When I was 13, mom took me on vacation to visit relatives on her side of the family, who lived in San Diego. Pretty much all my life, she built up California as the best place on earth outside Hawaii, and it didn’t dissapoint. The west is the best.
I got this little Le Clic camera that was all the rage with kids who buy cameras at drugstores, which was pretty much everyone. I had such a frustrating time with it. Finger on the lens, having no sense of lighting and when you have too much or too little, and capturing the action after it happened.
We were watching the whale show at Sea World (I know, I know, but I thought of myself as quite the conservationist, and of Sea World as the height of marine biology… Next show at 11! Come pet dolphins! But I digress..), and voiced my frustration at my picture-taking fail. Mom said something that was very zen. She said that I had to remember what was in the viewfinder would be what was in the picture, and I had to be quick, but also patient at the same time.
From that moment, a lightbulb came on and I took stunning shots for the rest of that vacation. Thanks, mom! I’m sure those pics are somewhere back home. I really found a love of getting the shot. But while I am a gadget nut, I have zero interest in the gear collecting that seems to go along with photography. That’s what mostly kept me from going any further down that path. There were too many other cool things, like music and horses.
Nowadays it’s a lot easier for the enthusiast who just wants to get the shot. Every few years it seems there are more leaps and bounds in the world of making digital photography fun. I got a Nikon p5000, which at the time seemed pretty good, but a Canon Ixus 115hs (Elf 100 I think is the US version) trounces it (for quality, not control, time just marched on) And yes I am one of those who doesn’t mind filters, and enjoys the Hipstamatic app for what it is: something that brings some character to otherwise crappy cell phone pics.
Pause for camera-snob herp-derping, and continue.
How good that little Ixus is got me wanting to treat myself to a nice camera that had a nice lens, so I wouldn’t have to be bothered with too much gear collecting. With that in mind, I have an Olympus XZ-1 on the way. I’ll still keep the Ixus in rotation in my Tom Bihn Ristretto bag. I guess I’ll have access to shooting RAW images for the first time, and more control… Or less, and more filters… Or not. I’m never going to be someone who calls herself a photogtapher, but more digital cameras nowadays than not can get the shot. You just have to remember to keep your eyes on that screen, and to be patient but also quick.
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