Many technology advancements have made it both easier and more fun to be a photographer. I was thinking back to some of the big advancements that really resonated with me personally and thought I’d share them with you.

USB

USB has made it possible to quickly, universally and easily connect many devices from drives to printers to computers. The advent of USB thumb drives has made sharing photos easy as pie. Think back to a world without USB and you’ll see why I am personally excited about USB 3.0 – coming soon to a device near you. (Some USB 3.0 devices are already available but widespread adoption is a year away.)

iPhone

I know this will irk the Apple haters in my audience, but if they can look at this objectively, the iPhone really did advance the mobile phone platform to a new high. And it created the demand for Droid and other mobile operating systems that turned the simple telephone into a mini-computer. Sharing photos via the smart phone and making photos via the smart phone are now routine and it’s the iPhone that started that trend in ernest

iPad

Without the iPad, we wouldn’t have the mobile portfolio. Again – we wouldn’t have the Android competitors which are about to launch Q1. We wouldn’t have the option of leaving our laptops at home and flying out on location with nothing but a small hand-held device. The iPad has certainly become my number one way of showing my work to prospects. It’s become a utility that is just about impossible to live without once you’ve owned one. And let’s not forget the publishing prowess and promise that exists for photographers in the iBook Store.

Affordable, Everywhere, Wi-Fi

Whether it’s accessing critical information on the Internet, uploading your photos, etc., where would we be without Wi-Fi? As a photographer, I rely on  it every day for some task. It’s made everything about my job easier. If I had to find a wired Internet connection when I go out on location, I’d rarely get my photos backed up into the “cloud” until I got back home, leaving my images vulnerable to something as simple and random as a hard drive failure. Wi-Fi cards like the Verizon Mi-Fi have made certain that just about anywhere I go, I can access the Internet and it’s a beautiful thing.

Fast Flash Memory

My first computer memory device was a cassette drive. It took about 20 minutes to load a program written in BASIC and stored on the cassette drive and I thought it was magic. Fast forward to super fast, super small, super resilient flash memory in the form of CF and to a lesser extent SD cards, and the world seems like it’s one born of a science fiction novel. The ability to buy incredibly fast UDMA cards that can store 32GB, 64GB or even more and at an affordable price has changed everything about photography. Fast camera buffers wouldn’t be possible without fast flash memory. Flash memory is an important part of the success of mobile devices like the iPad referenced above. Flash memory comes in many forms, but whatever the form, there’s no denying it has changed photography for the better.

In the future, we may see everything from air-charged batteries to holographic display of images. I hope I live long enough to see the next batch!

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This post sponsored by X-Rite Color and the ColorChecker Passport