“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever…It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” -Aaron Siskind-
Anyone can be a photographer. Any man, woman, child, and even you could be a photographer. All you need is a camera, and an imagination. That’s it! These days almost everyone has a camera. Whether it’s a DSLR camera or just the camera on your phone, (and let's face it, most cameras on phones are top-notch). That’s why this art form grabbed me, and I hope it never let's go. So, let's go back to the beginning when I first started photography and cameras in general...
This all started Christmas of 2015 when I was about eleven or twelve. My dad got me a Macbook Pro laptop for a gift and I loved it! At first, I just saw it as a way to watch YouTube and Netflix in my room. But, a couple of months later I realized that I could make movies with it! So, I grabbed my little sister and we made a movie together using the built-in camera on my laptop. Since it was just me and my sister making these movies, we didn’t have anyone to pan the camera or move it around. Did that stop us? Nope. What we would do is we would stand next to the laptop and if we needed to pan across the scene, we would simply move the camera with our foot. (Of course theses 'movies' weren't the best. They weren’t any Hollywood film, but I was proud of them. I worked hard on them and it all paid off, I was happy).
Fast-forward about a year or two. I was given another camera from my dad. It was a little red Canon Powershot. It was a nice camera (compared to the laptop), and I saved up some money and bought a little fifteen-dollar tripod and a memory card and didn’t hesitate to start making movies with it. It was still just me and my sister so we still had to be creative with how we filmed, but it was a lot nicer having a 'real camera', I felt like an actual movie maker.
After having that little red camera for another two-three years I decided to buy a new camera. So, I saved up everything I had ("everything” being about a hundred dollars) to buy my very first real DSLR camera! I bought a Sony H300 with a 10x optical zoom. When I had that camera I felt like the baddest cat. Again, it wasn’t a fancy camera that couldn't shoot 4K, it only shot around 720p, which was a million times better than my Canon Powershot. This was by far the best camera I have ever had.
This was the camera that I took my first photos with. It was around fall and my family and I went out for a walk in the woods to see all the colors of the leaves. It was there that I took my first photo. I was alone, with no sounds, no distractions. It was just me and my camera. I didn’t even think about taking photos, but then, I saw a tree. It was different from the rest. It had yellow leaves instead of bright red like the others around it. I kept looking at it as I brought the camera up to my face, aimed, and shot. I won't forget that feeling of looking down at my camera and just thinking, “Wow, huh!” I didn’t think I could ever feel like that before, so free. It felt like I was able to show people what I saw, to let the world see through my eyes. That led to the next photo and the next location and my next adventure. From that point on, I identified as a photographer.
A couple of years later, I started looking for a new camera. I carefully researched and watched YouTube videos to try to find the perfect camera. I finally found it. It was perfect. It was a Canon 80D. So you may be asking yourself, “What’s so special about that camera?”. Well, I had wanted it for a couple of reasons: I wanted it because it was the newest version of Canons ‘D’ DSLR’s, it had the best focusing that Canon or any other camera companies had ever made, and it also had a flip-out screen. Which, I was super pumped about because I started making videos all by myself and I wanted to be able to see what I was doing. I wanted this camera more than anything.
So, just last year (2018) I got a job and worked and worked to make enough money to buy that camera. I saved up every penny. I had it. It was mine. I knew from that point on, I knew when I held that camera, that nothing could stop me from taking photos. Alfred Eisenstaedt once said, “When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.”
But...you know what camera I really want?
But...you know what camera I really want?
Nathaniel Stewart Kammerman