Master Thought: Techno-lust
First of let me start off with saying that “Techno-lust” is a huge problem. I think that part of the problem is generational and the result of the computational nature of our world and how that has entered into the realm of photography as it stands today.
I have not defined Techno-lust yet, throughout this article I will endeavor to deliver examples of what I believe are symptoms of this term ‘Techno-lust’. For now, let me offer this simple definition of the word as: To want and wait for the newest technology, weather a reality or on the horizon of existence.
Do I suffer from this Technological desire? I think so. But I find that as I grow older the exponential growth of technology is not impressive but expected. An example of Techno-lust is getting an IPhone 6 and after only two months of owner ship planning to get the IPhone 8. You Don’t even know what the features are of the IPhone 8, but you can expect it to be better. Instead of just enjoying your time with the IPhone 6 you spend most of your time fantasizing about what could or could not be in the IPhone 8.
With Computers come upgrades, with upgrades comes performance increases and with gained performance come new features. So what does computers and their upgrade cycle have to do with art and photography. We’ll almost everything. Ever since we left film in favor of our computational friend the digital sensor. We handed control over to the computational power of the camera for quality increases. Their computational increases takes many forms in photography. The better the processor in the camera means the larger the files it can handle. Which means it can capture more pixels. We see improvements in storage, Faster write times means the camera spends less time loading and saving images giving you more time to capture your subject. A feature sport photographers rely heavily on.
There is still an art even if we let the computational models take over our workflow. Photographers still have to know the pitfalls of the digital sensor. The speed of their storage methods. The resolution for their target platform. Which brings the term Techno-lust back to focus. With any project workflow be it for Photographic stills or for the film media the desire for product upgrades is strong. So strong that I would not be surprised if other creatives had held off on creating projects while waiting for either new releases of camera gear or rumored updates for professional software.
The other issue with techno-lust is the desire to get the latest and greatest. Going back to our IPhone example. You know IPhones are announced in September, but your IPhone 6 was just stolen and its July. You could replace it by getting an IPhone 6S but you also now if you wait just two more months there might be an even better phone. This is the Technology on the horizon. You know that something better is coming and it effects your current buying strategy.
Bringing this thought process to the creative side of production. You currently own an older cinema camera. It was state of the art when you purchased it. You’ve already shot several productions with it. But it’s highest recording resolution is 2K. You know with the arrival of 4K TV’s that your previous productions will not be Native 4K. This is a problem. Nobody wants to create content that is native to a legacy format. This problem is complicated even further because since you purchased your 2K cinema camera the company you trust has released a 4K Cinema Camera of your choice. But It’s already been out for two years, so you know that a Newer is about to be released. Now the problem emerges. Do you wait an unknown amount of time for the chance of a newer technologically better solution? And continue creating productions at the non-native 2K. Do you upgrade to the current Solution? Even though you know and upgrade version of your solution is on the horizon.
These are the problems of Techno-lust. They can pause productions in their tracks. Change the editing process on the spot. It’s something the filmmaker deals with on each project they undertake. As I get older I focus less on the spec, Less on the features. Why? Because I want to create the best content I can. And wrestling with the equipment you already got is all part of the art process. The goal should be how juice every ounce of quality out of the equipment you already have. This is the learning experience and its importance is paramount. Instead focus on the Story you’re trying to tell. Focus on your message your style. But don’t let Techno-lust stop you from evening trying.