Editor's note: the following is a tongue-in-cheek, oftenirreverent, question and answer column published in the ASMP News solelyfor the entertainment of our readers. It does not necessarily reflect theviews of ASMP, the local chapter or other ASMP members. All opinions andanswers are solely those of the author, and he is welcome to them.

Readers' questions about any aspect of photography, or life ingeneral, are welcome and Dr. Photography will answer them in future columns,if he happens to feel like it. Send mail to:
Dear Dr. Photography

Dear Dr. Photography,

The world of digital photography is so vastand confusing. Since I have very little computer experience, how can Istart learning about the new technology and will I ever need to do so?

Old-fashioned in Orinda.


DP: If Dr. Photography may be permittedto plagiarize a bit, let me just say that: "Lack of knowledge is nothingto be ashamed of, but not knowing you lack that knowledge is dangerous." With that in mind, I offer the following glossary of basic terms to helpyou begin (and likely confuse) your education into the world of computersand photography:

Digital photography - The act of shooting a photograph using asingle digit, usually the index finger of the right hand. Some practitionersof the craft have been known to complicate the process by using additionaldigits of their left hand to aid in what we call digital focusing.

Digital enhancement - Nail polish.

Digital artifacts - Ancient fingers.

Bits - Those tiny little things of dust and dirt that somehowwind up on the front or rear element of your lenses.

Bytes - Two or more bits combined together.

Kilobyte - A really dirty lens.

Software - The type of material you use to clean the bits &bytes off your lens.

Hardware - The tool used to remove a kilobyte from your lens,generally chisel shaped and needed on your 300mm f/2.

Shareware - Rental or borrowed equipment which attracts kilobytesen masse. If you haven't personally had to chisel the kilobytes off thelens, the guy who had it before you probably did.

SCSI port - (pronounced scuz-zee) the opening in the front ofyour camera that has gotten crusty due to too many mountings of kilobyteladen lenses.

Floppy disk - A magnetic disk that holds lots of digital informationfor computers.

Hard disk - A very excited floppy disk.

Digital manipulation - The difference between a floppy and a harddisk.

Electronic retouching - If it was good the first time, do it again.

Analog - A journal kept by Ana.

RAM - Random Access Memory - a mental affliction suffered by manyphotographers which results in temporary loss of light meters, sync cordsand forgetting to put film in the camera.

ROM - Read Only Memory - resulting in a pretty stupid photographer... but a great consultant.

CD-ROM - What a RAM afflicted photographer tells the client todo while he or she is trying to find that misplaced meter, etc.

WYSIWYG - "What You See Is What You Get" - and why photographersuse Polaroids.

Downloading - The direction you hope to be carrying your gearat the end of a long day.

Uploading - What you pay an assistant for.

Low cost digital photo system - What will be announced a weekafter you've invested your life savings into what the salesman said was"a modified Cray computer."

Former photographer - What you may become if you ignore the newtechnology.

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©1991 Scott Highton
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