I, like hundreds of thousands of people who own a camera, have used it to capture pictures of family, friends, pets, vacations, before and after pictures of "you name it", graduations, first steps, new cars, accidents, etc. I have even taken my camera to the hardware store to aid me in describing a home repair issue I was trying to solve on my own. While it may seem like the camera was in use all the time, the reality was the opposite. It was a very common occurrence to have the following flurry of questions take place before any of the above events. "Have you seen the camera? Who used it last? Where could it be? What did we use it for last? Why isn't it with all of the other camera junk? What type of batteries does it take again? Where is the charger?"......you get the picture? (no pun intended).
When the opportunity to move to India first presented itself, I packed the camera to capture images of my trip to take back to my family; glimpses of what our new life would be like living in a land that we never dreamed of living in......using the images captured by the camera to explain the wonder and mystery that unveiled itself to my eyes during that 13 day visit.
The camera used on that trip fell victim to a theft in the US.....so when making a decision to purchase a new camera, I opted to spend a bit more money to upgrade from our previous model, to one that provided more features and a higher pixel quality.....but still priced within my budget. I justified the purchase, in my mind, noting that I would be taking many photographs to share with my family during the process of looking for a place to live.....which I did.....I took over 1500 photographs of the various apartments I visited. I also used it to purchase furniture; although many of the furniture showrooms prevented me from taking pictures fearful that I would have their piece copied by someone else.
It was around this time that I started this blog.....in October 2008.....taking pictures and and sharing my experience in words for those back home.....a means of keeping in touch even though the phone was always handy. It is true that pictures convey much more than words could ever tell of a particular event or experience.
Naturally, Linda and I thought that it would be a great idea to purchase a camera as a gift to Preston for his 15th birthday. It was much less expensive than mine, but certainly adequate for its intended purpose. Providing an outlet for him.....something to amuse him.....a way of expressing himself....after all, his parents were turning his comfortable life upside down...... making him leave family and friends behind, and moving him halfway around the world. I was also hoping that it would become a hobby that the two of us could share together, much like fishing.
Photography has certainly replaced our hobby of fishing.....it has evolved into much more than I ever could have imagined. I have also learned that, like fishing, Preston has a natural talent......some of the pictures that he has taken are simply amazing. It has even provided us both with the opportunity to be competitive....not only between the two of us.....we recently submitted several of our photographs in a Photography Competition for expatriates living in India.
There were over 350 entries in four categories....and while neither of us had a photograph selected by the judges of the competition, one of us did find ourselves on stage.....again, Preston has outdone his father and walked away with "the biggest fish"! While this was only the second year of the event, Preston received an Honorable Mention Award for being the youngest ever contestant.
Over the past year, much has changed in our lives.....a new city, a new lifestyle, a new adventure, new experiences, different food, different smells, different weather and a new hobby. One other thing has changed.....no flurry of questions about an under utilized camera.....do you "get the picture"? Both Preston and I will submit entries next year....and hope for the best!