Lament for the Loss of my Big, Fat Camera

by Shaughnessy

Like a favourite traveling buddy, my 38 – 105 mm Samsung zoom camera accompanied me on treks across North America, China, Hong Kong, Spain and Ireland. It, or its earlier versions, were always at hand for generations of family events, occasions and just for nothing moments. It documented my nature walks, adventures and trips to find beauty in unexpected places.

The pleasure was enhanced by removing the film and taking the little white canisters to my favourite photo shop and then counting the days until they were developed. Best yet was picking up the envelopes of memories and waiting the additional tantalizing minutes until I was home to open and enjoy the captured images. To hold the photos in my hands and, eventually, to add them to the photo albums and adding full captions to further tell the story of the world around me and the people in it.

Ah, but then I dropped this loyal, second-pair-of-eyes friend and it broke. Sad I was but thought I would just take it to the camera doctor and it would be fixed with no problem. Alas, it could not be fixed, “We don’t see many of these old ones anymore,” said the unhelpful man. “Old?” I thought, “Heck, it’s not old. I only bought it, what…thirteen years ago? It’s practically new!”

Resigned, I went to the camera shop to purchase a new one just like it. I was shocked and disbelieving to be told, “Oh, we don’t sell film cameras anymore. I don’t think they have been made for years.”

“What??? Tell me it ain’t so!”

“We have some good buys on digitals now…”

Digitals? I can’t see through the viewfinder and when I click a shot the whole camera goes down and shakes. Gosh no, I can’t use a digital camera! I can’t frame a shot, adjust the zoom or hold onto this little, light thing that can never become my friend! I am mortified. Then another terrible thought as I look around the shop. “Uh, does this mean that you no longer sell albums?” “We have a few,” he says, “but the big thing now is…” My eyes glaze over and a loud sound like breaking waves permeates my ears.

Hesitantly, I ask, “Do you still sell film?” “Yes,” he responds, “but only with processing included – $16.37 a roll.”

I realize I am the last person in the world to not adapt to digital or phone cameras. There is probably a word to describe me. Dinosaur comes to mind.

But I have lost a trusted companion and, with it, a favourite pastime and hobby.

Since everyone else in the world has moved happily to digital, I wonder if one of these discarded relics in excellent working condition is sitting forgotten in someone’s sock drawer. I still hold out hope that I will find one to purchase and two relics will unite in photographic bliss!