October 20, 2013

Strips of cloud following a storm.

Copyright 2013 Kevin p. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Nature photographers are schooled to shoot on the edges of weather-the transition from nice to storm and storm to nice can add colour, shape, beauty, and with frequency, drama, to skies.

In the post-modern environment that characterizes the 21st century, the only absolute is constant change, most of which is driven by technological and economic transitions.  Some of these can come at a very rapid pace.  For example, just take a look at the changes taking place within the camera industry-the “new, better, different” model is often introduced within a year of its predecessor.  Other transitions move a bit more slowly, but nonetheless take us from here to there-the movement from film to digital capture is an example of this.  Such dramatic shifts in technology are also often accompanied by equally dramatic changes to the economic landscape-as technological innovations become more mainstream and accepted, prices are often driven downward.  Again, the camera industry is an example.  When digital cameras were first introduced, they produced approximately 1 mp images and cost in the 20-30,000 dollar range.  Now everyone with a cell phone has a camera with many more megapixels and they certainly cost nowhere near that amount.   Such changes often mean some in the business are no longer able to compete, Kodak is just such an example, and end up going out of business. The movie rental business is another  example of the economic impact of technological change.

Video Americain is the last video store in Baltimore and is closing at the end of the year.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The migration from videotape to DVD to streaming over the internet has been a steady progression.  A local example of a consequence of this transition was the recent announcement that Video Americain, the last video rental store in Baltimore, is closing-one of the local public radio stations, WYPR, filed this story.

The Video Americain sign advertising "the world's best movies".

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I have not much more to add other than it was always a pleasure going to Video Americain to select movies.  While Netflix certainly does have an enormous selection of movies, what it does not have, and assuming you desire this, is the human interaction and pleasure that comes from discussing movies.  There was also something special about going into the store, perusing the racks, and reading the cases.  Some of that was the immediacy of the transaction-if a movie was mentioned on NPR, stopping by the store would often lead to the gratification of viewing it that night.  Yes, Red Box is just as quick, but as the sign above says, Video Americain advertised “the world’s best movies”.  That is certainly a claim Red Box can not make.

Thanks for the movies Video Americain.

Take care.

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