All my life I have been told that money can't buy me happiness. And, fool that I am, I bought into this belief for 26 years*. Money may not buy happiness, but (thanks to several birthday contributions) it did buy me a shiny new Sony-H50 super-zoom camera this past May.
I have always enjoyed photography. I think it started with classes that my mom sent me to at the FWMofA when I was but a wee middle schooler. I fell in love with the darkroom, and experimenting with the cheap plastic 35mm that I had. Those several weeks of classes led to a more in depth experience in high school. Along with pottery and painting, I burnt through all of the photography classes and independent studies that my high school could provide. Unlimited film, darkroom time, and a Canon AE-1 gave me a free reign to grow a love for photography.
As I grew into adulthood, however, film just became an expensive nuisance. In 2001, I justified buying my first digital camera by financing it with the money my aunt gave me to paint a mural on my cousin's bedroom wall. Art buying art. It was, of course, a 2 megapixel point and shoot that was outdated by the time the automatic doors shut behind me at Best Buy.
I had fun with this camera, but I found that my artistic side was repressed by its lacking features and low picture quality. I replaced my passion for taking pictures with a passion for manipulating them in Photoshop. This lasted until our honeymoon in Italy. We were armed with Sonja's very nice FujiFilm F460, a surprisingly quality little camera. Rome was the destination of my photographic dreams,pantheon and I became obsessed with milking the best pictures I could out of every moment (that is, every moment that I could pry the camera from Sonja's artful grasp). Between our time in Rome and the Amalfi coast we took (or rather brought back) over 2000 pictures. And every one was cherished by us. In the year since our trip, I have been reinvigorated with a passion for taking photography.
Ever a geek for gadgets (I've been known to lurk at dpreview.com, now and then), I took keen notice when a few of our friends got nice digital SLRs. I even had the chance to shoot with them a couple of times. The memories of my old Canon SLR came rushing back to me. I remembered my times back in high school, taking dozens of shots, trying to capture the perfect lighting and focus. I remembered the adrenaline rush of waiting for the photos to nerdsdevelop in the darkroom. I wanted an SLR.
However, they are hefty - in price tag and in weight. And I loved our skinny little FujiFilm camera. I wanted the quality and options of a SLR, but the convenience and price of our point and shoot. On Feb 25, my wish was granted in a press release from Sony - the H50. Sure, it may not be as skinny as our old camera, and it may not be quite as crisp as a D60, but its fun. And it has a 15x zoom. Cool!
Since I bought the camera in May, I have been going nuts with picture taking. We bought a Pro account on Flickr and I'm quickly getting addicted to the digital photo world. I've enjoyed relearning photography throughout the summer. The camera has great automatic features (even a smile detector), but what's more fun is regaining the knowledge of manual photography. The best part is that it's free to practice. A few hundred pictures of a garden here, 370 pictures of one dinner there and its starts to come back to me. I absolutely love taking pictures.
If you've made it this far it the post you must really have a boring life. I can never read a blog that has more text than pictures, but apparently you are able. I hope you enjoyed listening to my story, and hopefully many more posts will come with details on my photo experiences!
*That's sarcasm, money can't buy you happiness. Nothing in this material world will bring you happiness... but that's another rant for another day.


Erin said... @ August 7, 2008 at 9:43 AM

I read your ENTIRE post :) Apparently I have a very boring life! Or a similar love for photography.... or both...

"so glad I sent you to that class" said... @ August 7, 2008 at 9:27 PM

Can't wait to see more awesome pictures from this new dream camera...

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