My first camera was a Sony Mavica. A digital masterpiece which recorded pictures on a floppy disk. I was drowned in computers those days and for me it was just a small computer that could take pictures. I loved it. I took pictures all the time. I mean really all the time. Or was I just hitting the shutter-button all the time?
On the picture is a windmill in Heusden. A small town in The Netherlands. We Dutch are really handy with these mills. The wind (we have a lot) makes the mill turning around and that movement we use. Mostly for pumping water. We have a lot of that too. I wanted to change that. I wanted to let the mill make the wind. Then it still would be a windmill. But the other way around. It took me a lot of thinking and almost an hour to take this one single picture. In 1981 I took roughly 300 pictures per hour. Without thinking.
The Sony Mavica. That’s 1981. I wasn’t into photography back then. Taking pictures was time-consuming and a lot of hassle. And the thing I would take a picture of was right in front of me. I could see it with my own eyes. So why make a copy of that? I didn’t get it. The Mavica was great. You took a picture, you saw how bad the picture was on the little screen, deleted it and just took another one. And another one. Until a version was acceptable and then you took the floppy out and put it into the computer. And there it was. Your least bad picture, right on your screen. Magic.
After that there were many more camera’s. Point and shoots, zoom-thingies, hybrid-monsters and finally… the smartphone. And back to the endless shutter-button assault. Actually, there’s no real shutter-button anymore. You just hit the phone wherever you want and the thing takes a picture. Within five years from now you think you want to take a picture… and it takes a picture.
Some years ago I got my hands on a sweet deal for a proper DSLR. A Nikon D90. Used but in mint condition. You can’t make phone calls with it. So that was a bummer. But it’s a great tool for taking pictures. And the thing is so bulky and heavy, you think twice before you hang it down your neck. And that’s what I was missing for decades. The thinking before taking a picture.