May 23, 2009

The Luddite goes digital

I've done it. I've gone digital. I've been building up to this decision for a few years now (really), and I've made the move. I just invested in a Canon EOS Rebel XSi and have spent the past few days getting used to the new machine. I'm hoping to fall in love with it.

Today I took my two gorgeous, circa-1974, steel-body Nikon Nikkormats -- cameras that have circumnavigated the globe with me many times, steadfastly delivering quality images of the planet's most wondrous places -- and mothballed them. It was a hard thing to do, which is why I've been putting it off for years. Those trustworthy friends, my tough little workhorses, have accompanied me to the tops of mountains and bottoms of canyons, through big cities and across endless open spaces, at latitidues and longitudes the world over, capably chronicling for me every amazing mile. They've earned their rest, I guess, but that doesn't make it easy to say goodbye.

So, Canon Rebel, you've got some big shoes to fill. Your first travel test will be in Paris in July, and I'm expecting great things from you.

While I'm nostalgic for my hefty, indestructible Nikons with their film that turns into prints and slides that you can hold in your hand and keep forever in boxes and closets, I have already found that the no-film-required technology has me shooting more pictures. I turn the camera on and shoot and shoot and shoot. I spent yesterday shooting buildings in the historic district in my hometown. For the 20 years I've lived in this town I've been promising to load up the cameras and photograph the district, but I never got around to it.

Until I went digital.