MISS MOOX + time


Ah, photography. One of the greatest loves of my life and probably my favourite creative pasttime.

Ever since I was a child, I loved photography. The artist in me craved images, and I admired talented work. My primary outlet, however, was drawing, and I never had the opportunity to use a camera.

Until my tenth birthday, when the packet I opened from my aunt and uncle revealed a cheap little 110 toy camera (anyone remember 110s?) Aimed at the pre-teen girl market, it was hot pink and came in a blister pack complete with an appealing picture of a smiling girl and boy taking photos. I was thrilled with it, as it gave license to my long-held ambition to be a photographer. I longed to use it to emulate the beauty I'd seen in others' photography and to capture the landscape that I loved.

However, I quickly found the camera to be more frustrating than satisfying. Aiming it at a subject which I was certain would create the next award-winning shot, I would inevitably be disappointed to receive a print back which was nothing more than a fuzzy reflection of the glories I'd held in my mind's eye and my camera's viewfinder. What had happened? Determined to succeed, I'd try and try again on different subjects, with the same results.

I used that camera periodically until at the age of nineteen I moved away to attend Bible college in Toronto. I don't remember what happened to it. Probably it got left behind with the rest of my things, or sold at a yard sale.

At any rate, I am sure I never would have gone any further with photography had it not been for the friendship of a mentor who always encouraged me to pursue directions I would probably never have gone on my own. For that, I am eternally grateful.

It wasn't long after I'd moved to Toronto that he presented me with an old manual camera from his collection. He himself was an avid amateur photographer, and I'm sure we'd discussed my long-frustrated desire to pursue the art. The camera he gave me originally was nothing special. In fact, as I recall, the case had to be held together with a rubber band or it would fall apart, exposing the film. But it started me on the road to photography, and I won't ever be the same again.

Eventually I progressed to another of his cameras, a Russian-made Zorki which was an exact copy of one of the very best, the German Leica. That camera saw me through a couple of years, but eventually for Christmas my friend and his wife presented me with an almost unbelievable treasure. I opened the box to discover a Canon AE-1, complete with a 50mm, 28mm, and 200mm lens.

That camera was and still is one of my most treasured possessions. I don't know if I'll ever sell it, or if I could even get close to the price he paid in these days when digital is pushing 35mms out of the market. But it was, and is, a beautiful amatueur- to professional-quality camera. It really taught me what a camera was capable of, and I learned most of what I know on it.

But. . .the digital encroachment eventually overtook me. For a trip to Africa a year ago, I needed something small and light with which I could take nearly unlimited shots. The Canon A75 seemed like just the thing, the best quality in my very limited price range. And it served me well despite its limitations.

But even after I came back from Africa, it slowly became my primary camera. For a long time I carried it in my bulky Black's camera bag along with the AE-1 and its various accessories, and took the same shots to compare. Eventually, the AE-1 started being left at home. For most standard shots, the digital was of reasonably comparable quality, with none of the cost or wait time associated with 35mm. I could shoot unlimitedly and delete the ones I didn't like.

Now, sadly, the AE-1 languishes at home in its bag, awaiting some unforeseen "special occasion" which will demand its use. I'm afraid I just can't stomach film and processing costs and wait times anymore, or the multiple envelopes of negatives. Added to that the fact that the last batch I got back were of lower resolution than I can take with my Canon digital and at a jaw-dropping price, I decided that for now I have to sacrifice the more powerful capabilities of the SLR for the convenience of digital.

And wait. Wait until I can afford a digital SLR. I am nearly hyperventilating with desire for one. I long for a camera which affords both the power and capability of a 35mm SLR, and the benefits of digital. A Canon digital SLR represents the mountain's pinnacle for me. The problem is how to get one. . .on my current budget, it is not possible. But I can hope and dream, and pray. . .for now, that's my only chance, because I know God is fully capable of giving me one, if he wants to. Price isn't an issue with him. . .and I'd love to be surprised.

Anyway. . .a few of my favourite recent shots. I may post a few more later on:

These two were the result of a nighttime photo shoot a couple of nights ago:

An interesting bridge I'd long thought I'd like to photograph. It's even better at night and the steady stream of traffic ensured some neat light trails with the long (15sec) exposure.

Some amazing shadows on the road on the way back home

And these were shot this morning:

It's not the best photo, but I like the colours and the light, and the sky

I was just heading off to work when the sight of this sunrise over the frozen pond across the road stopped me. I trekked through somebody's yard to get the photographs. This is when I would have killed for a telephoto lens. The seagulls you can barely see in these pictures were sitting in the ice all flapping their wings rhythmically (to stay warm?) They would have been fantastic close up.

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Relevant to: Photography + time