Sunday, April 01, 2007

My career in photography: at a crossroad


I consider myself a shutterbug (a rusty shutterbug, I must admit!).

My 'career' in photography started in 1980 when I bought my first SLR in Singapore. It was the classic Olympus OM10. I was back for a summer break from my A-Levels in Blackpool, England.

I still remember finishing my first role of film on photos of my friend Hasni and his family in Johor Bharu whom I had been visiting.

I had many happy moments with the delightful little OM10. Being in the UK partly contributed towards this, of course. For in the UK, they have so many photography magazines such that budding shutterbugs are spoilt for choice. Just take your pick and read on to increase your knowledge in photographic techniques or simply to check out the latest gadgets reviews.

Having added a Tamron zoom lens to my armoury of equipments, I would often find myself out-and-about on photographic trips with friends during holiday breaks. The north of Wales was especially a favourite destination. The Lake District in north-west England was another.

My second camera is the Nikon F70 with a Zuiko 35-70mm as a standard lens. This I bought in Shinagawa, Tokyo in 1995.

By the time the F70 arrived though, I was no more into photographic trips. Much of my photography now centred around my young family, recording our three-year stay in Japan.

Having a Nikon in your hands of course gives you that 'professional', can-do-no-wrong-look. Believe you me when I say that this is very important when being amongst the Japanese who are just crazy when it comes to owning the latest cameras and gadgets. And mind you, in Japan gadgets really do get out of date super-fast!!

But now, what with the advance of the digital age, it is I myself who is getting outdated! In my observation, all and sundry seem to own a digital camera nowadays. All except me, that is.

In the mid-90s people would say that "digital photography is not 'genuine' photography". To be sure, if you looked around then, you wouldn't see many professionals using one.

But today digital cameras technology have improved by leaps and bounds. All the big names in photography such as Nikon, Canon and Olympus have flooded the market with models for entry level, as well as, for the dead serious professionals.

I have noticed how easy it is to manage and store digital photos. There is also the savings afforded by doing away with processing and printing of rolls of film.

So now I keep hearing the age-old saying "If you can't beat them, join them" going on and on in my head. Yes, to the point that I am now very tempted to by a digital camera as a present for myself - although for whatever reason I'm not so sure...

But then economic sensibilities jolt me back into reality. I can't afford to buy one for now. Got to save up first. And if I were to buy a new camera, what will happen to the F70? Will it just languish in the cupboard collecting dust? That will be a waste, now, wouldn't it?

Oh, well...maybe much later then. For now at least I shall have to make do with the nice little Konica Minolta lended to me by my brother, Azman.

Meanwhile, I shall just dream on of having a digital SLR Nikon, or maybe an Olympus, or maybe....

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