The Value of Light

My camera broke three days before we left for vacation and I felt as if someone told me I couldn't bring my arm with me. I tried having the following argument with myself: maybe this means you're (I speak to myself in the third person) supposed to step out from behind the lens and experience life instead of recording it.

It didn't work. (Mainly because that argument is a crock.)

My camera does not cause me to separate from the events around me at all. The reality is just the opposite. My camera causes me to engage deeply in what I see. Tiny moments that may have otherwise gone unnoticed become forever etched in the colors of my memory and large overwhelming events are suddenly broken down into manageable pieces.

I walk through days of usual and ordinary and I see things that are anything but. Light becomes a commodity when you're a photographer and it takes on shapes and forms that brighten even the darkest days.

So I tried another approach.

I dug out my old Canon and one prime lens and I shot entirely in manual the whole week. I wanted to see what would happen if I was limited by my equipment and returned to the basics.

And wouldn't you know? I learned something.


I learned that it's me who makes the pictures, not my camera. I am the artist and my camera is my tool. It's my paintbrush or mound of clay.

So do I miss my Nikon? Hell yes. But does it matter?

Not at all.