Today is my birthday and besides the obvious fact, it is also a very special day for me as a photographer. Exactly 7 years ago I got one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever had – my first camera.
Back in 2011, I was a young pal fresh out of the university and obviously couldn’t afford a camera yet. Being into photography only theoretically, no camera no practice, I dreamt about having a DSLR and how I would go shooting masterpieces left and right. Ah, dreams…
Anyway, apparently I talked about it a lot and my in-laws decided to make my dream come true. I had no idea what awaits me when my wife and I came to visit them on my birthday, and the way they revealed it! First, they gave me a small box that appeared to be an SD-card and I was confused for a moment with such a present. It took me a hot second to realize that if there is this card which is usually used in cameras…oh, wait! And at this very moment they pulled out a big box with “Nikon” written on it. Should I describe how excited I was? It was Nikon D5100, the entry-level DSLR with a kit lens of 18-55mm. Of course, I immediately took it out of the box and started shooting, and oh boy what “pictures” those were, but after all, it was the first time ever.
Then came a moment when I asked myself what it is that I want to shoot. A question that I should have had before I would even rave about a DSLR, at least this is what I realize now. The answer to the question led me to street photography which took me to shooting film, and it’s a completely different story from this point.
With my quick transition to film my digital Nikon received far less love that it deserved, and I think I’ve never truly discovered that camera, never unlocked its potential. Was it because of its digital nature or the fact that it wasn’t very suitable for street photography? I don’t know.
Several times I tried to get back to it and finally make it work but the passion just wasn’t there. For some more time, I kept it for sentimental reasons. It was a present for my birthday after all, and the present from my late mother-in-law to add up to it.
And then one day I thought that collecting dust and just getting old in that bag doesn’t do the camera any good and that my mom-in-law, were she still alive, would probably even encourage me to sell it. And I did sell it to a colleague of mine who wanted to get into landscape photography. Judging from what I see in his pictures the camera finally is having the time of its life now. The sentimental aspect still nudges me a little now and then, but I know it was the right decision.
So today, on this special day, I’m paying tribute to the camera that started my photography adventure 7 years ago with a collection of some photos I made with it. Good bye, my friend. See you around.