I am having a shopping attack for a camera. I want a small camera that I can hold easily in my hand and carry in my pocket with a reassuring feeling that I own something cool. Then I will enjoy reading reviews of the camera to confirm that I made a smart purchase.
The real question is why I’m in a frenzy to buy something new. These impulses come over me occasionally. Part of the feeling comes from trying to retrieve the past: in particular, objects that I have sold and wish I had hung onto; items I replaced thinking that a newer model would improve on what I already owned.
That easily could be the case with a camera. I would be paying $400 for something I don’t need and whose purpose is better fulfilled by my iPhone. I might change my mind about the new camera if I reviewed my iPhone photography course and remembered that photography is the real issue, not the camera I use for it.
Still, it would feel nice to hold a real camera again. I could pretend that I am a reporter the way I was on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The newspaper sent me out on assignment with an early model Nikon Coolpix that took remarkably good photos.
The photo I liked best was of a mother whose son who had just graduated from the Job Corps program in Gulfport near the Seabee base. The mother had a faraway look in her eye as if she were dreaming about her son’s future. I caught the meaning of the graduation in the mother’s face, not the graduate’s. I wrote a good story, too.
That was fun, being a reporter. I drove the editor crazy by submitting dozens of changes to each story. I couldn’t submit it once and let it go. My creative juices were flowing, and I constantly thought of improvements while taking a shower or doing the dishes, turning the sentences over and over in my head.
I will go to the Biloxi Sun Herald website someday and pay to search its archives for some of my photos and stories.
Back to this incipient purchase of almost $400. Look at your iPhone, Eric. Isn’t that good enough for you? And it’s always in your pocket. How about a cooling off period? Eat lunch and mull it over. Come to your senses. Are you crazy, spending $400 on a camera you don’t need?