I don’t want to admit that I’m in mourning but frankly, I am. My Canon Powershot G2 is dead. Its second trip to the Canon repair shop in a span of three months this year confirmed that getting it fixed would cost as much as buying a brand new camera. Crestfallen, I pull my beloved out of the shop and decide to retire it for good. For several days it sits forlornly on the coffee table in my bedroom, still in the atrocious pink bubble wrap that the technician at Canon had dutifully covered it in. I must’ve sounded so dejected over the phone when told the bad news because I wasn’t even charged the standard P250 consultation fee.
My Canon Powershot G2 is the camera that I used to start Dessert Comes First. From the atrocity that I call my first photo ever (see above), a well-meaning flourless chocolate cake, I continued to shoot everything that I put into my mouth. Once, in an attempt to understand the camera’s Mode dial consisting of P, TV, AV, M, etc., I sat in a Sugarhouse and shot countless pictures of the coffee torte (see below) that I’d ordered. I didn’t even know what those letters stood for. Of course now I can talk confidently about aperture and shutter speed but photography is a horridly technical craft, not to mention a bottomless pit of expense. A conversation not too long ago with a professional photographer who was droning on about lens specifications and light diffusers left me longing for the time when I was that bright-eyed beginner in Sugarhouse who didn’t even know what the macro button was for.
Sometime in late 2005, I told an acquaintance that I was a “photographer.” I was feeling flush from thinking I knew it all about my camera. She gives me an ingratiating smile and tells me, “Darling, we all are,” while patronizingly patting my shoulder. It was a most humbling experience reminding me that I am first and foremost, a writer. Taking pictures of food is just a hobby.
Slowly and surely, in varying degrees of darkness and light, my pictures improved as my camera and I got to know each other better. Soon, my G2 and I were inseparable. With the words I wrote and the photos it took, we were a formidable team. I never minded that it was bulkier and not as sexy as its sleeker counterparts. Spotting it once during a coffee get together, my friend scoffs, “Gads Lor, could your camera be any bigger!” I grin, not in the least bit offended. I believe that unless you’re a private investigator, cameras aren’t meant to fit into one’s pocket. A little heft is best.
The past two weeks without my G2 was misery for me. I hated going out to eat with my big camera because it weighs a ton, for one, and more importantly it was too obtrusive. I don’t like to make a fuss when I’m out.
Yesterday, I decided that it was time to stop dwelling and move on. So I packed my G2 and all its accouterments in its original box and plastic wrappers (I’m awfully good at keeping the original packaging of stuff I buy) and buried the box deep in the back of my cabinet. As I closed the cabinet door, it occurred to me that it was a little silly perhaps to be grieving over the “passing” of a non-living object. I had the choice of getting it fixed, after all. But looking back at how my camera patiently worked with me to produce awesome photos and being instrumental in getting me to where I am now, how can I not feel sadness? My camera deserves to rest now.