The Camera. The Gear. The Dream.

first dslr camera

October 2005

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
-Dorothea Lange

One journey that has come to a standstill for me is my journey in photography. This was one path that I never regretted taking but I know that the time has come for it to move in a different direction. I have come to realize that in the past year I have become a lost soul amongst thousands of real and aspiring (yet not always succeeding) photographers.

6 years ago, my husband and I decided to get our first DSLR camera – a 3rd hand 300D. At the start of every new hobbyist’s life you fantasize about acquiring the newest body in the market and the newest lens. Initially we were ok with sharing the camera but after a couple of months we knew we had to get separate bodies since we were still both eager “newbies”. Slowly but surely we were able to buy the cameras and lenses that we wanted. Through the years, as my knowledge about the craft increased, so did our gear and the weight of our carry-on luggage. It was exciting then. I honestly really enjoyed this hobby until our Taiwan trip early this year when I realized that only insane people would wake up at 3 in the morning during a trip, argue with the guide because we weren’t in the “proper” rock/water area thus needing to do everything again the following day. When did the competition start? When did the fun stop? When did traveling and enjoying where you were become secondary to having, needing, dying for the perfect shot? Don’t get me wrong, I admire these people for what they do.  But somewhere along the way I stopped being one of them. I stopped being the girl who once, despite her bleeding leg (cuts from rocks) would continue on just to get a shot. When did my passion die out? When did it differ from my husband’s? We look at pictures taken by our friends and he looks at them with pride and excitement while I say “Rocks? Again?” and just end up feeling envious of my friends who use their iPhones  as cameras and don’t feel the need to bring the big DSLRs. I miss the life when all we had was one camera each, when shots were simpler, when time/the high tides/low tides/presence of clouds/movement of the clouds/color of the sky/time of the sunsets and sunrises didn’t matter that much. I miss not having to watch over my husband’s bag when we travel. I miss being able to take a shot and just appreciate it without having to criticize my own picture. I miss traveling just for the sake of traveling and not for the sake of coming back with great shots. I miss not having to worry about the weight of our hand carries. I miss not having to roll my eyes each time I see horrible pictures taken by so-called photographers from social networking sites. I miss the day when my husband didn’t always feel the need to tell me “take pictures!!! sayang!!!“. But more importantly I miss the day when I thought taking pictures was the “d*mn-best-hobby” anyone could ever have. My husband would tell me that maybe I just need a new pastime. But I love photography, just not the way it has become.

So now it has come to a full circle. I look at the thousands of pictures that I’ve taken through the years and know that love of capturing what I see is still somewhere inside me. I just have to go back to the basics and hopefully find that joy again. And once again I await the arrival of new cameras – this time the smaller, more compact DSLRs that will suit my life’s simple needs.

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3 thoughts on “The Camera. The Gear. The Dream.

  1. Elawela…I sooo get what you mean. Sometimes we get too obsessed with taking the “perfect shot” that we forget to put down our cameras and stop looking at the world through the lens (or the LCD playback screen). Nothing beats staring at an amazing sight with your own eyes and trying to take a “mental photograph” of what you see. When you do that, not only do you remember what things looked like, but also how you felt, the smell of your surroundings, the climate, the sounds, etc. In my recent trips I decided to leave my 30D at home and just bring the G10. While at times I’ve regretted not lugging it along with all the other gear, I’ve consoled myself by thinking how much less I have to worry about excess baggage, my aching back and having to clean my camera at the end of the day. And when looking at social networking sites, I’ve learned to look beyond the aesthetics of a photograph, and see the pics for what they are—a way for people to show and remember how much fun they had during their vacation. We don’t travel only to take good pictures (join a photo safari if that’s all you want to do). We travel for the experience. Photos are just there to remind us how great (or awful) a trip was. Although, I don’t think it hurts that your travel companion still has the passion for photography—at least you have someone to take good shots of you. =)

  2. I was totally jealous of the smaller (semi pro?) camera your hubby was toting… but I haven’t yet even mastered my DSLR to a fraction of the degree that you have so wala pa akong karapatan to “move on” hehe…. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t aspire to be a master photographer. All I ever want it to be able to take pics that do some justice to the stuff I blog about. =) I’ll leave the tides/lighting to the experts! =P

    But to a certain degree I get what you mean because ever since I started my blog, and I eat in a new place or go some place new we can never just dive in to the experience or dig into the food. We always have to stop and take a hundred pics before doing so. So now I just try to take a few and hope for the best instead of hassling everyone with waiting hehe. I love what you wrote here and it’s something great to keep in mind!

    • Hey A! Thanks! 🙂 Haha I guess I just feel frustrated also because of those people who think they’re “photographers” – when in reality all they have is just a camera. I used to have so much fun with photography! I’m taking time off for now (I think) but there are still some fields that I would like to pursue in the future 🙂 The Sony camera is GREAT and it’s so easy to lug around. Haha. Just keep taking pictures and you’ll eventually know how to use your camera with your eyes closed and just enjoy it 🙂

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