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Personal message: a new job means a big change for this website  
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | by Rob Galbraith
It was November 1994, I had been dispatched to Rwanda to cover the rebuilding of the country, and late on the first day in Kigali I filed my first photo to the Calgary Herald over a satellite link. It was the first time I'd transmitted a photo into space and back, the first time I'd traveled abroad as a staff photographer for the paper and the first time I didn't completely despise the AP/Kodak NC2000 digital cameras issued to me for the trip.

rwanda_nc2000.jpg
Space Traveler: Taken with the AP/Kodak NC2000 and transmitted by satellite link from Kigali, Rwanda in November 1994 (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Calgary Herald)

As the picture (shown above) slowly made its 9600-baud journey to the Herald, I had time to reflect on what the NC2000 was enabling me, a photographer from a mid-size daily newspaper in western Canada, to accomplish: armed with nothing more than a backpack's worth of gear and intermittent access to electricity I was able to shoot, edit and transmit from halfway around the globe with relative ease. At that moment, I realized that Kodak's 1.3-megapixel digital SLR, as terrible a camera as there ever was, represented the digital future of news photography, if not all segments of photography.

It was a moment of realization that changed the course of my career. Before that one picture finished uploading I knew it was time to immerse myself in digital rather than resist it, to understand how to make the most of the technology while also pushing for its continual improvement. Less than four years later I would leave the paper to start Little Guy Media, a digital photography training company, complete The Digital Photojournalist's Guide, a 400-page book on the use of digital cameras at newspapers, establish myself as a freelance digital shooter and evolve my personal website into an early iteration of the site you're reading right now.

It's 14 years almost to the day since Little Guy Media opened for business, and they have been 14 of the most satisfying years I've spent in photography so far. This website and the other things I've been involved in have afforded me incredible opportunities to travel, to shoot, to teach and to learn. I've worked alongside some of the world's best photographers, spent countless fascinating hours talking with the brilliant and inventive minds responsible for today's digital photography tools and developed some of my most important friendships too. This set of experiences has helped prepare me for what I'm about to take on next.

Earlier this month, I accepted a photojournalism instructor position at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) here in Calgary. SAIT is home to one of Canada's premiere visual journalism programs, and I'm excited that the teaching of future Canadian photojournalists will be my full-time gig starting in a few week's time. SAIT's program puts an equal emphasis on the content of photographs and the technology used to capture, edit, deliver and publish them, and that's a perfect fit for me. It's also the latest career move that can be traced back to my digital awakening in Rwanda.

To devote myself properly to my new job, I first have to shed the responsibilities of my current job. This has meant making an especially difficult decision. Here it is: as of now, Rob Galbraith Digital Photography Insights is entering deep hibernation mode. This site isn't going off the air, but it will no longer be updated for the foreseeable future.

This step, while necessary, is bittersweet, because the last six months have been some of the most fun I've had at the helm of this online enterprise. I, along with a small but merry band of part-time staff, have always sought to provide detailed, accurate information on the cameras, software, memory cards, lighting gear and other accessories that working photographers rely on. And in 2012, more than ever before, you've noticed. Readership surpassed 1.8 million monthly unique visitors for the first time earlier this year, we published the site's all-time best-read camera introduction stories (both the D4 and D800/D800E launch articles notched over 400,000 views each) and ad revenues reached new highs in April, May and June. This platform, this opportunity to reach a global community of photographers, it's going to be a hard habit to give up.

My deepest thanks go to three people who have contributed so much to this endeavor:
The site wouldn't have been possible without the help of advertisers past and present. Special gratitude is owed to PictureCode, The Camera Store and Think Tank Photo, each of whom has supported the site continuously for years, dating back to when 12-megapixel cameras were considered high resolution. Other companies that have been significant advertisers over time include Lexar, Nikon, Phase One, PhotoShelter, SanDisk and X-Rite.

The same big thanks goes to the numerous product makers that have answered my equally numerous questions. There are too many of you to list here, but you know who you are.

And finally, thanks so much to you, the site's longtime readers. From your emails I know you to be passionate about photography and just as passionate about your gear. I hope that, through the years, Rob Galbraith Digital Photography Insights has been able to contribute to that passion in a small way. Bye for now. -Rob Galbraith
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