I hate my digital camera. Well, sometimes.
This past weekend, I was getting ready to take the family photos for our holiday letter and I was this close to hurling the confounded thing at the wall. To say that my husband would have been a little upset is an understatement, since he spent a pretty fair chunk of change on the stupid thing for my birthday over a year ago. However, the temptation was nearly overwhelming.
First things first, though. Let me explain the background of photography in my life. My father gave me my first single lens reflex camera when I was 14 and I loved to take pictures right from the start. After choosing and loading the film, it was easy: choose the aperture, choose the shutter speed, compose the shot, focus, shoot, advance film, repeat. Simple. Drop off the film and then pick up the pictures. I was hooked. Over the years and as my interest in photography expanded to higher-end cameras, studio lighting, and medium format photography, the equipment became more and more complicated, but there was still the option to shoot simply by overriding all the fancy features and shooting manually.
Then, my husband bought me my first digital SLR, a Nikon that we'd been thinking about for a while. Now, it's not like I'm a Luddite. I'd actually been dreaming of it for ages and thought that I'd be ecstatic. Yippee! A good digital camera! After all, we had a digital point-and-shoot that we never used because the picture quality couldn't match the film that we were shooting, but now I had the camera in my hands that would change all that. Wow!
I started shooting with it and the honeymoon was quickly over. What was once a joyous pastime became a tedious exercise in menus, submenus, white balance settings, noise reduction settings, image opimization, format options, resolution settings, focus zones, ISO choices, downloading, labelling, sorting, burning back up copies, and so on. While there might be a few good things about digital cameras, having to spend so much time at a computer just to get a picture has yet to become appealing, which is why we have over 3,000 images on our computer now and have exactly 5 printed out. It was only one print until we printed out four more yesterday on our inkjet printer, which is a waste of time. Over a whole year of photos and, in effect, nothing to show for it, all the while with the risk of the photos being lost by an errant keystroke or two accidentally sending them out into the ether. Well, that and having our computer crash or the back up copies being damaged somehow.
To take a break from all this, I've picked up my father's 25 year old film camera again and have found that I'm loving the simplicity of it all, not to mention taking some of the better pictures that I've taken in ages. Point the camera, turn two dials, focus, compose, and shoot. So beautifully simple.
So, back to this weekend and my wanting to hurl this poor, undeserving, expensive camera into the wall. Turns out (after having to go out and buy a book about the camera to replace the AWOL manual) that the feature that I was looking for was buried in a submenu that 20 minutes of searching hadn't located. *sigh*
I hate my digital camera. Sometimes.