My Semi-Lucid Camera


No this is NOT a selfie!

As I continue to explore the new paths in our neighborhood, I like to have my camera on my hip.  I don’t have a fancy camera, but I have had it for over 4 years.  I have used this camera for SO many things:

  • I have taken pictures of the kids at so many different sporting events, fairs, and other activities.
  • It has gone on many vacations with the family.  It was fastened to my hip for most of our trip to China last year.
  • I have taken lots of videos of the kids blowing out candles, cooking food, doing quirky human tricks, and a variety of other oddball things that only I would consider entertaining.
  • I have taken work pictures for eBay, blogs, and whatever other place I needed.  I probably through in quite a few videos as well!

As my camera has aged, our affection (I like to think it is shared, but I know he just thinks of me as the annoying guy who pushes his buttons and yanks out his guts [the SD card and the rechargeable battery]) has grown.  I have relied on him for all of those special moments that words just would not be able to do justice to.  This was how our relationship went for the past few years until last week.  He started letting me down more often then not.  I missed a few key shots:

  • The chickens wandering in the front yard along my walk route.  There was no fence or anything.  Even telling you now, you are going, “Really?  There were chickens wandering without a fence.  If you had a picture, I might believe you!”
  • At the cross country meet, I went to snap a few pictures, but the camera still needed to take a nap or something….

Well, I am not stupid.  I thought to myself, “I have never bought a new battery for this camera.  Certainly that is the problem.”  Two days later, I was able to test this theory when the new battery arrived.  Initially, I thought it was more than the battery.  After I charged the battery, I popped it into the camera and grew to expect this type of result when I wanted to take a picture:

  1. I turned the camera on and prepared to take my picture.
  2. After waiting for the camera to come to life, I aimed it at my intended target.
  3. I was usually greeted by the lense being sucked back into the camera with no desire to help me capture any memories.

Starting this morning (the day after I bought a new camera online w/ an expected delivery tomorrow), the camera seemed to be embarrassed by its recent behavior.  It was cooperating about 50% of the time. (As an example, it only took 3 tries to take my first picture.)  By the time I got to my 2nd and 3rd desired picture, the camera was “almost” reliable.  At my 4th picture, it did make me try twice, but it took the picture without complaining again and it seemed to be ready for more.  (It was not easy, but I kind of pictured a dog who was trying to please—his tongue was hanging out and all of his body language was saying, “Let me help.  I want to play.”)

At this point, this camera, at best, will be my backup.  I am not sure if it is rethinking the whole “death” idea, or if the internal battery needed extra time to recharge off of the newly acquired battery.  Whatever the problem was or is, now that the camera has broken my trust, this camera will….soon be in the trash heap.  (I completed the last few words after the recent adventure at the state fair.)

At the Texas State Fair, the camera was on my hip, but the camera was barely lucid.  He acted like he just left a sanitarium and had no idea what he was supposed to do.  He would stick his tongue out at me, and quickly pull it back in.  (The lense would quickly suck back in as I tried to take the pictures.)  He would pretend to take pictures and leave me disappointed later when I could not find the pictures I was certain he had committed to memory.  He was not reliable, and without a good camera, I am better enjoying the moment then fooling around with an electronic device that has made different career plans.

The camera, when acting according to its DNA, takes pictures.  Not being an artist, my brain needs a good image to remember all of the subtle details of the camera captured event.  A good picture can add color to an otherwise boring description provided by a somewhat overburdened brain.  While my active memories only seem available in black and white images, a camera captured image from MY camera can provide my brain the adrenaline boost it needs to propel my descriptions into a color palette that make the events seem like it just occurred.

Fortunately, the new camera awaited me on the front porch when I got home from the fair.  It is a little bulkier, and it only came with a manual in Japanese.  In its first outing (daughter’s cross country meet), it appears to know what it was designed to do.  If it gives me a few years of mostly lucid service, I am eager to trust it with helping me preserve some amount of the past…regardless of how lucid I am when the pictures are reviewed.




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