Please sit back gently and steady thyself as Kiwidutch needs to make a confession…
After much (but probably still not enough) haggling in a shop in Singapore on a trip to Europe circa 1988… I fell in love and bought a film camera. It was a manual camera but film was expensive, my wages were meager and shamefully I never put in the time and effort to make our relationship personal and thus never got to grips with anything other than the basic “auto” setting.
I have to confess that I cheated on my loyal and steadfast Film camera with a younger, digital model somewhere circa 2002-2003. I don’t remember the exact dates any more but I do know that all earliest photos of Kiwi Daughter were still on film. I was however, deep into the digital relationship and besotted with a little beauty called Minolta by the time Little Mr. arrived in 2005.
Somewhere just short of Little Mr’s Second Birthday, I made a very large and richly decorated ginger-bread house for a large family function. Table on full extension, Gingerbread centerpiece in place and ready for the mountain of food due to emerge from the kitchen, Glasses and plates lined up for Buffet “line” collection. I had pulled out all stops on the “finery” made everything beautiful, including the use of my best tablecloth! (big mistake).
At one end of the room I was taking photos of the table decorations, when suddenly on the other side, Little Mr. toddled over to table and started yanking very hard at the tablecloth.
Who knew that an almost two year old could pull plates, glasses, cutlery and a massive gingerbread house with such alarming speed towards a table edge? Not just the loss of the items but more worrying, but also that a lot of it was destined to land on top of him…
I screamed “Noooooooo….” put the camera on the nearest chair and ran to save child and worldly goods… The glassware had surely reached the point of no return and was teetering severely on the edge, but gravity appeared to have taken a deep breath and a day off and everything hung almost suspended as I snatched boy away and spread out my arms along the table edge in both directions to act as a ledge, as as I did that things started to topple over and rest against my arms. It was in that stance that Himself found me as he ran frantically into the room in response to my screams…
He started frantically grabbing glasses that were laying across my arms before they hit the floor, whist Kiwi Daughter helped save cutlery and plates and the gingerbread house. Just as the last items were being rescued both Himself and I heard an excited chortle from Little Mr. and turned simultaneously in time to see him raise my camera above his head, look at it in wonder and then drop it on the wooden floor. It grieved me greatly to witness Miss Minolta’s sudden death, but I’m relieved to say it was swift and she suffered not.
The Post mortum revealed that the lens and general functions were reasonably intact and could be fixed, with effort, but that her life giving battery compartment and circuitry in her bowels were damaged beyond repair and not even specialist Minolta surgeons could resurrect her.
Whilst I morned her passing, Himself dashed next day to the shops and presented me with a new and amusing companion called Nikon CoolPix S4, a dandy of a camera with a great capacity for zoom, and clear eye. Miss Nikon was a beauty and I was soon in Love, but her one limitation was that I never knew how long it would take her to eat the two AA batteries that she required with alarming regularity.
Sometimes a meal of two AA’s would last for well over 400 photos, and at other times I would have taken just 50 shots before she flashed angry red messages at me and demands of ” Battery!!!”.
I bought ridiculously expensive batteries to keep her happy… sometime she was amused and granted many photos, more often than not, she did not. I bought cheap batteries as well, but her greed continued and as her consumption mounted, my Green conscience poked me harder and harder, I was forced to take steps to revise our relationship.
I tried to break the news to her gently: Due to her needy attitude to AA batteries she was to become the Mistress in the corner, to be visited once in a while, but no longer as the primary love of my digital life.
She appears to have taken it well and seems to like to occasional outing she gets.
Her replacement was a Fijifilm Finepix: a slim youthful point and shoot… she too had a clear eye, enjoyed travel and could slip into the smallest pocket with ease. She has nestled in my handbag or in my jacket pocket on many a walk, and travelled around the world, up hill and down dale, through forests, dust bowls, sea sprays, rain-forests, wilds, towns ancient and modern and I have loved her almost to pieces. I have however discovered that she has one dirty little secret: her zoom is not the brilliance that it first appeared to have been in the shop when she was showing off her talents.
Miss Fuji has served me well… but there are signs of ill health as she gets elderly.. her zoom button is now stiff and takes several tries before it will respond, and several times of late her lens cover has only opened with difficulty. The writing has been on the wall for some time. She is due for a short visit back to the place of her birth, or at least with a specialist Fuji doctor within Europe who I hope will be able to give her an overhaul, fix her infirmities and restore her to good health once more.
Two weeks ago, Kiwi daughter bought her first camera and whilst with her in the shop I acted on a crush that has been with me for almost three years now: and bought a digital single reflex camera (DSLR). Her name is Canon EOS 500D (a.k.a. in North America as the Canon EOS Rebel T2i).
She is enigmatic and has what appears to be a complicated character… I can already see that I will have to get to know her slowly, to get used to her habits and be patient whilst together we find the best way to make happy images together. Instantly her perception of colour is apparent, and if I could only tame both her and myself to be a little more consistent, her focus is sharp and I can see amazing potential in this relationship.
This my friends, is no one-night stand, no casual fling, but a relationship to be fostered and nurtured… Miss Canon and I might only be acquaintances for now, but I see ahead a journey of soul-mates , who together in time will learn to make poetry in colour, composition and will leave memories of our lives together from this point onwards …
First, however, very small steps towards intimacy, we have only just met, after all…