Sunday, February 25, 2007

I'm Tired

I'm tired of negativity. Life is short and time's a wastin'.

Here is the post I meant to write a few days ago; the one that was interrupted because my other "son" Val's dad died. By the way, the funeral is today, so please keep the family in your thoughts.

Black Is Beautiful!

As you may or may not have noticed, I like to take photographs. It is probably my only vice, unless you count coffee, which you can’t, because coffee is like air, or water, or food, it is necessary for survival. At least it is to my survival and this is MY story. It goes like this, I wake up, I get coffee. It’s as simple as that.

Anyway, I digress…I like to take pictures. Everything I see has a frame around it…even the toilet. I’m serious. I know there's probably a 12-step program for photoaholics, but for now I’m going to pretend like it’s a normal thing. Please play along with me on this.

Since getting my first digital camera I have been obsessed with capturing the images I see.

Last year, in July, my brother decided my camera needed to be upgraded. Let me tell you something about Mike; when he gets an idea in his head—you might as well go with it. Some might say he’s stubborn. He prefers the word determined. I am just like him.

Anyway, he decided I needed a better camera and began researching different models. He came up with three options that he felt would suit my needs. I tested all three and chose the Canon Rebel XT. The 8.2 megapixel camera and all of the appropriate accessories were purchased and I was on my way to photographic bliss. As you can see from my previous blog posts, I have made good use of it. I’m CERTAINLY no Annie Liebovitz and don’t pretend that I’m a competent photographer, I just love taking pictures.

Last weekend, well over 10,000 photos later, one of the male pins on the CF card insert slot bent.

*Gasp* I was dead in the water.

I can’t explain the feeling that came over me. Aside from bad things happening to my family or friends, or catastrophic natural or unnatural events, I don’t think I’ve ever been more saddened. I know that sounds dramatic, but I literally went into a decline.

Who knew…I mean, really…WHO KNEW that something I didn’t even do two years ago would become one of the most important components of my life?

What does that say about me? Am I a shallow person who only lives on the periphery of life, choosing only to take pictures of events as they transpire, rather than actually participate? I don’t think so. I believe that I take photos because life is precious and life is short. I take pictures because everything and everyone in my life should be honored and remembered. I take photos because the images I capture are my memories.

Once again, I digress…to put it lightly, I was down. Okay, I cried, piteously. My brother’s dog put her head on my lap and I bawled my eyes out. After my pity-fest, I surfed online to see if it was a commonly occurring problem. It was not, and it may or may not be covered by warranty. The Canon website mentioned that it could take up to 6 weeks to correct the problem.

Depression deepened. More tears were shed.

How pathetic, you might be thinking. People are sleeping in doorways and you are whining about your camera going to the repair shop. And you are probably right. If it offends you that I care so deeply about an object, I’m sorry. But you see it’s not the camera I mourn—I mourn the loss of the memories, the moments in time that will never reoccur.

My brother gets this. He UNDERSTANDS. To be honest, I think the photos I take are at least as important to him as they are to me. He gets an immense amount of satisfaction seeing the photos on my blog or my Flickr site and the latest prints of my son, his dog or my cats.

So that night, I went to bed and tried to sleep. It’s weird, but I dreamt about my camera. No kidding. The first thought that came to my mind when I woke up from a fitful nights sleep was, you guessed it, my camera.

Apparently it had been on my brother’s mind as well. As soon as he woke up he announced that we were buying a new camera. A Canon Rebel XTi, a step up from my original camera. I argued with him, telling him I could wait, it was too expensive, I could buy it myself…but it was an argument I couldn’t win. His mind was made up. The camera shop was called, the new XTi was reserved and plans were made to return the XT for repair.

So thanks, once again, to the Best Brother in the Universe (BBITU), here’s my new “memory”.

Black really is beautiful.

Because my camera was in need of repair, I was unable to download and view the majority of the photos I took at my dad’s last weekend. I had planned to insert the card into my photo printer and transfer them all to my computer. But thanks to BBITU, I don’t have to.

