Friday, January 11, 2008

Goodbye

I remember the time when Tatay asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I said, almost without thinking, “A digital camera.”

I needed a moment to process what I had just said, and for a while, I truly wondered if I wanted to have one. I figured I might turn out to be a good photographer. I had seen a handful of photographs, even edited some for school projects, so I said why don’t I give it a try?

I waited for my father’s expression. It was mysterious, like it has always been—the kind that made me think if he heard me right or if he was thinking about something else.

But one day, while we were walking around the mall, he said yes. I was thrilled with the idea that I kept toying with visions of Lance, The Photographer, in my head.

It took me a while to make up my mind on which model to buy, but I ended up with a Kodak C340—something I chose because I fell in love with it the moment I tried it. It was a thing of beauty. Image quality was up to 5 megapixels (which, during that time, was one of the highest), the scene settings seemed to work, and the LCD screen looked neat.

I took my camera with me during the great moments of my life—idle times in the laboratory, prayer meetings, org activities, and school breaks. Even during the onset of drudgery, I used it to photograph my daily life—boring, yes, but it’s my life anyway.

My Kodak made me see things at a different perspective—and I say that literally and figuratively. In a sense, my impulse was to look at objects, landscapes, and people at different angles. The constant question playing in my head was, “Would they look good in a photo?” In another sense, my camera made me read between the lines. The object being photographed ceased to be a mere subject—suddenly it had character, it had a message to preach, it had a feeling to show the moment I took a shot of it.

I can say that my camera introduced me to photography. I learned something about good photos and bad photos. I somehow knew what focal length, exposure time, shutter speed, composition, and color balance meant—terms I wouldn’t have minded if I didn’t have the gadget.

But I also learned that photography is a huge, colorful world, somewhere I’d like to find myself in as well. It’s a way of life—a form of thinking.

It shouldn’t be a wonder then that I feel so stupid, so mindless, and so weak for having lost it. Yes, my Kodak is lost. I took it with me to class on Monday. When I went home, it was nowhere to be found. I did have my moments of sighing. I did blame myself for what happened. But what more could I do?

But I praise God anyway. For about two years, I had the chance to immerse myself, albeit shortly, in the art of photography—to take snapshots of His awesome creation whose real beauty can never be captured by even the best cameras in the world.

The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away.

But, as I remember my camera, I call to mind the first moment I held it in my hand and took this first shot—and boy, it felt good:

New camera

5 comments:

  1. talaga, kuya lance? woah, sayang...

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  2. Awwww! Lance. That's ok. (Pat on the back)

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  3. I know the feeling... I lost mine after a week or so... toinksh...

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  4. My condolences, Lance. I did get to handle your camera once in a while, and I would miss it too. hehe.

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  5. @ rem: thanks for the concern.

    @ poy: thanks poy.

    @ razel: now i know how you felt. nakakamiss no?

    @ k. jordan: we had almost the same cam. don't lose yours. hehehe.

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