Death of a Camera

September 8, 2008

Having been a tourist in other cities, I occasionally find myself looking at my own city through different eyes. Its more than a comparison thing. Its about appreciating architecture, artwork, town planning, gardens or nature that I pass everyday and would normally have taken for granted. 

Today as I drove past the Potter Gallery I felt the urge to take a photo of the massive haphazard sculpture protruding from its front wall, and looking dazzling in the morning sun. Similarly, there is a new building going up close to Melbourne Uni which has striking angles and a bizarre use of colour (large spots to be precise). As I walked to my office, I found the perspective of looking upwards at the building towards the crane on its roof and clouds beyond really interesting. At moments like these I would reach for my camera.

I usually keep my camera in my bag permanently. It was a lovely little Canon with a wide screen at the back for play-back. There is a little pocket into which it fits perfectly in my Catherine Manuell shoulder bag. This I carry every day, and have done so for years. My Catherine Manuell shoulder bag incidentally has become sun bleached through constant use, especially during our summer holiday in Italy last year where we experienced a heat wave, Italian style. And my camera was always there…

… except for today. And yesterday. And last week.

I took it ski touring and put it in the front pocket of my jacket. I rarely fall when skiing. However, the weather had closed in on the second day of our tour. We navigated across the Fainters in white-out conditions and constant heavy rain. It took us almost two hours to navigate the two hundred meters across the Fainter’s ridge. This was a hairy situation to say the least. And it was not a good time to find out that my waterproof gear, which I realised was twenty years old, was no longer waterproof! leaving me wet to the bone in high winds!! I expended a lot of energy in the careful skiing we had to do in these white-out conditions. When we hit the relative safety of the fire track my fatigued legs could hardly hold a snow plow. For the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long I relearnt how it felt to fall over in the snow carrying a heavy pack. For those of you who haven’t experienced it, its like a double head plant. First you hit the deck and then your pack slams you in to make sure of it.

The front pocket of my jacket ended up with a little reservoir of water in it! This was the environment my poor camera endured.

I dropped my camera in the Dordogne River last year. A little bit of hair drying was all it needed to recover from being wet. However, this time, it wasn’t a case of a quick dip. The camera had been sitting in the pocket reservoir for the length of a working day, and had also suffered under the impact of my falls.

It has not recovered. I miss it.

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4 Responses to “Death of a Camera”

  1. trousers said

    I know what you mean about viewing your own city differently when you’ve been elsewhere. I’ve lived in my own city (I don’t mean that I own it..) for nearly two decades, yet anytime I ever return from a city holiday abroad, I come back and see a vastly different place – because I remember to look up, look around.

    So sad about the camera – will you be able to replace it with the same/a similar model?

  2. JC said

    You’ll have to get another camera asap!

    Your ski trip sounds a bit scary for me – and would involve more energy than I’ve got that’s for sure!

    Time to get some new waterproofs too? Reminds me of when I went for a long walk in the rain last year and came back to the car to find keys and remote thingy for the car were sitting in a puddle of water in my “waterproof” jacket pocket. Surprisingly the remote did still work but I took it all apart and dried it out to be on the safe side.

  3. ejenne said

    Refreshing, isn’t it trousers! its one of the added benefits of travel.

    … thank you for your condolences. x

  4. ejenne said

    Hi JC. I think you’re right. Time to stop mourning. Time to start looking for younger relatives of my camera to take its place.

    … and time to invest in new goretex.

    These electronic gadgets like car zappers are great, but they do make life slightly more complicated, don’t they?

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