So now, without further adieu, I give you:

Bill, Mike, Laurie and Shasta’s Excellent Adventure

I was standing next to the Stillwater River when I took this shot. I love the contrast of colors.

This photo and several of the ones that follow, were taken at Cliff Swallow Campground, on the Stillwater River. It is about a 15 minute drive from my dad and brother's house. If you look closely, between the bits of ice, you can see a fish. My brother thinks it's a Rainbow Trout.

I have no idea what kind of bird this is. There were two of them and they spent most of their time flittering along the top of the water.

Shasta, walking too close to the edge of the river.

Shasta, falling through the ice. As you can imagine, I put the camera down and headed out to help with the rescue attempt. Mike, of course, was already on his way...

As you can tell (by Mike's dry jeans), she did not fall in the river. She would have been fine if she had, it wasn't very deep, but she did give us a scare.

We saw this group (would that be flock or gaggle?) of wild turkeys in the yard of a cabin along the Stillwater River.

This is Castle Rock. There is a fishing access at the base of it. It is about 15 miles from Nye, Montana.

Here we are, still at Castle Rock, as the sun started to set. Would someone please tell this dog that it's winter?


Bonita said...

I'm so glad you are in 'operating mode' again with a good camera. Never worry over taking photographs. I remember a photography teacher telling our class that out of 35 shots you'll get POSSIBLY 2 good ones. That was 40 years ago....and I wonder what he'd think of Photoshop and digital cameras now!

What a wonderful day you had with your camera!

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

he really is the BBITU.

i'm glad you're back to snappin'

i don't think it makes you shallow. I think it means you've found something you're passionate about. That makes life vibrant!

Laurie said...

Bonita, thank you! I needed to hear that. Some people (and I'm not naming names) think I'm obsessed.

Laurie said...

Pink, he's the best! And single, did I mention he's single? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am so jealous, i want a camera like that now. I love my camera!

*it took me three attempts to catch up with you. I kept getting intterupted!!! Blogging is hard! ;)

jen said...

you are a true wonder it cuts to the core.

i've missed you. and those photos...well..heck.

Laurie said...

Butterfly, I loved my XT, I would never have upgraded if I didn't have to.

I'm so glad you were able to make it over to say hi. It means a lot.

Jen, I missed you too. Thanks for the very kind compliment. I take about 100 pictures to get 10 I like. That's not artistic ability, that's tenacity.

threecollie said...

Love your photos, glad you have a new camera. That fish picture is pretty spectacular!

Laurie said...

Threecollie, glad you like the fish shot. He kept hiding under the ice and coming out. It was fun watching him.

catnapping said...

I think losing your camera is like losing your mouth or your hands.

Your beautiful photographs are your way of communicating with the rest of the world. For a social animal, communication is paramount.

MsLittlePea said...

How nice! And how sweet of your brother. I have to admit I had a mini-freakout about Shasta until I scrolled down...dogs!
I like taking pictures too. I feel like they capture a certain magic in a moment that video cameras miss. I envy your 8.2megapixels. When my new one conks out...

Laurie said...

Catnapping, that's exactly it, I felt as if I'd lost an appendage. Thank you!

Littlepea, my new camera is actually a 10.2 megapixel. Please don't hate me. The other rebel (the one at the shop) is an 8.2 megapixel. I'm so glad you finally picked out a camera. I know you will have a blast with it!

Carol said...

Wow! You are blessed in so many ways; fantastic family and a fantastic place to live! Here in the subtropics we rarely see frost, much less ice, so this was a treat for me. You are very lucky.

Laurie said...

Carol, I know I'm blessed. I have a fantastic family and live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. But in the dead of winter, when it's -40 and the wind is howling, I can't help but envy you.

Within Without said...

These are absolutely fantastic pictures, Laurie, and the joy you have in taking them comes through.

