Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Fears (and most certainly The Joys) of a New Camera

There comes that time in every photographer’s life where he/she needs a new camera.  Ok, wants a new camera—fine!  But it quickly becomes a need more than a want…and soon that need turns into an outright obsession!  New features, new capabilities, new powers, new, new, new…nothing else seems to matter.  Your friends will say your old camera is just fine…ignore them.  Your family will point out how beautiful your pictures are right now and no change is needed…change the subject and suggest going out for dinner.
It’s a nearly irrational decision, quickly backed up and rationalized by you with arguments in favor making the acquisition.  You know what I mean…you’ve been there…I just got back from there—yes, a new camera has been brought into my family!!  Gigapixels, rapid fire shutter, buttons galour, menus upon menus of choices and decisions to make, thick fresh manuals to thumb through and hold like a new baby.  Yes, this is that first moment of inexplicably joy..unpacking and revealing…exposing to air for the first time…ahhh that new camera smell—does it get any better than this??

Uh oh…you start feeling that sugar rush high wearing off and the crash quickly approaching.  Now that you have all this newness, you need to learn how to use it…turn it on…and what do all these buttons do anyway!!  It should be just like your old one only better, right?  Wait a minute, that button isn’t where it’s supposed to be…and where is that menu item I used to be able to get to quickly?  And there are so many preferences and choices I had already packed into my old camera that the thought of doing it all over again just makes me want to take a nap…but I press on.  And the hardest part for any of us…working through that new manual.  It looked so beautiful at first…thick, crisp and unbent, containing a wealth of excitement.  Now it looks a bit like a college textbook…too thick, daunting, technical and dry.  But hey, that’s the price of getting a new camera, and I did pay for it voluntarily!
Well, there’s good news to report.  Book has been read, preferences have been set up, decisions have been made, picture of camera in manual matched up with description of the buttons and dials.  Ready to move forward and venture out into the world!
It's an incredibly empowering feeling to have an understanding and sense of familiarity with a new camera (or your old one for that matter).  There’s that certain confidence holding a precision engineered optical instrument in my hands and knowing that I can bring its capability to bear on just about any subject under just about any conditions.  Like a surgeon of light and color, this patient of composition is in good hands—my camera, like a scalpel, ready to cut into the visual world . 

On a slightly more serious note though, it’s critically important to have as complete a command as possible with your tools, so that their use comes naturally and as second nature.  This is important so that your attention and concentration can be on the thinking and application of creativity as you seek to capture the moment, the mood, the message of the scenes in front of you…so that others can experience what you have just experienced, and feel the same way.
(in case you were wondering...that new camera I now possess is a Nikon D7100...and I love it)

Have your own story to share?  Contact me at or check out my website gallery at

No comments:

Post a Comment