From time to time when Zack and I were exploring the island during his visit he would gripe about the quality of his digital camera and how he wanted to get a better one - I'm probably not a very sympathetic audience as the one I have is very cheap as well. I bought it for $120 in a Walmart in Oregon last year on a motorcycle trip from Alaska to Maine when I realized the $40 35mm camera I had wasn't going to cut the mustard. I began by putting it in a plastic bag in my leather vest inside pocket; eventually I stopped using the plastic bag, and now I just tuck it in my jeans pocket. After thousands of pictures and two trips across the US on a motorcycle in all kinds of weather, tons of dog walks and hikes on hills and beaches with grit and sand, it makes an odd grinding noise when the lens extends on power-up and sometimes refuses to work at all but I've grown rather fond of it and have no plans to upgrade until it dies completely. It frustrates me no end it doesn't have very good zoom ability - no Harlequin duck closeups :o( - and I can afford better but to me, the camera is part of the process. When you have a cheap camera you have to work a bit harder to get what you want and be willing to compromise - but the one thing I've learned about any material possession is that the wanting is always better than the having . . . . and the mental pictures taken when you are truly paying attention to the moment are always better than anything from a camera. I vividly remember riding with my brother last fall from Niagara Falls to his place in Maine, two days of great riding on twisty roads through balsam fir forests, senses sharpened by the fresh air, totally in sync with the road, both instantly braking for a deer bounding in the road and then back on the gas. I have pictures from that time but nothing compares to what I really saw during that time.
I guess what got me thinking along these lines was looking through the pictures taken during Zack's visit - nothing compares to how nice it was to have him here. Miss you already son, hope the king crab made it home safe - love you, Dad.
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