Just In Time For Earth Day : Digital Photography – the Truly Green Visual Medium?

( this article was originally published here in Dec. 07. Some minor changes, but the concept is intact.)
Not this green:
Or this green:

But this green:
Think about it: the media cards we use recycle the images, computers don’t add fluorocarbons, the batteries for the digital cameras are rechargeable.Most consumers use the internet to share images instead of printing, saving paper, inks and chemistry

Everything seems to be “green”
. (apologies for the quotation marks…and these parentheses.)

OK, I’m sure there are the arguments on the other side for the energy used for the computers, charging the batteries, and recycling the computers as they become outdated as well as the cameras.

Fine. Be that way.

So are you helping save the environment when you use digital as opposed to toxic chemistry and film?

The aesthetics and feel of a wet print are a factor to be sure.
I was brought up on wet darkrooms and the physical touch of paper to developer filled tray had a magical touch as the image emerged.No question. But in learning the digital photography way of life, things have strangely become less messy. And more environmentally correct. Have a listen to Albert Watson on digital printing. This master has made the transition. You can’t argue with the quality of his work. Although he does shoot film. Half of the environment will be saved.

And there’s nothing wrong with being able to make a print in the light. Without running water.

Look, this is not a 10 year old discussion about that new fangled system.
It’s just that i have never really heard the ecologically correct aspect of the digital photography age brought forth.
Although I could have missed it. Too busy learning Photoshop.

I hope we can help spread the good word about green photography.And hope the rest of the photography press will join us in this. I know they hear us.

Off to shop today. On my bike. Using my own hemp bag. Drinking water from my Sigg water bottle. ( no more plastic water bottles for me. A good idea for gifts, by the way.) And my DSLR camera at the ready on my shoulder.

You see, you may already be doing your part with digital, but you can always do a bit more.

So to all of the manufacturers: Are you with us on this one?


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