It would have happened a few days ago: May 29th to be exact. We were touring one of the local universities here in Toronto, Ryerson. Several of us were preparing for a Symposium we’re presenting on June 11th, a series of discussions and presentations on “Redefining the Family” through LGBTQ experience (BrownPaperTickets, 2014). We wanted to make sure we had a good understanding of the rooms available, so were getting a tour. While on that tour, without even noticing, I took the photo at right: the twenty thousandth picture with my current camera. I apparently took the first shot on July 26th, 2011… which averages out to 19.3 pictures per day, for nearly three years. (That three tenths of a picture every day was difficult…)
The reason this was significant was that I was thinking back to when I first bought my digital camera, and I was trying to justify the expense. At the time, I was developing a roll of film (20 pictures) every week, and it was getting expensive. Even today: film is $5.00 per roll, and processing/printing is $12.00 at Walgreens. That’s $17.00 per roll, never mind the time involved in the process. I figured, at that rate, I’d pay for the new digital camera in just over a year, since there is no developing required. As it is, I’m taking more pictures (at least 5 times as many as I used to), so it’s definitely been worth it.
Back when I was in high school was the last time I felt this free to take pictures. At the time I was working with black & white, doing all my own processing and printing, so it was as economical as it could get. I got some great pictures from that time: mostly because I didn’t mind making mistakes or trying experiments and seeing how the camera settings worked. Less than half of the pictures actually worked… but one in ten turned out great. That was how I learned. Colour was less forgiving and more expensive, so I tried less, and eventually just accepted the way things were. Until digital. With the digital camera I’m back to that perspective of experimentation and playing and trying new things. And I have the twenty thousand pictures to prove it.