A camera, you know, a picture box


For the first two days after I returned home from Rome, I stayed home and tried to catch up on rest and laundry and some e-mail. When I finally ventured out into the world, it was with some hope of finding a replacement for my little camera that fell to its demise on the trip. I decided to have a look in Office Max since it was along the way toward home from errands. When a salesman passing me in an aisle asked if he might help me, I said I was looking to buy a camera. He looked at me like I might have fallen off of another planet. Oh, that’s right. Most people take pictures with their telephones or tablets, the camera is becoming obsolete. “You mean for your computer?” he asked. To which I said, “As opposed to a film camera, yes.” Ah, he realized aloud, “A digital camera.”

He said they were much too expensive to have on the counter anymore, so they were all locked away, but I could look at the little paper ads posted in the camera aisle and read about them. That much I could do without being in a store. I thanked him and walked out. I guess that was the way they dealt with theft.

I turned the car around to go back up the road I came down and went over to an electronics specialty store, Best Buy where I quickly received directions to the camera department. A young man named Jake showed me the cameras they are currently selling and explained the differences between the DSLR I had been considering but thought I was not yet good enough a photographer to invest in and several other “point and shoot” models just a notch more advanced than the little Olympus I had been using for about the last six years. His education included film and photography so I felt confident in his qualifications. He showed me two pictures he had taken to illustrate the level of detail obtainable with the DSLR. In all he spent close to an hour making sure I got all the information I needed in order to decide on the product I really wanted.

The difference between the best point and shoot model and the DSLR was about $100. My nephew-in-law told me about a used DSLR camera he could find on E-bay for the same price as the new one is now, a few years ago.  I really do not know how much finer a photographer I may or may not ever become, but at my age, how much longer do I really want to wait. I just knew I did not like being without a camera at my fingertips. Yes, I carried the Olympus in my handbag so I could always be ready to catch a fleeting sunset, or other unexpected “Kodak moments.” So I made the investment and have been carting it around as I go about my usual weekly routines. The first thing I have learned is that in order to actually capture the great pictures I think I took, I must first remove the lens cap.


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