Shutterbug Title


Hemiptera - Emory Collection

How I Was Bitten

I was bitten quite late by the shutter bug. I had an Olympus Pen when I was a child but rarely used it because of the cost of film processing. I also didn't like the delay between taking the snap and seeing what you got. By the time I got the prints back I had forgotten what I was trying to do anyway and this made it difficult to learn.

Then in 2001 I had to get a digicam in order produce websites. I took a wild punt, not knowing what I was doing, and got the Kodak DX3600. Now I can see how lucky I was: for its time it was a brilliant point and shoot machine. I loved the immediacy of the digicam process, and the quality of all shots taken outdoors with this machine. Unfortunately it was mediocre indoors, hamstrung by its fully automatic, point and shoot mentality. I didn't know it then but I now realise that had it had decent manual control it could have performed quite well in low-light.

However I still wasn't really bitten. Although I was using the camera a lot it was still just a tool to do my work.

By 2005 it was increasingly obvious that I had to upgrade. I was aware that resolution had increased greatly and I could no longer tolerate the DX3600's unacceptable low-light performance. I didn't know the magnitude of the difference between real SLRs and pretend SLRs. In my ignorance I bought a Fuji S5600, which promised everything but delivered rubbish. Fortunately my dealer accepted that I wasn't happy and offered me a refund. He also offered to let me try another camera in the price range. I tried the Canon A610.

I tried it and was immediately happy. It did everything that I expected and more. The more I experimented with it, the more impressed I became. It passed every test I threw at it and I quickly decided to buy it. I fell in love with it.


And then in early 2008 the A610 died, as detailed in the camera section and I bought a Canon 400D which caused me 5 months of trouble and misery until I tried a Nikon D60 and was happy again. Since then I have had a succession of SLRs, compacts and phone cameras and have processed and stored away in excess of 30,000 photographs and I delight in viewing these regularly.

However, the troubles with equipment, manufacturers and people, have disillusioned me and soured the whole process. It's hard to find people and things that you can trust in photography and it's a harsh and complicated business. It's a long, long way to the bottom of it where the truth lies and the path is lined with fools, rogues and liars. I know how it works now, and how to get what I want, but I'm a sadder, wiser man. The joy I felt when I had just been bitten I will never recapture, like a honeymoon, it is gone forever, in it's place the quiet satisfaction of a job well done.

The Shutterbug sleeps, secure in the knowledge that I have been bitten but good. Maybe it will flame into new life in the future. Perhaps it will be a new lens? perhaps a holiday? perhaps an assignment? Something will happen, and there are always photos to be shot, every day, any day.