The Importance of Film Photography in a Digital Age

For the average family, a digital camera has become an essential item to record special moments throughout their lives together. Photography has drastically changed over the last few decades, and many of us who still remember the days of traditional film cameras that had to have pictures developed at the local pharmacy might be amazed by how quickly digital cameras took the stage.

And there’s a reason why: compared to traditional photography, digital photographs are easier to print out, sometimes off much higher resolution and photo quality, and can store more pictures than their traditional film camera ancestors could.

Still, there are many photographers, both amateur and professional, who haven’t abandoned traditional film photography or old-fashioned cameras. For them, the simplicity of the cameras and the photos, and the greater care it takes to develop the pictures, makes the process more therapeutic and artful. Particularly for photographers who still use their own darkrooms to develop their photos, traditional film cameras are a hobby that they would never give up for the relative ease of digital cameras.

Regardless of how much technology advances, there will always be people who still appreciate the simplicity of yesterday’s methods.

Using a traditional film camera, especially varieties that are many decades old, requires much more patience, diligence and care, especially when developing your own pictures. And for many photo enthusiasts who learned their craft with older equipment, the comfort of a familiar camera and the process of developing the film themselves can be therapeutic. Just as many people who own a dishwasher still wash dishes by hand because they find it relaxing or meditative, developing your own photos can be a very unique and calming experience.

And the fact that not just anyone can do it, and that it is a skill that must be developed with practice, makes it that much more rewarding.

Interestingly enough, there are still lots of families who go to amusement parks and pay to have their photos taken in an “old-fashioned” manner, with grainy black-and-white prints for novelty and fun. They even sometimes go so far as to dress in clothes from the nineteenth century to make it look more authentic. Ironically, though, most of these novelty old-fashioned photos are taken with modern digital cameras, then altered to appear authentically antiquated.

Understanding why some families find it fun to get their pictures taken in an old-fashioned manner can help you understand why some enthusiasts love collecting antique photo equipment and using the genuine, original camera to take their own old-fashioned pictures. Photography was one of the greatest innovations in human history, and being able to own a piece of that history is an important hobby for many antique collectors and photographers.

So the next time you think that digital cameras have made old-fashioned film photography obsolete and unnecessary, consider the many hobbyists and photographers who still take great pleasure in using and collecting traditional equipment. And if you’re an aspiring photographer yourself, you might want to try ditching the digital camera for a few weeks and have an old pro teach you a thing or two about film and darkrooms.

Cascading Style Sheets and Email Display

Designing the HTML version of your email message can be difficult since there are so many different email client and operating system combinations out there – and they have their own way of rendering HTML. And there really is no way to be positively sure which client your readers will be using to view your messages.

If your reader has a Hotmail address, it’s generally safe to assume that he will be reading your message through the Hotmail web client. But what about your readers with private email addresses? Will they be using Microsoft Outlook? Will it be Outlook 2000, Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007? Or maybe he’s using Lotus Notes? What if he had his TLD email forwarded to a Yahoo account? And is he using a Mac or a PC?

Since you don’t really know the answers to any of these questions, when designing your email campaigns it’s important that you always design for the most accessibility.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) offers the ability to make your email messages extremely graphic and enticing. Unfortunately, there is still limited support of r CSS with many email clients and across various platforms. One of the biggest CSS-offenders is Outlook 2007; and since studies show that up to 75% of email readers use Outlook, you just can’t ignore its rendering flaws.

Unfortunately, Outlook 2007 has no support for floating elements, which is widely used in CSS for positioning objects. So it’s based to use a table-based layout when designing your email campaigns. Think web design circa the year 2000. If you’re a new designer and have never dealt with tables before, you can get tons of how-to information from the W3C.

While Outlook 2007 does support the property, I don’t recommend that you use it to attach your style sheet. At least 50% of your readers will have their images turned off, which means any linked elements will not be linked – and this includes your external style sheet. Besides, Gmail, Live Mail and Hotmail don’t support linked elements, so it’s a good idea not to use them anyway. Instead, define all of your styles within your message and never rely on an external style sheet for your email messages.

