Ducks in My Photograph
By Rach, Moonraker Photography
When I was six, I was given a camera for Christmas. It was only a little thing - cheap and cheerful - but it took real photos and was extremely easy for me to use. Possibly too easy, as I used to fill my films up with all sorts of nonsense - though to be fair, the film cartridges it took did only take 15 pictures (16 or 17 if you got lucky!) - but it was fun and it let me document my life and my adventures. Hot air balloons and ducks. Swans. Boating in Norfolk.
I'm not sure how old I was when I got my second camera - it might have been a tenth birthday present - but it was an upgrade. Real film, 35mm, with a better lens - though still a point and shoot. No zoom. But that was okay; I was still learning and it was perfect for that. It went on school trips and holidays and took pictures of places as far apart as the Lake District and Jerusalem.
When I was sixteen, I upgraded again. This time to an SLR - first time with a big camera. First time with a zoom lens. Photos of cricket matches where the players - finally! - weren't just blobs of white against a sea of green. It was a tricky camera though. If you didn't get the film loaded just right, you lost the whole lot. There were a few bouts of tears when that happened.
The digital revolution started. My first digital camera was a little pocket one, the same size as my second camera, but came with a few bells and whistles. Even a little zoom - though it really wasn't great! Photos of friends. Ducks. Cats - the internet had arrived and cat photos had become a thing, though mine never felt good enough to share or meme.
In between whiles, I flirted with disposable cameras for events where I didn't want to risk losing my real cameras. They were cheap and cheerful, true, but they also allowed for good quality shots, if you took them right. Australia's Gold Coast and Sydney looked particularly stunning. University hockey club dinners, rather less so!
The SLR finally died. So another upgrade came: more bells than my first digital camera; a lot fewer whistles than a full dSLR. The training wheels were starting to come off. Kölner Dom and sundry Weihnachtsmarktes; Koalas and Waschbären. Rosslyn Chapel and the Forth Bridge, too, and an absolute squadron of ducks in Northumbria!
I finally moved up to a dSLR when my father died - his camera became mine, though perhaps because it wasn't entirely my choice, I never did get on well with it. Still there were flowers to photograph, yet more ducks and landscapes.
So to today. My current camera's a Nikon dSLR. It's comfortably my favourite camera so far - definitely the easiest to use out of the (d)SLR-type cameras (no pesky film to mis-load; no weird memory card format [I still vividly recall trying to convince a German shopkeeper that yes, I really DID want an xD card not an sD - my German accent might be awful but I know what card my camera takes!]) and being a Nikon, it's reasonably easy to upgrade without needing to get a whole new camera.
And what photos do I see in my future? Well, that's a good question...but there'll probably be some ducks amongst them!