I have a new toy and I'm so excited. After many years and thousands of pictures taken around the globe with my trusty old Canon camera, I've upgraded to a fancier Nikon D5100. While I do not consider myself to be a my camera to document our travels, daily life abroad, and as of late, my cooking experiments. My interest in pictures goes back a ways. Some of my earliest memories are of my father and his using an ancient--and prohibitively heavy-- Nikon camera that that been his father's to document our family vacations. Does anyone remember those flat cameras who negatives were actually a round disc? I was so excited when I received on as a Christmas gift. In the seventh grade the focus of my Special Interest Fair (an event akin to a science fair) was photography. Over the ensuing years I've been inspired by the photographs taken by friends and longed to be able to document my own experiences with the same level of quality and detail. And now, with a new camera that requires actually reading the book length operation manual, I hope I am one step closer to this becoming a reality.
We had been contemplating buying a new camera for some time and decided to take the plunge while we were in Germany last week. I had done a bit of research as to what features I wanted---ability to take pictures in dim lighting, relatively easy to use, a fast response time---but I wasn't set on any particular brand or model. As Glenn and I were browsing in the camera section of the Exchange an elderly salesman approached us. It had been a long time since I'd actually experienced helpful customer service and was initially a bit taken aback. Although he was a talker, the salesman was a retired Vietnam-era army photographer who he really knew his stuff. In between "war stories" he gave us the run down on the cameras they had in stock. He steered us away from those that weren't what we needed, suggested the Nikon we ended up purchasing and even recommended that in order to save a significant amount of money, we go out onto the economy to purchase the accessories we desired. We left the store happy with a new camera in hand and with detailed directions to a nearby electronics store.
There is yet another reason I'm excited to have a new camera. I've been struggling to find something that is just for me. While cooking is a hobby that benefits everyone in my house, I'm looking for something that is purely about me and photography just might be it. We are still eleven months out from our next move but I'm already facing a bit of anxiety about what I am going to do with all of my time. Glenn, of course, will be working; Sidney will be starting school and without any job prospects, the thought of three full years as a house Frau is a bit overwhelming. Since there is a limit as to how much one can cook (and therefore eat), I know need to expand my extra-curricular activities. And I think that expansion is going to include honed photography skills. After all, what better way is there for me to document the memories we are creating.
And now to begin studying that lengthy owner's manual.