Goodbye, old friend

I peer through the viewfinder of my 2 1/2 year old Canon Rebel T1i, and dull pain starts to build in my knee as my elbow digs in for the sake of a steady shot in low light conditions.

click click click click click

I fire off the last few actions of the shutter on my old friend before saying "goodbye," capturing images of a pile of random bits I carry in my pockets every day - there's a good reason for that, but we'll get to it later.

As a former editor and photojournalist, I was proud to call myself the owner of my very own digital SLR, even if it was consumer-grade. That little rebel served me well, especially considering the 20-30 thousand photos it captured for me over the last couple years.

Now it's gone, sold to the first person in need of a used camera on a budget. Not to say it won't be just as meaningful to the new owner, or that it won't be put to good use, but I can't ignore that I truly miss my very first camera.

My Rebel saw hard times, like rescue crews raiding a house only to discover the tragic ends to a murder suicide. It bore witness to the aftermath of a small tornado ripping through a quiet Kansas town, and the mangled metal of car crashes.

Though the images of bad news found their way through my lense and onto my camera's sensor, the photos it recorded were more often than not the companion of a joyous event. It documented childrens' activities at the local library, two high school proms, a handful of weddings and senior portrait sessions and the traditional posed shots of award-winners.

These memories come in all shapes and sizes, and whatever the challenging situation, I managed to capture some type of visual for the sake of telling a story.

It was through that viewfinder that I learned to experience the world in a different way - to observe color as more than just a property of my surroundings, and to see those very surroundings as beautiful, not mundane.

Despite my sadness at handing over my first SLR for an envelope of cash, I knew it was for the better. It's time to move on and grow my arsenal of photography equipment. My next camera should be in my hands by the middle of next week. :)

Brandon, why did you take pictures of the junk you carry in your pocket?

The answer to questions like this is typically, "I wanted to."

This time, however, I did have an end goal - to enter a photo into the Midwest Photo Exchange Weekly Challenge.

The challenge was to take a photo of a subject that is predominantly black and white, but in a color environment.

After brainstorming for a while, I realized it was right in front of me. Almost everything I carry in my pockets is either black or white, or a combination of the two.

The pile of random junk also happens to remain in one spot on my bedside table when I get home from work, and signifies that my day is pretty much complete.

We'll see how it holds up to the competition, all of which is posted on the MPEX Facebook page.

That's it for my first blog post ever! Another milestone behind me... what will I do next?