I almost never buy souvenirs when I travel. My photos are always my souvenir. Well, that and the experience itself. Sometimes I print them, mostly I don’t, but I’d much rather have the photos than tchotchkes.
Which is why I was frustrated to no end today when my camera gave out. As I mentioned yesterday, it poured here in Dublin. I had my camera out, taking photos, as I do. But then it turned off and that was it. Last night I managed to get it to turn back on again after a thorough dry-out. Relief. I went on a tour to the Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, and Galway today and upon arriving at the Cliffs, I pulled out my camera, turned it on, and nothing. Then I got a battery error. So I swapped out the battery. Took a picture. Got another error. Lens connection is faulty. I take off the lens, reattach. Nothing. The weather was terrible and my hands were freezing and my camera wouldn’t even turn on so I could get a few shots of this awesome view.
Such. A. Letdown.
Part of the fun in traveling, for me, is to try to capture the essence of a particular place. I love freezing those memories so when I’m old and grey and senile, I’ll be able to look back at the adventures I’ve had. Plus it’s fun to share them with friends and family - I hear some of them have inspired some friends to go off and travel on their own. Nothing better.
So my technology failed me today and I wasn’t able to do what I came for. Sure, I still got to see the Cliffs. And, to be fair, I had my phone with me, so I snapped about 100 shots on my Nexus 5 in hopes that I’ll be able to salvage one of them, but the quality just isn’t the same. The depth of field isn’t there. The color range is mediocre at best. But I’m going to miss out on one of the best parts: Reliving the trip once I get home and edit my photos. I was tempted to go to Belfast and the Giants Causeway tomorrow, but there’s no way I’m going without a proper camera.
Maybe it sounds weird not to go somewhere because I don’t have the right equipment. In fact, it is weird. But these are places I’ve seen photos of since I was a kid. Places I’ve been wanting to visit for as long as I can remember. I would be so sad to go and not be able to do it justice and capture some awesome photos of my own.
I guess it just gives me another excuse to come back here.
I’ve been watching Casey Neistat’s vlogs for the last 9-10 months or so, and one thing that always fascinates me about him is his willingness to completely kill his equipment in the process of getting the shot he wants. To him his cameras (and most other things) are just tools to help him achieve his mission/express himself. It’s helped me to treat my things as less precious. I’m not a particularly materialistic person, but I do like to take care of the things I do have. Sure, it helps to the financial resources to back up his mindset - if he breaks his camera, or loses his phone, or does something to his laptop, he just runs out to buy another.
I’m not quite in that position. In fact, I don’t know when I’m going to get to replace this camera. The most annoying part is it’s not even that old. I took it on a few trips, but generally, it’s been at home in a box collecting dust because I didn’t want to risk such an expensive camera while traveling. Oh the irony.
But it is just a tool. It is something that’s replaceable. At least I didn’t fall off the side of the cliff. At the same time, though, I expect my tools to serve their function. When it’s time for them to do their job, they need to be ready to do it. My shitty camera phone survived a rainstorm that a $1000+ camera couldn’t handle.
I suppose mostly I’m disappointed. Disappointed in Canon. In the build quality. In the fact that it failed me when I needed it. I’ve never had a problem with a camera before. Ever. And I’ve put my cameras through a lot. This is probably where I need to remind myself of Casey’s approach to things. I had to put my camera at risk to get the shots I wanted. And I got burned this time. But how many other shots have I gotten in the past that worked out? Win some, lose some. It just sucks to lose some when you’re in another country for 4 days seeing things you’ve always wanted to see. And not when you’re at home taking pictures of the sunset from the balcony.
Tomorrow is my last day here. There are 1-2 other places I want to check out. And I may swing by the Kilmainham Gaol (the jail where the executed the leaders of the Easter Rebellion). I’m not too sure how I feel about going to the jail. After visiting to the genocide museum in Cambodia, I’m pretty sure I’m jailed out. We’ll see what the day brings. On the whole I’m glad I took this trip. I wish I had more time to explore outside of Dublin, but now I have a better idea of what I would want to do on a longer trip. It would definitely involve renting a car!