What a beautiful area you live in...and I gotta upgrade to one of those big Canons...

I think I can confirm that is a rainbow trout in the stream, but those birds, who knows.

Nothing about this is shallow. When you love doing something, it can't be shallow.

Laurie said...

WW, I do live near some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Did you know my dad's house is less than 60 miles from Yellowstone Park? I would love to take this "big Canon" there. I could blog for weeks on the pictures.

Thanks for identifying the fish. I love to fish, but I never keep them. I'm a catch and release kind of gal.

Mary said...


You are too much, girl! I thought you were writing about ME! My camera obsession is just as great as yours and I laughed like crazy as your described yourself :o) What's wrong with being passionate about something that makes you happy? That's how I see it.

I received a new camera for Christmas - it's Kodak Easy Share and a nice upgrade from what I had. But my eye is on that Canon... big time.

Your photos are outstanding today and I nearly held my heart when I saw Shasta on the ice.

Again, your brother Mike is really somethiong.

Laurie said...

Mary, we are alot alike in that respect. I hope you get your Canon soon. Those Kodak Easy Shares are nice cameras, though and you get awesome shots all the time. I'm very envious of your bird pictures!

My brother is a sweetheart! And I'm with you, I about had a stroke when Shasta was over on the ice. My brother was calling her and I was taking pictures thinking "Holy" well you know what I was thinking. When the ice started to give away, I set my camera down and headed her direction at a trot. Mike was calling to her gently (so as not to make her frantic) and running over. He would have jumped in after her, no doubt. I was trying to think what I could use as a throw was a wild adventure for sure!

steve'swhirlyworld said...

I'm so sorry...I can totally relate. I lost about 1000 pictures on my computer about a year ago. I was so upset - memories in photos that can never be recaptured.

I'm glad you have a BBITW...I have three; they're great!

Laurie said...

Steve, thankfully I was able to recover all of the photos. I'm so sorry you weren't able to, I can only imagine how awful that was.

I'm glad you have 3 great brothers! I only have one, but he's a sweetheart.

Courtney said...

I'll bet that fish would make a nice meal. Although it looks like it was over 24 inches.

Cathy said...

You're just so brave and feisty. You just lay it out there, Laurie and it really resonates. I carry my camera everywhere. Is it the Edna St. Vincent Millay poem that contains the words: "Oh world I cannot hold thee close enough . . ." Capturing the many facets of our lives in picture form helps preserve those moments of love and whimsy.
I've dropped my camera 3 times and the on/off button is kaput. If it dies and I have to go cold turkey - I'm a goner.

Your pictures captures the late winter drama of the river. Could the bird be a Dipper or Water Ouzel? We used to see them in mountain streams in Colorado.

Laurie said...

Courtney, catch and release, girl, catch and release! ;-)

Cathy, how sweet of you to say. My dad always said mom was fiesty, I love that you called me that.

I hope your camera holds up. If not, when I get it back from the shop, I'll mail you the XT to use until you get a new one. Just let me know. We can't be missing out on your wonderful bird photos!

As for the bird, it kept dipping into the water for some reason, maybe it was a Dipper.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean this in a critical way, but I'm one of those who don't really "get" the photography thing. I think taking pictures of an event would make me feel more like an observer than a participant.

But, having said that, I do enjoy looking at your pictures. :o)

Ur-spo said...

for a tired person you wrote a nice post, full of photos/detail
I too was tired - I fell asleep last night at 8PM.

Laurie said...

Thomas, I'm glad you like the pictures. For some reason, I actually feel more a part of an event when I'm photographing it. But that's just me!

Ur-spo, I am glad to hear you are getting some rest and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. We had such a wonderful time that day. Days like that are what I live for. :)

Cathy said...

Laurie - I believe you would mail me your camera. I'm not even a little surprised by that generous offer. It's just so in keeping with the person I've discovered in your posts. As long as the duct tape holds (just kidding) I'll keep shooting. Acutally, my hubby and I put our heads together and I'll soon be shopping for a new model. The problem is - which one!? I hate making decisions about gadgets.

