IBM Celebrates 100 Years: The Impact on Photography!

Since its formal introduction to the world in 1839, Photography has largely been about technology. Changes, many of them quite radical, have marked the history of photography in general and our business in particular.

IBM is a giant in industry and has been innovators in the technology business for 100 years.  With their eye for greatness, they have bested themselves year after year proving they are leaders in the world.  Through the last 100 years, IBM has come up with new ideas that no one had ever even dreamt of.  When their business began to fail in the 1990’s, they rose from the ashes to become the manufacturing giant of the new millennium.  This clip  tells the incredible story of their rise into engineering giants and their incredible achievements in technology.

Camera Box started using computer technology in 1975, quite early for a small business. Our first computer was an IBM 5100. The IBM 100 year video also features this computer model for the year 1975.  Since then our business has only gotten more advanced with the help of new innovations.

The IBM 5100 in use at The Camera Box in about 1978
Another view of The Camera Box IBM 5100 computer and printer

Seeing the video made me think about just how much technology has impacted our business. Whether it was installing fully automatic photo-chemical processing equipment in 1974, introducing analog electronic previews in 1992, going digital in 2000, switching to online sales in 2007 or self-hosting our web and e-commerce site in 2011, we have always worked on the cutting edge of photography and business.

Although technology has made the business easier, there are constant challenges. I remember quite well in 2000 when computers and digital technology changed from a tool that helped to run the business side of things to the primary means of producing our product. We gave up most film use in 2000 in favor of digital cameras. This was a major step at the time, and we were the first portrait studio in the area to make this change. Now, it is very rare to find a photographer anywhere who uses film as his or her primary capture medium. As with all changes, something is lost and something is gained in any technical transition, but the move to digital photography has vastly improved the quality of our work, and even our creativity.

As for technology, I cannot offer any prediction for the future of computers, especially 100 years from now, except to say it will be a interesting to see what will happen!  I can say for sure, however, that Camera Box will continue to be the leaders in technology and incredible photography for many years to come.