Yesterday I said goodbye to an old friend. A friend that’s been with me for an awfully long time, almost since the beginning of my professional career. A friend that has been a trusted companion and helped me to get to where I am today. A friend that I never really considered the significance of until it was time to say farewell.
The friend I speak of is my old camera which yesterday I handed over to a new owner. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but to me (and I suspect a lot of other photographers) it’s a strangely melancholy moment. It was my first truly professional quality camera, the sort of camera I’d dreamt of owning since I was 14. In fact I’d dreamt of owning that exact camera since my final year of university when, after two and a half years of studying primarily film photography my tutor first told me about it: the Canon 1DS Mk ii, the camera that was about to flip the analogue world of professional photography on its head. I think I pretty much started saving there and then, desperate for the day I would finally own one. When that day finally arrived it was one of the proudest of my career.
Over the following years that camera captured so many monumental moments with me, and as a photographer I grew massively with its help. A camera does not define a photographer, indeed if you gave two photographers the exact same camera side by side they would inevitably take a completely different photograph, but it can enhance or limit the possibilities of that picture. Having a great camera didn’t make me a great photographer but it did take away any excuse not to be and that more than anything is what drove me to improve.
Eventually though even with my “ultimate camera” I started to see limitations, and that is the true mark of how far Liam and I had come. With the march of technology we eventually had to upgrade and in recent times the camera has been reduced to my trusty backup, sadly mostly languishing in it’s bag. It’s replacement offered even better opportunities but on some levels I’ve almost longed for a reason to go to my backup, just for the joy of shooting on the old workhorse again. My current camera is great, but it really is just a tool and I don’t think I will ever feel the same way about it as I did about my old Mk ii.
But with further upgrades making it redundant it’s been too much of a friend to me and too fantastic a tool to leave it gathering dust, and so after serving me so well for so long it has now finally found a new home. Not just any home though, the new woman in its life has met it before and already has a firm bond with it. It is after all the camera that shot her own wedding! I love that something that meant so much to me has been passed on to someone who it also means a lot to, and I hope it serves her as well as it has served me.
Farewell old friend.
Just a few of my favourite pics from the old Canon 1DS Mk ii from it’s first Indian wedding : )