There are only certain types of shopping that are bearable, in my opinion. I love shopping for gifts, craft supplies and, if I have money, for clothes. But I loathe shoe shopping and I could happily do without grocery shopping if someone volunteered to do it for me. I'm also not big on shopping with other people, unless it's my mom or TSC. I've never been one to go shopping with my girl friends. Not sure why.
I try to avoid window shopping most of the time because it just makes me want things I can't afford. But if I do window shop, you'll normally find me looking at certain things - house stuff (furniture, soft finishings and DIY materials), camping gear, garden stuff (I want a water feature!) and camera stuff.
Why camera stuff? Well, I have a beautiful old manual SLR and a few years back I did a creative photography course through the Cape Town School of Photography, which was awesome. I got some really nice shots. My favourite was a series I shot with long exposure times in an almost entirely dark room of TSC fighting with himself (it looks like two ghosts boxing) themed "internal conflict". I didn't have an external flash back then, but I loved the result and actually framed some of the shots in series - they're hanging in our breakfast area.
But film is expensive to process, especially when you don't know whether half your shots are worth printing or not (that said, there is something magical about seeing the photos all glossy and printed for the first time and finding the occasional absolutely perfect image).
I also lent my photography course notes to a friend and never got them back, and without practising, I've forgotten all the ins and outs of my manual camera.
So I've been dreaming of a digital SLR camera for the past few years. Then, for my birthday this year, I got the most wonderful present - a Nikon DSLR D3000. I immediately booked myself on a photography course with the College of Digital Photography and my first lesson was last night.
I showed up with my camera, manual and batteries fully charged, knowing that mine would not be the most expensive camera in the room and that there would be people with a variety of lenses and more advanced camera bodies there.
What I was not expecting was to be sent home with a shopping list! Apparently, I need a UV filter (I have one for my other camera, but it doesn't fit this new lens), an SD card reader (I shouldn't be connecting my camera directly to my PC - if lighting or a surge strikes, it could damage my camera), a spare SD card (I only have the one that came with the camera), an external harddrive (I have one for my work stuff, but should apparently have a separate one for pics) and a better tripod (preferably a Manfrotto, which I could expect to pay up to R3000 for, and that's just the basic one).
Those, apparently, are the essentials. The optional extras include a cable release, an infrared remote, Photoshop Elements (or, if one has R9 000 to throw around, Photoshop CS) and then, of course, a selection of lenses.
Eep! This is an expensive hobby.
There's no way I could ever afford all of these things. Thankfully, because I'm hoping to make photography part of my journalism services (taking the occasional head shot of whomever I'm interviewing), my business should be able to cover one or two of the "necessities". So, this weekend, I will be scouring our local electronics and camera stores for a UV filter, card reader and any good deals on external hard drives.
While I'm not looking forward to spending the money, it will be nice to actually buy something camera-related after dreaming about it and window shopping for so long!
Here are some of my film pics I've scanned in for you (not the best - those are already framed)...