Thailand Gal said...

What beautiful pictures! I would love to get one of those cameras one day, especially before I wind my way through the world's pathways to Khon Kaen. Can you imagine all the beautiful pictures?


My little Canon just won't do the job it needs to do, poor little thing! :)

BTW, thank you for linking me. How could I possibly "mind"? I'm honored. :)



Thailand Gal said...

What beautiful pictures! I would love to get one of those cameras one day, especially before I wind my way through the world's pathways to Khon Kaen. Can you imagine all the beautiful pictures?


My little Canon just won't do the job it needs to do, poor little thing! :)

BTW, thank you for linking me. How could I possibly "mind"? I'm honored. :)



Pam said...

Being passionate about keeping memories makes perfect sense to me, I love my pictures.

That's some camera, very impressive and I love the photos you took, Castle Rock in particular.

I will keep a good thought for your friends.

Gina said...

My sister has the same camera as you, and she loves it! She also has all the fancy doo-dads to go with it. And if it makes you happy to take pictures, then go for it!

Laurie said...

Cathy, of course I would! We can't have you going camera-less. You have to share your bewd pictures with those of us in the frozen north.

Of course if I were you, I'd get a Canon Rebel XTi. But then I might be a bit biased. :)

Chani, I can only imagine what wonderful photos you will take in Thailand. It sounds like it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Pam, You are a wonderful photographer and artist. I am so excited about being able to use your artwork for our banquet. I can hardly wait for everyone to see it. Thank you again!

Gina, I am glad your sister likes her camera. Does she blog? I'd love to see her photos if so. :)

Dysd. Housewife said...

I do not have nearly as nice a camera as you, BUT I do love my photog moments. By the wouldn't happen to have a clone of your brother laying around would you? I really could use some new things around here ::Grin::

Laurie said...

DH, he's a sweetie isn't he? And you pictures look just fine!

Squirl said...

I'm so glad you got a new camera. I can certainly understand being upset about not having a working camera. I only really started enjoying photography in the summer of '05.

One thing that goes through my mind when I'm worried that my camera might get stolen or irreparably damaged it's losing the pictures on the card that worries me most.

LauraHinNJ said...

Dippers! I'd bet at least.

Congrats on the new camera. I'm photo obsessed too - I feel your joy.


Laurie said...

Squirl, I was so thrilled to be able to save the photos on the card. And my XT should be back from the shop soon and then I'll have a spare camera.

I can really relate to the fear of losing the photos. I was devastated thinking I'd lost them. Sounds like we started photographing about the same time.

Laura, Dippers, that's what Mary thought too. Thank you!

I can tell you are photo obsessed. You get some great shots on your blog.

Cuppa said...

How can you tell I am catching up on some of my reading this morning. I missed so many good posts this week.

Loved the pics in this post.

I must say that I so relate to you and your sorrow over your camera. I got my first little Cannon Elf a few years ago for a Mother's Day present and I carried it with me everywhere. On one bike trip I put my backpack on my bike seat and it fell off. The camera was in the pack and the digital display got cracked. My heart sank. What would I do without my camera? I never left home without it.

We called the repair shop and were shocked to discover how much it would cost to repair it. My heart sank even further. The next day we drove to another camera shop to ask about repairs and it just so happened they had a better Cannon Elf on sale for just a little more than the repair would cost. I was one happy camper to walk out of the store with a new Elf! Oh joy.

Your new camera is a beauty indeed. Keep sharing your wonderful pics with us.

Laurie said...

Cuppa, I can imagine what a sinking feeling that was. It is like losing a good friend. I am so glad you were able to find a new (and better) camera at a reasonable price. Your pictures are wonderful and I enjoy them a great deal.

I just found out yesterday that Canon did, indeed, fix the camera and the only cost to me was the shipping. I now have a spare camera. I am very happy about that!