For many, a camera is used to document. It captures birthdays, friends, and unforgettable moments. For others, it is a medium to see the world and visually represent it. It is what a paintbrush is to a painter or an instrument to a musician: the means by which the photographer expresses.
As a $6800 professional-grade full-frame DSLR, I belong to the second camp. Mark is my owner and I am one of two cameras that accompany him on his assignments around the world.
I’ve toured Africa atop elephants, enclosed within a plastic shell to swim with sharks in the Pacific, and photographed Indian children in the streets of Mumbai. I’ve braved the ruthless cold of the Himalayas and endured the relentless heat of the Israeli desert. Because of me, Mark has gone places he wouldn’t otherwise go and met people he wouldn’t otherwise meet. Every time we set out, there’s no telling what kind of adventure we’ll have.
Mark is a quiet man. Behind his black-rimmed glasses are dynamic blue eyes; he is constantly perceptive and keenly observant of everything around him. Now in his early forties, he is beginning to show his age. The same goes for me. Internally I run strong but on the outside I carry blemishes, each one with a story to tell. A scratch in front of my hotshoe mount from banging against the motorcycle in Cagnes-sur-Mer during the Tour de France, a spot on my screen from when Mark slipped while hiking up the Carpathian Mountains, and originally black corners worn silver from frequent usage.
I am a very different camera from when I was first unboxed just as Mark is a very different man from when he first picked me up. We’ve grown together, and I have come to appreciate his extraordinary photographic eye just as much as he has come to appreciate my state-of-the-art low-light performance and razor-sharp autofocus.
Currently, we are stationed in Russia preparing for the winter olympics. Mark laid all of his gear (me included) across his bed to check that everything is in good working condition. He sits in the corner of the room with his laptop reviewing information for tomorrow’s alpine skiing races.
Another day ahead, and many more photos to be taken.
[about the BLL project]
Since I don’t start Accenture until September, I’ve got some free time on my hands. One of the ways I’ve decided to use this period is to exercise my creative writing with a mini-series focusing on everyday objects around us. My goal is to imagine what the things around us, such as our smartphones, would say if they could speak. Through these short stories, I’ll offer my commentary on how these objects affect our lives.