I got a fancy new camera, and I let it walk me over to the river. I took some pictures. It was hard because the camera was big and complicated and had a lot of its own ideas about just exactly what we should take pictures of and just exactly how we should take them.
And at some point I started reflecting on something I wrote in this space a few days ago while I was waiting for the new camera to come. It was all about my perhaps peculiarly American fantasy that if I could just get really good, fancy new equipment, I would suddenly become much better at whatever I was doing. I suppose if the photo essay I'm referring to had a theme it was that this is both not very true, and yet at the same time that it is so utterly irresistible that I remain helpless before it.
But what never occurred to me in the rumination of that piece, and yet was occurring to me as I wandered my first day with my fancy camera reflecting upon it, was:
What if the fancy new camera is making me actually worse at taking pictures?
I carried that thought with me the whole time I wandered around taking pictures with my new camera. Then I came home and put my pictures in my computer and I thought:
My new camera is really neat.
And none of it mattered.
Here is a picture from my old camera:
I like both of them.
But here is something that my new camera can do that's very exciting:
Here is a picture of a bird:
Yes, it is very hard to see this bird. No, it is not the bridge arch that sort of looks like a bird.
So I took another picture of the bird with the same camera from the same place a few seconds later: