For as long as I can remember, photographs have obsessed me. My dad has stacks of photo albums with pictures of me, right from newborn stage, up until school-going age. I’ve spent many an hour happily flipping through the pages and pages of photographs. One of the best gifts I was given was a camera. It was a point-and-shoot (I’ve never had anything but) that took film, and I loved it. I loved taking pictures with it. Preserving little pieces of my history.
Getting photos back from the photo-printing place, and having to wait until the next day for your pictures. That anticipation meant more to me than the anticipation of my birthday, or Christmas. Opening that stiff, fat envelope was better than any other present. Flipping through your photographs quickly, then taking the time to sort through the ones you liked and would keep, and the ones that weren’t quite….anything.
It was that experience at an early age that taught me that photography is not about trying to get the perfect shot perfectly, all of the time. It’s about photographing everything that touches something inside you, as much as possible. And then picking the perfect shots out of those you actually took.
A few years later, in high school, I discovered that a photography course was offered by the art department. I signed up and discovered the art of black and white photography. I discovered the thrill of slipping that black and white film into a borrowed camera, and looking for interesting things to take pictures of. And then developing and printing and composing my own photo prints. In that silent darkroom that smelled of chemicals that reminded me of brown vinegar and pickled onions, I felt peaceful. Watching the white paper floating in that tub and gradually revealing the picture that was hiding in all that white.
I have boxes and boxes of the photos I have taken over my life time. I’ve always seen life as if I was composing a photograph. Always focused on only what I needed to convey the message/perspective that I decided was the most interesting. Cropping out everything else that didn’t fit in with what I envisioned. If you ever see me looking off into the distance, usually with my head tilted, it’s probably because I’m mentally envisioning that photograph.
That photograph that I’d be taking if I had a camera like this.
So I’ve made the decision that this will be my next purchase. It will be the first purchase I’ve made in a long time that’s entirely ALL about me. And something that I’ve ALWAYS wanted.
Starting out small, and apparently this is a good place to start, according to this smart person and this other smart person. And there’s another something else starting soon, on my horizon, that should see a lot more access to a lot more different kinds of cameras as well – so hopefully I’ll be learning a lot more new things soon.
I also made a silent little promise that once I’ve bought this, then I’ll start saving for important things – you know, Kid’s education and whatnot.