Where, within the message, you should define your styles is another story altogether. Live Mail looks for the style sheet with the , Hotmail looks for the style sheet right below the tag. Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, AOL, Yahoo, Entourage and Thunderbird will accept either placement, but Gmail doesn’t accept any of them.

The best option is to use in-line style tags. In-line style simply means that the style for each element must be defined individually. Instead of defining your style sheet within your head like this:

<link rel="STYLESHEET" type="text/css" href="http://www.mysite.com/style.css">

or even something like this:

<br /> <style type="text/css" media="screen"> <p><!--</p> <p>p {"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />georgia, serif; font-size:</p> <p>x-small;}</p> <p>hr {color: #ff9900; height: 1px }</p> <p>a:hover {color: #ff0000; text-decoration: none}</p> <p>--></p> </style> <p>

you would define each element individually, like this:

<p x-small color:> <p>This is your paragraph text.</p> <p>

When you’re defining those elements, keep in mind that not all CSS properties are supported across the board on all email clients. If you want to present a consistent message to all of your readers no matter how they are reading your mail, limit yourself to these CSS properties:

. background-color

. border

. color

. font-size

. font-style

. font-variant

. font-weight

. letter-spacing

. line-height

. padding

. table-layout

. text-align

. text-decoration

. text-indent

. text-transform

Those properties are supported on both Macs and PCs in:

. AOL

. Entourage

. Gmail

. Live Mail

. Outlook 2003

. Outlook 2007

. Thunderbird

. Yahoo

Properties to avoid include:

. background-image

. background-position

. background-repeat

. border-collapse

. border-spacing

. bottom

. caption-side

. clear

. clip

. cursor

. direction

. display

. empty-cells

. float

. font-family

. height

. left

. list-style-image

. list-style-position

. list-style-type

. margin

. opacity

. overflow

. position

. right

. top

. vertical-align

. visibility

. white-space

. width

. word-spacing

. z-index

And now for even more bad news: Lotus Notes and Eudora have terrible CSS support and even many of the widely-accepted CSS properties may not render properly. And since more and more readers are now accessing email on PDAs and other handheld devices, you can never be 100% certain how or where your message will be read. So I suggest you always use Multipart-Mime messaging, and always include a link to your text version within the html version of your message.

*** Want to keep these tips handy?

Work / Life Balance – Are You in Control?

Do you have balance in your life? Do you work too much or play too hard? Is it simply a matter of choosing between the different dimensions of your life? Making that "either / or" choice and calling it balanced? When you think about the dimensions of your life, do you think of the different roles that you must play in life? More often than not, we think of ways to separate our roles, employee at work, mommy and daddy at home, community activist or Little League coach in the community. The funny part about this is that all of these roles represent who we are. Our roles grow out of our values, principles and life missions and become the channels through which we live, love, learn and leave a nationality.
So what's the answer to achieving the balance we seek? According to many of my clients and most people "time" – or lack of it – is the main culprit: "If only I had more time, I could do everything and put my life into a perfect balance." While time management can be a serious issue, it does not have to be a barrier to happiness. Not putting the effort and commitment into establishing a clear path to your mission, vision and values ​​are greater obstacles. The issue is not balance; it's establishing priorities. Priorities do not bring perfection into your life but they do help you to gain better control over life's issues.

George Bernard Shaw wrote, "If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you'll find you've done it."

What can you do differently to begin to establish your priorities around your personal values ​​to feel satisfied at home and at work? Try these exercises to focus your career planning and life thinking – yes, you have to do the work to get to your goal!

1. Write down your ten favorite activities, the ones without which your life would feel robbed. Does your career choice allow you to do your favorite activities on a regular basis?

2. Write down the top five goals you want to accomplish in your career. (Think money, fame, impact, contribution and more.) Your selected career must enable you to reach these goals.

3. List everything you'd like to do in your lifetime. These lists can run several hundred items. Does your chosen career choice allow for the accomplishment of your dreams or are you just dreaming?

You are the steward over your time, talent and resources. Now is the time to begin to balance between your inner life and your outer desires. Synergy or balance comes when living, loving, learning and leaving a legacy grows together.