One day,Erica and her husband took the kids out for ice cream, and she noticed
a big advertisement hanging above the counter. It said, “Bring in your digital photographs.
We’ll put them on ice cream cakes.” She found the manager and asked what was
involved. “It’s simple,” she said. “Just bring in the picture on a disk or CD, and they’ll
make the cake for $7 above the normal price.” They print the pictures using a special
printer with edible food dyes on edible paper, and then lay it flat on the ice cream cake. It
was then she knew. Digital photography isn’t up and coming; digital photography is here.
If you can bring your digital images into the corner ice cream shop for a cake, then you
can use digital pictures almost anywhere.
Dennis is more involved in the technology than the application (long-time nerd that he
is) and traces his involvement with digital photography back to the early 1990s and Apple
Computer’s “Venus” project, that later saw the light of day as the Apple QuickTake 100
digital camera. The QuickTake 100 was a 640 × 480 resolution camera for “only” $500, the
first digital camera that even approached consumer pricing.
The digital camera has been a common business tool for several years. With a digicam
and a website, more and more people are moving their local shops online. Digital photography
can quickly present a store’s inventory before a large audience of shoppers. Insurance
adjusters and real estate agents think of digital cameras as one more necessary tool in
their arsenal, like cell phones.
Within the last couple of years, most barriers that kept digital cameras from home use
have fallen away. Prices have dropped; optics have improved. For just a few hundred dollars,
you can buy a camera with excellent zoom and superb picture quality. And now, you
can even take your digital pictures to Wal-Mart or the corner drugstore and walk away
with prints in an hour, for about the same cost as film developing. Receiving pictures in
e-mail is now an everyday experience.
For us, the pervasiveness of digital photography is absolutely thrilling. We love to see
that people are discovering the same excitement we felt when holding a digital camera in
our hands for the first time.