The Wonders of Technology

Don’t get me wrong- there are certainly days when I long for the “good old days” – when we used film and people didn’t stare at their phones all day.  Technology can certainly be a nuisance.  However, sometimes it comes in pretty darn handy!


This week I was scheduled to speak in Minnesota to the Twin Cities Professional Photographers Association.  I was doing a 5 hour program on photography and looking forward to visiting my friends up north.  However, things got a bit dicey with the weather.  Wind chills were getting really low – like 40 degrees BELOW ZERO kind of low.  The day before the program, I found out that Southwest cancelled my flight and I had no way to get there in time for the program.  I’ve been speaking for several years and never missed a program due to weather.  Such a bummer.


This is where technology came to the rescue.  Rather than disappoint a room full of education-hungry photographers, we decided to attempt something rather adventurous:  doing the program via Skype.  As with any sort of long-distance venture, there were a million things that could go wrong.  However, for the most part- things went off without a hitch.  They placed a laptop on the stage of the auditorium so I could see the audience then they projected my webcam up onto the big screen.

Other than the obvious trauma this probably caused the people on the front row, it actually worked quite well.  We were able to cover a lot of material and still have a high level of interaction between me and the audience.  It really was pretty cool.


It saved travel cost, it saved hotel cost and it saved me some travel time – all of these are good.  However, there is still no substitute for face to face interaction.  While technology is certainly a huge asset, it is not yet a true replacement for the real thing.  Hopefully I can make it to Minnesota to see them all in person.   (and hopefully it will be above zero when I go!)


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