Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Camera Will NOT Steal Your Soul... Unless I Tell It To.

I got me a brand new camera for my birthday.

OK, I mean, I bought it myself.  But I had help.

This year, everyone got me what I asked for, which was a Best Buy gift card.  Why Best Buy?  Because I knew that they had the camera I wanted, and I wouldn't be tempted to use birthday money to pay bills, buy groceries, or squander it on something trivial like gas for my car.

I have been overwhelmed lately with feelings of inadequacy.  I'm 35 freaking years old, and I live in the spare bedroom at my parents' house.  Contrary to what I imagined when I was 18, I am not a professional artist, I have not written a book, let alone a best seller, I am not an architect, a physicist, an astronaut, or even self-sustaining.  I haven't run a marathon, climbed Kilimanjaro, been to Antarctica, or learned a second language.  I never even finished college.

So I was thinking... what I really needed was a better camera.  Obvious, really.  A new camera will fix my life.

I thought, "I can still be successful.  I can be a photographer.  I can make money doing fun things like backpacking and stuff.  Everything will change and my life will be better."

But I had an old camera.  I needed a new camera.

I needed a better camera for a better life.

Once I found the right camera, my whole life would change.  The only thing holding me back was technology.

This camera would not only save my life, it would save my SOUL.

Don't you find it annoying when people who take pictures of their cats? I mean, seriously.  There are so many subjects out there that are poignant, deep, moving, amazing, artistic, thought provoking, tantalizing, offensive, historically significant, or otherwise important, but what do people do?  They take picture after picture of their cats.

This is George, by the way.

For a long time, I didn't think my dream camera existed.  I thought my camera was imaginary.  I had this image in my head as to what this camera would be, and it didn't exist yet.

This camera would be able take pictures in the dark without a flash, zoom in to a pore on your face or a fly on a wall.  This camera would be able to tell if you are smiling, or frowning, and read your mind.  This camera would be able to stop time, ease world hunger and pause wars.  This camera would make everything better.

My boyfriend's cat, Thais.  It's not like I really thought, "Gee, I should take a bunch of pictures of cats with my new camera", but he's so frickin' cute...

And then I found it.

It was THE camera.

The only problem with THE camera, was that it was REALLY EXPENSIVE. Expensive for me, anyway.

So I didn't buy it.

For a YEAR.

I had to get my teeth worked on.  I had to get a catalytic converter for my car.  I had buy gas to go to work, and I had to get new music to listen to at work and books for my Kindle... and, you know, eat, and stuff.

But I wanted it.  Oh, how I wanted it.  A compact interchangeable lens camera with a full sized sensor and stuffed to the brim with magic.

I would go to photography review websites and read and reread their in-depth, hands-on reviews.  I would compare various websites and knew which one listed the thing at a penny more and when.

It was one of those small obsessions that even though you know there is no reasonable explanation, you can't quite give up.  Everything wrong with my life was because I didn't own this camera.  EVERYTHING.

Not having this camera is the reason I gained weight, the reason I got a pimple, and the reason my car didn't pass emissions the first time through.  Not having this camera was the reason I couldn't run as fast as I imagined that I should be able to.  Not having this camera was the reason I was grumpy in the morning, and why I had bad breath. Everything wrong with my life could be traced to a little gadget.

My cat, Theta.  Such a sweetie when she isn't trying to maul you.  After a while, everyone around me ducks and hides because they are sick of the camera going SNAP SNAP SNAP whenever I enter a room.  But Theta still loves me, in a pointy, scratching, bitey, way.  

I made bargains with the tech gods that I would treat this camera right, that every picture I took would be important.  I would have the camera with me constantly and document my entire life in photographs. I would make an impact on humanity by sharing my view of the world.

People would marvel at my artistic integrity, and would stand in awe of my vision.  I would take pictures that were so amazing, people would stare at them and never be able to look away.  They would starve to death if no one saved them from my art, and go mad when the vision of my work was taken away.

OK, look.  This was just funny.  How could I not take another picture of cats? Two overweight cats stuffing themselves into a tiny little cat carrier.  Jazz and Blues are A-DORABLE.  How are my cuddly little fluffs NOT important enough to photograph?  How is this NOT art?

And today, it is a reality.

In my possession, as I write this, is my very own Sony Nex-5.  Silver.  I even have two lenses.  It's like I am a professional already.

Been taking a lot of pictures of my cats.


Anonymous said...

HA! Everything that is wrong with my life is because I don't have a laptop... and your babies are adorable!

Julia said...

So in other words if I were a cat you would take my picture?

(you know cats have no pockets right? That means they have no where to store money! That means they wont pay! That means you will have no choice but to hire a collection agency! That means you will never move out of the spare bedroom! That means you will be a sucess! Welcome to the world of photography. Word to the wise photographers are assholes...i should know...I is one! :))

Leauxra said...

Yeah, hoodyhoo, this seems to happen to me every 6 months or so. This year a couple of things bunched up, so I had to get an iPod, too. Amazingly, my life is better now.

Julia, of COURSE I would take your picture if you were a cat. And I WILL profit from my cats, you just wait. Babies gotta make mamma some MONEY.

wagthedad said...

Waiting a year for a camera is really serious. That's staying power. I'm not kidding. I have trouble holding interest in something I really want but cannot afford for longer than fifteen minutes. And now you finally got it.

Hey, I'm 37 years old and wanted to do many of those things that you mentioned above. There's still time to do all of that, though, isn't there?

Leauxra said...

Oh hell yeah, wagthedad. Been trying to figure out how to quit my job and live a good life for a few weeks now. Nepal here I come!

Anonymous said...

That shot of Theta is lovely, and the composition is good too. I hope you do continue with your photography, because the world has enough people who are bad at it, we need more people who actually have the eye for it.

Leauxra said...

andtheletterm: Awww, you're too kind. But I as much as I make fun of myself, I do try to take nice pictures. :)