They say Kodak was one of the first companies to invent the digital camera. Because the business of films and paper was very profitable at that time and if these items were no longer required for photography, Kodak would be subjected to huge losses and end up closing down factories that manufactured them. The idea of digital photography was embraced by Fuji Films and other companies, which started the sales of the digital cameras, leaving Kodak way behind and leading to its failure.
I had to remind generation Z so they can appreciate where technology has come from. When we were growing up only the wealthy had personal cameras. Most of us took family photos at Ramogi studios. Towards the end of the 70s cameras started becoming available and many families could afford them. This was why families had albums to store as many pictures as possible.This was also the generation of photographers who came to estates to take pictures, but most of their clients were maids.
The house helps had to show that they were doing well so they would steal the woman of the house’s clothes, take pictures, and send the photos to their villages. We all borrowed clothes to take photos in; they were called Sunday Best. When we went to secondary school we used to send pictures with romantic messages to our girlfriends.
If one had penpals, what we now call social media followers, we would send them photos as well. The accompanying notes were in proper English and not the “xaxa” we see today.
In college, we could afford our own cameras, which also used film. Pictures were taken on different occasions such as field trips. I see older guys complaining when they see generation Z meeting in town or on deserted roads to take pictures. I remind them that this is what we did at Uhuru Park when we were young. They carry different outfits, which is the equivalent of our Sunday Best.
The albums are their pages on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. But unlike our days when one could get rid of the hard evidence, the internet never forgets. The digital generation has the advantage of making money by posting pictures of products they are advertising. The only problem with social media is that there is a fine line between enjoying a platform and breaking the moral code. Most of the photos shared are indecent. Let us continue enjoying the technology of the camera, especially in the digital world, but also exercise caution. It is dangerous to share photos of our children or our homes. When you click to share, you may not have a chance to erase that digital footprint.