Sunday, 16 October 2011

Life Through a Camera

The first camera I used was a tiny black plastic disposable camera. It was the kind of camera to fit in your back pocket. It had a flip up window which acted as the view finder. The photos I took with this camera were a little fuzzy and grey. I had been on holiday visiting Grandma, I believe. The day was spent in Sydney and it was an overcast day, which would probably explain the dullness of the images. As ordinary as the photos turned out it was still an exciting experience. I loved being able to say that I took those photos. I must have been about eight years old. Maybe, even nine.
My next camera was a more permanent structure and therefore, presence in my life. Grandma let me have her disc camera. This was a flattish camera that used a cartridge film, much like a disc. This camera could take 15 photos. I got a good few years out of this camera. I remember there was a glitch in the machine. Somewhere about shot 8 or 9 would never come out. I learnt to work around this problem by ensuring that I never photographed anything particularly special when I got to that shot.
I did a funny thing when I first received the disc camera. I was so excited to have my own camera. I did a photo shoot for my Ballerina Barbie, and had her posing for the camera. It was such fun pretending to be a professional photographer. Little did I know that camera film has its limitation. I just kept taking photo after photo, after photo. Lord only knows how many photos I took, but it was certainly more than the 15 shots that the film allowed.
In grade nine, high school, I took a photographic elective and decided to save up for a professional camera. Realizing that I would be saving my money for a long time before being able to have such a camera, I settled for a point and shoot so I could keep going with taking photos. It was an unremarkable camera but it did the job until…
One Christmas my parents gave me a camera. I was sixteen. It was a Ricoh KR-5 Super II. It really was super and I got so many years use out of it. In my early twenties I invested in a second hand macro lens. This lens was designed for jewel photography. But I used it for getting close and personal with flowers and insects. It picked up so much detail that actually goes unnoticed by the human eye. At the time I had planned to gather more lenses, but little did I realise that digital photography was taking over. My camera was becoming obsolete and it was therefore pointless chasing those lenses.
My old Ricoh camera.

Ricoh macro lens.
The past few years I had been using economical digital instamatic cameras. It was quick, easy and convenient. But inevitably I was frustrated with failing batteries, dirty, pixelated images and yellow lighting.
Lo and behold the camera fairy hears my frustration. This year for my birthday my Dad gifted to me a digital Canon – an EOS 1100D - the perfect camera for entry level professional photographers. This camera has fantastic functions – it has both manual and automatic features. I have gotten a handle of the basic features, but now the time has come to check out the manual. My day is quite busy, being a mum of two, which can leave little room for personal creative development. But being able to lay my hands on a camera at least fills that space each day.
My current camera - the Canon EOS 1100D.