The old camera died. Died! Right before a very important weekend that I was hoping to document. A week before a very important vacation that I had dreamed of photographing for months. Months! Times during which I simply could not live without a camera. I tried to make do. I dug out the long-neglected point and shoot. It's a fine camera. A good camera. I mean, for 2005 and for a point and shoot. I took it on my weekend and shot and shot and cursed inwardly and loathed the end result. I tried the stiff upper lip and considered going totally sans camera to the beach. I felt sickness and pain and loss. Yes, I know I'm being a tad melodramatic. But you know, in a world where I don't have to deal with starvation or illness or persecution, and realize and appreciate those things, I think I can mourn the losses I do suffer, such as they are. And I'm telling you, not having a good camera when I want it is like missing a limb. Or something similarly heart-pang-y but less offensive to amputees.
Whatever, you get it. It sucked.
Then a friend, a super-empathetic friend who also lives with an SLR at her side, called me up to stage a one-woman intervention. It gave you a good run, you used that camera for years and years, you took thousands and thousands of pictures. You can fix it later, it can be your backup. But now, my dear, buy a new camera. Yes, really. No, you shouldn't wait three more years for it. You're ready for it. If you order it right this minute, it can be in your hands before your trip. It is your love and you should not go on this trip without a good camera.
I felt irresponsible. I didn't want to replace it yet, I was waiting, I was telling myself that I wasn't quite skilled enough for a newer, better camera. I told my husband, who agreed that I had outgrown the Rebel, that it had lived a good long life, that really, it was time. "You have to do this," he said.
I did. And when it arrived, it was so lovely. Oh, it has a weight that is divine, and the color of the images! Amazing. Yes, it's true that the same day I ordered this pretty, I Facebooked that it isn't the camera that makes the picture. I stand by that - the photographer is key, it's all about the composition first and foremost, and it doesn't hurt to have the knowledge - gained through experience - of white balance, ISO, aperture, shutter speed. I get testy when people compliment my photos and then follow up with a statement about how, well, but you have that camera. People, the camera has me behind it, ok? But having the creative control of a really excellent camera? Takes great photos to a whole new place. I'm so excited to go to those places together!