But, I received a gift this morning that blew me away. It was a belated birthday gift from my partner. His generosity made me tear up, but it didn't make it any less appreciated. In fact, the gift is one of those gifts that will not only support a passion that has been with me since I was a teenager, but it will help me expand into it even more as I do freelance work. Because, you see, he bought me a beautiful, professional, digital camera. A Nikon D3200. One I've wanted for a very long time.
I've been writing since I was three, but I've always liked taking pictures too, and I started seriously getting into photography when I was in high school. My father bought me an Olympus OM-1 film camera, which I paid off for $20 a week while I worked part-time at a grocery store. It was a manual camera because my photography teacher at the time said I had talent, and needed the flexibility of a manual camera to use my own creativity.
My father, ever the wonderful woodworker who can build anything, also built me a little darkroom in the basement. We bought a used enlarger, trays, chemicals - all the old-fashioned things you needed at the time to develop photographs. I bought a few filters as I needed them - different types like colored filters that made clouds stand out, a starlight filter that made candlelight burst, and spent time with slow exposures and sepia-toned images to experiment and grow in the art. And it always complimented and meshed with my writing.
Then digital photography came around. And I bought a small digital camera that I take with me everywhere. I've always had to carry a bigger bag to be able to carry both a writing journal and a camera...and I'm known for just having to write a line down or whip out the camera whenever the mood strikes or I see a visual picture in my head. I often just stop and say: "That would make a cool picture!"
I've done quite well with the small camera, and my old camera (which is now displayed on a shelf), but this new one opens up so many more possibilities for me. Since Photoshop came out a few years back, I've seen it as a digital darkroom and have enjoyed perfecting my skills and playing around with it as well. Although I'm proud to say that the majority of my photography doesn't take much other than occasional cropping, it's still fun to experiment, be creative, and work a different effect with images.
As much as I love writing, my other big passion has always been photography. So, my tasks this weekend are fun ones. Read the manual. Check out the new camera. And start playing around with it on an even more creative level, and see what it can do. Because this is a gift that truly keeps on giving. And I love my guy not only for who he is and what a great person he is, but for his generosity, and enthusiasm in what I love to do. And, as much as I believe in him and his talents and abilities, it makes me think of my mother and how she always believed in my writing...and I love him even more for his own belief in me.
The old camera as decor.