WEEK 1. How the www changed photography. (Contextual Research)

The photographic image can be transmitted at the speed of light from one side of the globe to the other. As with everything, even though it appears that it suddenly happened, it took a very long time, sometimes centuries. In order for this to happen, many things had to be in place. Such as batteries, microchips, LCD screens, microwave towers, electricity, the list goes on and on. Once electricity, became readily available, many things were invented around it. For example the electric light bulb, the refrigerator, radio, telephones, all the way up to microwaves and television. None of it would have been possible were it not for the invention of electricity.

The same thing goes for the transmission of pictures around the globe. First it required the internet, then it required the www (world wide web) many people use the two interchangeably, however they are not the same thing. The internet came first connecting computer to computer, then came the www laying onto top of the internet, allowing us to communicate with pictures and sound. As a result of the www all types of web based business were born. Sites such as eBay and Amazon to name a few of many. In order for these sites to function they needed the help of imaging. This imaging in the early form of the digital camera which was in early development by Kodak (no pun intended) way back in 1975. Albeit primitive and impractical it was the start of the digital imaging process we know today, and was fully in place by the time these sites were ready to go. Without the digital camera, eBay, would not have succeeded. Analogue photography is too time consuming, expensive, and difficult to master for the everyday Joe to see their wares. Digital cameras made eBay accessible to everyone,

When I was at film school back in the 80’s a brilliant engineer by the name of JT Moore at Cal Arts ¬†who gave me a lesson in the future. He told me back then already that very soon there will be cameras that will be capable of taking a picture and transmitting that image over cable or the air from location to newspaper over distances that span the globe in a matter of seconds. Here we are a few decades later and that prediction has already been in effect for years.

To be continued…

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