When I look at my old photos I find that the digital camera completely changed how I work. If you are an amateur photographer you’ll find this familiar. In the days of film, you took few shots, since each was relatively expensive, and you had to change rolls every 36th shot. Digital cameras changed things quickly. I see that within months I’d started to take photos of things I wouldn’t have thought of as photo-worthy before, and in less than a year I’d begun taking multiple shots of the same thing, trying out angles, framing, aperture, exposure. As a result, my technique changed quite rapidly. And with that came new subjects and new ways of looking at things. With film I used to take more photos of places and people, but with digital I started taking more macros and nature. And this changed my holidays; suddenly I was interested in wildlife and mountains, forests and birds.

So do tools change you? Children with IPads certainly spend less time outdoors, and (on average) have more difficulty with weight than those without. Teenagers on TikTok seem to have slightly different interests than those on Instagram. Adults spend more time on their phones than is good for them. The first pandemic after the completion of the Human Genome Project has seen three vaccines within a year with about thirty more in trial. These are unthinkable changes, on par with the way tool use changed hominins. Every piece of technology is social engineering.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


  1. Like you, digital cameras increased my love of photography, allowing me the freedom of experimentation as I focused on the natural world around me. Today, that’s mostly what I use my smart phone for – a digital camera (and a pretty good one) for landscape and nature photos. Others use similar tools to become more inward-focused. To each their own, I suppose. Scientists use new tools to make leaps in discoveries in ways their predecessors in previous times couldn’t even imagine. It’s left to historians to tell whether various tools and their uses were good, bad, or indifferent. But I agree, their influences on humans are fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Super interesting post, I.J. I don’t even bother to delete most of my photos, and some of them I have multiple copies that have run through photoshop or Canva. My dad was a photographer, and I have his collection, maybe a thousand photos. I have about 37,000 photos on my phone alone. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to reblog on Always Write. Great discussions, too. đŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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