When I was thirteen I got my first camera. It was a Kodak camera with one of those 80’s inventions that never amounted to much. The pictures from it were crappy and it cost a fortune to develop them but it had a digital watch inbuilt and could wake me up in the mornings which I thought was all that.
Wait, I’ll save you from looking the quote up:
“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” ~Douglas Adams, from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Anyway, I never took many pictures with the camera but a few. I carried it with me everywhere I went and shot a few pictures here and there. Constantly trying to find the best angle and the best motive, etc. The pictures were rarely any good though.
The next camera I got was a – actually I have no idea what the brand was – it was one of these super-duper (yes, it’s the kind of day when you use that term without blushing) cameras that took fantastic photos and was still just a small thingie-magingy meant for family photos. It had no zoom and no nothing but I loved that camera and with it I took some good photos.
I soon learned that taking pictures of people wasn’t really my thing. I don’t know how to get people to relax in front of the camera and I’m constantly surrounded, it seems, by camera phobics so I turned to landscape instead.
And Iceland is very photogenic. So with my simple, not so professional, camera in hand I took photos of stones, ice, mountains, bushes, trees (although my Swedish friends tell me they’re bushes too), geysers, waterfalls, lava rocks, red sand and what have you. I was never in the photoclub at school though. And I never learned how to develop my own photos. I was and am an amateur. And I love it.
When I finally got a professional camera I was broke and couldn’t really afford all that came with it. Then I went and moved to another country, that and the forthcoming digital revolution made me leave the camera at home more often than not. I got so used to not taking photographs that when I first saw the advertisement for a camera in your mobile phone I sneered and thought it was the “dumbest thing on earth, who needs a camera in their mobile phone?“
Well, then I got one and now I have a digital camera to boot. It’s just a simple camera with a small zoom and a few family friendly features. It’s just like my old camera, the simple one that I loved so much. It’s nothing fancy, nothing trippy. It’s just a camera I can use to point with and shoot.
I love being an amateur photographer. It makes pictures like this one:
Alright. It makes it presentable. I really think it’s ascew and strange and a little wrong somehow. I see the perfect image within it and wish I had stood a little to the right or something and so it bugs me a little. And yet I have no shame to plaster it all over the web with that little quote which I kinda like.
I used to be a cut & paster back in the days of the old camera. I would find pictures in the newspapers and headlines, cut them out and fill scrapbooks with strange things accompanying my photos. And I guess these days I’m returning to that.
It’s all a lot easier now. A photo uploaded into the computer takes seconds. I boost up photoscape which I use to freshen my pictures up a bit, make them something they were not before and then I find a quote. Sometimes I already know what I want, sometimes I just happen upon a quote that fits a picture I have already laying around.
It’s all in good fun. I love being an amateur.
p.s. If you want to keep a track of my pictures I post most of them on my tumblr blog.