Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My New Baby!!

Alright, so I mentioned I finally got that digital SLR I've been pining for since... well, a long time. Here's the abbreviated, heart-wrenching story:

My sophomore year of high school, I signed up for a photography elective, kind of on a whim. I'd always liked taking pictures, so I figured it'd be fun but there wasn't much more to it than that.

Little did I know those old hunks of metal would become my first experience of falling head over heels in love. I was utterly intoxicated by the magic of photography, of freezing light, of taking a person or a moment and holding it forever. I could wax poetic about photography for a long time, but I'll spare you. Suffice it to say, I was hooked. Photography is lighting in a bottle, and I wanted more.

By the time I graduated from high school, I had managed to collect three high-quality film SLRs (Moses, Jezabel, and Elijah, Canons all), and my hands were chronically chapped from all the darkroom chemicals. The frustration and triumph of exposing, developing, and drying the same frame six different times just to see what an extra two seconds in the developer would do was addiciting.

I started college as a photojournalism major. By the end of my first semester, I realized two things: that I was simply not naturally talented enough to get into the tiers of photography I would have to be in to satisfy my mania, and that I was not willing to do what it would take to get there anyway -- all my information told me being the kind of photographer I wanted to be was hell on your personal life. So I switched to education. At the same time, I became quite poor (yay, college!) and could no longer afford to support my habit (buying and processing film is expensive). Photography dropped out of my life for a while, until I got my first digital point-and-shoot (and the second, both of which I have literally used to death, both also Canons).

I resisted digital for a long time, both because the quality was not remotely comprable to film until very recently, and because I thought it was cheating -- honestly, I still think taking the darkroom out of the process kills half the fun, but I've accepted it's just a different kind of hobby. Finally, after months and months of saving and a very generous Christmas, I was able to get this Canon Rebel XSi. Her name is Guadalupe Luz, or Lupita.

In case anyone was unclear: I am a little excited about this aquisition.

Below are a self-portrait of my girl and a few choice frames from our first shoot, followed by a slide show of some others. On a side note, that shrine is our backyard here in Brownsville (I love the randomness of my life. I really do). Lupita and I are getting used to each other. I've had four other SLRs and two other digitals, but she's my first digital SLR. It's like learning to drive a new sports car when you've only had SUVs and towncars.

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