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Thursday, May 25, 2006


Digital angst, n., fear of digital photography, usually caused by unfamiliarity with it, but sometimes caused or compounded by lack of aptitude for computers and/or concern about high costs and rapid depreciation. Often exagerrated or unwarranted but nevertheless acutely felt.

Digital malaise
, n., ambivalence towards digital photography even among those who have already switched to it, especially but not exclusively as experienced by former traditional black-and-white, large format, or alternative-process photographers interested in and familiar with darkroom craftsmanship and traditional methods. An important aspect of digital malaise seldom mentioned is that the very existence of digital also creates, in a sort of "back-formation," a concommitant ambivalence toward film photography that wasn't there before. It is not so much the one or the other but the interaction of these ambivalences that causes the nagging sense of doubt, loss, and uncertainly that doesn't seem to want to go away.

Film virgin, n., a digital photographer ignorant of, or inexperienced with, any kind of film photography.

Digital photo geek, n., someone who is mainly interested in computers and computer software and has only become interested in photography since, and because, it has become a sub-field of computing.

Apugger, n., traditional film still photographer who has not and may not want to make the transition to digital. (After APUG, the Analog Photography Users Group.)

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON (thanks to Andy F. for the term "film virgin")


Anonymous Martin Winter said...

Mike, I love reading your blog, but that definition of 'Digital Malaise' is nigh on perfect.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Apugger Nige said...

Not sure about your definitions. Angst doesn't mean that to me or my dictionary. Apuggers (yes I'm one) aren't generaly what you say (a lot have digital cameras) they just have the ability of not talking about digital on that particular website. Don't forget to include 'chimping' in your definitions.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"Angst" is the German word for "fear."


7:22 PM  
Blogger Clint said...

There are plenty of us Apuggers who use digital -- most are just afraid to say so out of fear. The punishment is harsh -- public beratement, ostracization, excommunication, and in rare cases (notably posting digital photos to the gallery) burning at the stake.

But seriously. Plenty of us film geeks also use digital when the job calls for it.

2:01 PM  

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