Sunday, October 01, 2006

First light

After 15 years, I took my cherished Nikon SLR out of my well-worn camera bag on Friday night and replaced it with a new one. I've been planning for this for ages, agonizing over models and specifications, waiting for the stars to align - and for my pennies to accumulate - so that I'd be comfortable with my final choice.

Once I got the new camera and lens home, I continued to agonize, this time over the first picture that I would take. Astronomers call it "first light". Whenever they build a new telescope or observatory, first light refers to the first image that it takes. It's usually fuzzy and not very significant. It's often used to calibrate the instrument and set the stage for more meaningful observations down the road. Yet it's the one that garners all the applause, that reveals to the world that this thing is indeed alive and vital.

I realize I know nothing about this pristine-yet-alien machine that now sits in my scuffed old camera bag. I realize it will take months for me to explore and internalize its controls, to commit their use to the muscle memory that so connected me to my old camera. Which makes its first light all the more difficult to plan. I want it to be a meaningful picture, one that sets the stage for all the amazing moments and scenes that I will capture in the years to come. But how can it be a good picture when I haven't yet mastered the device? A conundrum, for sure.

I ultimately decided that first light should feature my wife. She is the one who allows me to lag behind when a certain scene catches my eye. She tells me when my pictures are worth keeping, and why. She tells me when they're substandard. And why. She stands behind my rather oddball pursuits when pretty much everyone else would otherwise be calling me, well, an oddball. I wouldn't be able to shoot or write the things that I do if it weren't for her life-long influence and encouragement. My vision is my vision because she's been my guiding partner for what seems like forever.

So my camera's first light is a picture of my wife. She has been my muse, my filter, my sounding board, my best friend. In so many ways, I view life through her eyes. So it's only fitting that the first thing that I see through this new camera and lens is her.

I'm thrilled to share this image, and I hope everything I capture from here on out does her justice.

18 comments:

kenju said...

What beautiful big eyes you have, Morah Mommy!!

A fitting subject for the inaguration of a new camera, Carmi. Have fun with your new toy.

I have a Carmi-style photo tonight too.

Paul said...

Outstanding photo. Well written post. You done a good first light, for sure.

Star said...

Good choice Carmi. Have fun exploring the new camera.

daisy said...

What a sweetie you are!

srp said...

Both of you DO know how fortunate you are to have each other, don't you?

Have fun.

A Woman Changed said...

I keep looking at this photo and the same thought keeps popping into my mind: "Damn, she's got great skin!" LOL! Thanks for sharing, Carmi.

Wordnerd said...

Beautiful shot, beautiful post. I just love you guys!!!

Jennifer said...

She is beautiful, and you made a great choice :)

Theo said...

o you mushy lump! now you got me feeling all warm and fuzzy.

thanks...i guess.

and, congrats on the new window to the world.

cyndy said...

You know Carmi...you are truly an artist and finding beauty in words and photos...your wife is very pretty! I'm glad you think of her as your best friend. That's how I think of marriage also..best friends...sharing life together

Jennifer said...

That was really a beautiful post, I like that term-"first light". And your wife is beautiful.

blessings to you this week,
Jenny in Ca

Sandy said...

That was beautiful - the words and the photo. (And of course the subject)

Am I wrong? I look at this photo of your wife and I see your daughter in years to come. Do you see the resemblence?

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful post for such a beautiful wife :)

And SWEET camera!! It's okay that I'm just a wee bit jealous right?

Malinda777 said...

Such a special tribute. Your camera will now be blessed with your talent and her first light... may be a Pulitzer Prize in your future now with that beginning. :)

Ontario Emperor said...

Excellent photo. Much better than some boring old star...and much more meaningful.

utenzi said...

Congratulations on the new camera, Carmi. I know what you mean about the muscle memory thing. I've got my camera down pretty well now--it's 5 months old--but now I have to do the same thing with my car. It takes a while for your hands to get used to a new model, whatever the object is.

Zee said...

LOVE her eyes!

GMTA - I too pondered on what should be the first image with my new camera. :)

I look forward to more of your wonderful photos, Carmi.

Zee said...

Carmi, I forgot - congrats on your new camera!! :)