. Instead, I depended heavily on friends and, later, tech professionals to create my photography website and make changes to it every six months or so at my request. It was a cumbersome process that bred plenty of frustration for everyone involved.

My first attempt to take control of my professional online presence occurred earlier this year after attending a Kelby workshop in Boston. As fate would have it, I won a raffle prize: One year free subscription to the professional version of SmugMug, which allows you to easy create online galleries, add photos, and sell them. It’s a cool program, but I’m not going to renew because it costs $300 a year.

Luckily, my tech-savvy son Zack convinced me to switch over to WordPress. That was less than a month ago, and yet, here I am, a middle-aged techno-peasant, creating photo galleries, a biography, contact page, and yes, this photojournalism blog. I have entered the digital world where I no longer get inky from changing spools on my Royal typewriter or yellow fingertips from immersion in darkroom chemical baths.

Although the technology continues to change, some things remain constant. I’m still a good writer and photographer. So as I plug along, I’ll embrace what works and cast aside what doesn’t. And I’ll share my experiences here so that others won’t have to make the same mistakes.