I wrote recently about how an old friend sent me the Canon EOS T4i. I had been hankering for the T2i, and then the T3i. The T4i was really out of my price range as I continue to struggle with the mundane crap like paying my bills.
However, the T4i arrived from a friend in a small brown square box from B&H Photo and I was overjoyed. When you are working, and have a steady income (as I once did – 13 years ago) a $850 camera is just no big deal. There was a period when I couldn’t even buy a lens (the Leica days) for that amount of lucre.
But those days are long gone. And I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time and energy keeping my head above water. Right now I’m breathing through the tip of my long nose.
However – this isn’t about cash flow. This is about how some of us simply need a new camera every once in a while, or some sort of new gadget, to crank up the imagination and get going again. Frankly, he could have sent the T2 and I expect I would have had the same reaction, which was that suddenly I began putting the camera somewhere that I would see it before going out on errands, and soon I was taking it with me everywhere again.
And this isn’t to say that the new pictures are any good. My percentage of keepers to garbage has always been about the same, and it isn’t a high number. I used to think that if I got one good shot on a roll of 36 (or 37) I was in good shape. That’s when I was in street shooting mode.
Static work on a tripod was a different thing altogether. If you didn’t have a decent keeper to exposure ratio, maybe one decent shot for every 10 shots – then you just weren’t any good.
At any rate – with the new street camera (yes, for me the T4i is a street camera) going along with me wherever I go, my imagination perks up, and the number of shots taken during a day increases, and I rediscover the fun part of photography. I think that’s the surprises you pick up as you walk to UPS or wait for your lunch at the bodega.
Slowly the camera begins to feel like it’s a part of you, or at least part of your arm, and you annoy people (even friends and family) by shooting while they’re telling you a story. When you get to that point where you are annoying both friends and strangers – you are back in the groove and it is jsut about having a new toy to play with.
I suspect that I’m not the only one to need that sort of kick in the pants. And though I can’t say I’ve taken any classic timeless images yet with the new camera (it’s only been a few days after all) but I have about 1000 new RAW files to go through. Thank you for that, James (I will give you an alias) as I don’t think you want people to know what you did for me, and it is also a biblical name.