The first camera I ever bought was an Olympus OM-1, I’d had cameras before, hand-me-downs, Kodak Instamatics with the cartridge film but the first camera I went out and chose for myself was the OM-1. I went to the local camera shop in Lower King’s Road, Berkhamsted and handed over just in excess of £100.00, which was quite a bit for someone earning somewhere in the region of £25.00 a week.
Of course, it was soon after I’d started full-time employment, a couple of months or so. My friend had a similar camera and I wanted one too, ah, it’s a terrible thing, camera peer pressure. I bought the camera and a neck strap, a nice colourful one and I still have them to this day. The camera is retired now although I’m sure it’s perfectly capable of delivering the goods should I choose to put a film into it. The neck strap is now attached to a Canon digital SLR with a telephoto lens.
Ah, it’s all so easy now, I have two Canon D-SLR bodies, with lenses, a Canon PowerShot D20 which was bought to shoot underwater on The Great Barrier Reef (did I mention I’d been snorkelling on The Great Barrier Reef? Don’t worry, I probably will…) and a Canon PowerShot SX610 HS which I bought merely as a way of getting a battery charger for the D20 a couple of years back when I’d gone abroad and forgotten to take the charger with me. As it turned out the SX610 is a cracking little point-and-shoot camera, I have to say that I was very impressed with it, as I was with the D20.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. It’s all so easy now, you just point and shoot. The SX610, which I try to carry with me most days, has a 16GB memory card and can snap upwards of 3,000 pictures at maximum jpeg size and resolution. And to think we used to have 24 or 36 shots on a roll of 35 mm film. The good thing about that though was that you took the time to compose the picture, knowing that the number of shots was very limited. I still do try to take the time to compose a picture but sometimes, and this is where the digital camera wins, sometimes you see something, some juxtaposition and just snap away before the alignment is gone.
Some of the most satisfying photos I have taken, satisfying to my eye at least, have been of that nature, a chance snap. Others I have pondered upon and fiddled with such shutter and aperture settings as are available, even on point-and-shoot models and generally overthought the situation. I’m no “Photographer” but I do get a certain pleasure from photography, from looking for “that” composition and of course from spotting that juxtaposition and capturing it.
Even with a mobile telephone these days you can get a fairly good, sometimes excellent photo. Being ever un-trendy I used to have a Windows phone with an absolutely splendid camera. Sadly the Windows phone didn’t catch-on. I now have a Nokia which is a great little phone, lots of apps and, well, just apps really but it does most of what I want a mobile to do, it’s only let down by the camera. Broad daylight and no motion and it’s fine. Anything else and the results can be patchy to say the least. That is why I suppose I carry the SX610 with me. At least with the Nokia phone it’s easy enough to transfer photos from the SD card to the phone, you know, should I be tempted to upload one to some sort of social media website.