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

Readers' questions about any aspect of photography, or life in general, 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 vast and confusing. Since I have very little computer experience, how can I start learning about the new technology and will I ever need to do so?

Old-fashioned in Orinda.


DP: If Dr. Photography may be permitted to plagiarize a bit, let me just say that: "Lack of knowledge is nothing to 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 help you begin (and likely confuse) your education into the world of computers and photography:

Digital photography - The act of shooting a photograph using a single digit, usually the index finger of the right hand. Some practitioners of the craft have been known to complicate the process by using additional digits 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 somehow wind 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 kilobytes en masse. If you haven't personally had to chisel the kilobytes off the lens, the guy who had it before you probably did.

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

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

Hard disk - A very excited floppy disk.

Digital manipulation - The difference between a floppy and a hard disk.

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 many photographers which results in temporary loss of light meters, sync cords and 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 to do while he or she is trying to find that misplaced meter, etc.

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

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

Uploading - What you pay an assistant for.

Low cost digital photo system - What will be announced a week after 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 new technology.

(Return to Humor Index)

©1991 Scott Highton
All rights reserved