I fish A LOT. I drive A LOT. I hike some. I learned long ago that if you spend any amount of time in the outdoors that you are sure to encounter a situation that causes you to say to yourself: “I wish I had a camera”. One of the first things I did after joining the Navy was to purchase as decent-quality 35mm film camera (This was in the days just prior to the digital revolution.) and a great big telephoto lens. I carried that thing in a camera bag all around the world with me. In fact, it had so much time on board my aircraft that screws would loosen and fall out due to constant vibration of the 4 turbo-props on the P-3 Orion. I snapped pics of everything from Soviet submarines off the coast of Florida to a row of drunk guys urinating on the wall of the Governor’s “mansion” at 3:00am in Lajes, Azores. Ahhh…good times…
When in college, I down-graded to a little film camera, kind of the precursor to those disposable ones we see everywhere today. On a tight budget, buying and processing film was a real drag, so was keeping the thing dry in a boat. I still managed to take pics of some great outdoor exploits such as the 12 lb. Atlantic Salmon I caught while fishing for river smallies in Orono and the alien from Alpha Centauri I met at a party in a dorm room.
In 2000, I purchased my first digital beast. It was big, bulky, heavy and used those 3.5″ floppy disks as film! It would hold 5-7 pics in the .87 Mega pixel resolution. Pretty nasty by today’s digital standard (today, cell phones have better cameras!), but it enabled me to add photography to my digital/computer repertoire. The rest, as they say they say, is history. I’ve upgraded the camera a time or two since then and currently use something that takes pictures somewhat comparable in quality to the 35mm I started with 20 years ago. It will hold 200+ pictures on a chip the size of a postage stamp! With it, I’ve taken literally thousands of pictures. When you divide that number of pics by the cost of the camera it amounts to something like .03 cents each! Try THAT with film.
Anyhow. I was fishing with two buddies two nights ago when the importance of having a camera reared its’ ugly head. Sometimes, if you spend enough time on a lake, you will find yourself in a situation where the fish are biting so well, and they are so large that…well…you wish you had a camera! Of course, I’d forgotten it. I could have had a picture of the largest smallmouth a someone had ever caught AND one of the biggest and most beautiful Brook Trout another had caught/we’d ever seen. I blew it. There are a lot of things I have to remember on my way out the door, but the camera is usually number one on my list of priorities.
If you spend time outdoors, do yourself a favor and go pick up a camera. Anything from those disposable ones to the latest digital dream camera will work. Find one that you like and start using it. You won’t be sorry!
Digital Photography Review is a great place to find, research and compare just about every digital camera on the market since the 1990’s. If you are thinking of purchasing a camera, go here and do your homework first.