Why Photography?

Let’s forget the previously written account of the theft of all my Pentax equipment decades ago… done and over with.  In the years that followed the break-in, I never bothered to get back into photography… just too busy with life in general, and too bitter about losing something I loved.  My only other use of a camera was with my wife’s Kodak Advantix…. and my wife used to get so mad at me because I’d often throw a surprise photo in of her…  a shot straight up her nostrils, of her upside-down, etc., all snapped without her knowledge and only to be discovered when she got her film back from the 1-hour processing lab at the drug store.  I thought it was fun to clown around with a camera at her expense. 

Eventually though, I rediscovered that if I arranged the subject I was shooting so that some elements occupied the lower right portion of the frame while some elements occupied the upper left portion of the frame, that I would end up with a far more interesting photo.  I knew this from my Pentax Past… it was none other than ‘The Rule of Thirds’.  When I noticed that I could come up with nice photos even with a tiny digital point and shoot, my camera clowning came to an end.  From that point on I cared about the photos I snapped… and thought once again about getting an SLR camera like I had in the old days.

That seed germinated and grew over time into a Mighty Obsession.  In the old days I had two Pentax Super Program camera bodies, each with a lens I rarely took off, a camera bag full of lenses I rarely put on, a nice flash unit and a great tripod with a Macro Focusing Rail.  There was nothing at all wrong with owning Pentax, but I’d always dreamed of owning a Nikon.  I had heard multiple accounts from people in-the-know that Nikon’s were the best, and from their stratospheric price tags, I never doubted it was true.  Fast-Forwarding to the present, I’m a Big Kid now, a man about to turn 50 years old, and with some diligence, I knew that I could (and should) afford a Nikon.

It’s been three years since I wanted a digital SLR for myself, and it’s been two years since I made up my mind that it must be a Nikon.  (I know that Canon’s are reputed to be at the same level as Nikon, and I’m sure it’s true… but it’s been in my mind to own a Nikon for more than 30 years now… so as a gift to myself, Canon’s were not even an option… Canon Lovers, please forgive me.)    During those two years I’ve wanted a Nikon, I’ve literally obsessed over owning one, to the point where I could lull myself off to sleep at night, thinking of my Nikon D90, the model for which I yearned.  Yes… that’s bad.  That’s truly an obsession.  At night there were times I’d even dream of it… and in a frustrating way, it was never what I hoped it would be in my dreams.  I had a recurring nightmare that whenever I tried to fire off a burst of photos, the entire camera would go ‘Clunk-Clunk-Clunk’, like something inside was loose and about to break, or the lense was so cheaply made it would not even attach to the camera.  I’m no expert on dreams, but my guess would be that the frustration I experienced with my Nikon in my dreams was the metaphor for the frustration I felt in just trying to own one… every time I got some pennies scraped together, life would intervene and we’d have to put the money on something else.  At age 50, you start to realize that you only have so many ‘Somedays’ left in your life, so if you have plans for something to do, you’d better get busy.  That was the point I came to when I finally said, ‘Aw Screw it… I’m just going to go buy the damn thing.’ 

Sometimes things just drop into your lap!

I called up my investment company with the idea of withdrawing some funds from my 401K fund, and found out to my great surprise that my company had been contributing profit-sharing checks to my account for more than twenty years… and it was available for withdrawal, without having to take an interest penalty…  I was in shock to discover that my three-year long obsession had been completely unnecessary… I’d had the money the entire time!  In less than a week, I found myself at a camera store, buying a brand-new Nikon D7000 with a Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens.  Just awesome!  I’d not felt that level of happiness over a material thing since getting my Pilot’s License at age 17, after I goofed on my checkride and thought I’d surely failed.  The camera is magnificent and it doesn’t ‘Clunk’ like it always did in my frustration dreams.  Finally owning a Nikon Digital SLR at age 50 is like having Avril Lavigne as your mistress, except that your wife has full knowledge and approval!  It’s amazing.  Three weeks ago I was still wondering where my Nikon would come from… now I am a D7000 owner, with so much to learn… what a great feeling!

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~ by Greg Nold on April 16, 2011.

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