At this point it is appropriate for you to respond, in unison, ”Hi Ted!”
My story is simple. I am an addict. My problem isn’t drugs or sex or any of those widely recognized and oft celebrated addictions. My behavior is controlled by my addiction to the sound of a shutter. That wonderful release that happens when I press the button and hear that climactic sound as the parts of a focal plane shutter slap against the edges of the shutter frame. For a short time I am at peace having satisfied the dragon in my soul. But I know, it won’t be long before I need to push that button again.
My problem started years ago with Brownies (Kodak not fudge). It didn’t seem bad. Snap a few pictures and send the film off to the lab. What harm could come of that simple indulgence. But, things escalated in the 90’s and my problem started to get worse. At first I thought, there is nothing wrong with pushing the shutter release and capturing a few one megapixel images. What harm would it do? No one gets hurt. But lately, I often find myself on some street corner firing the shutter at 11 frames a second to capture 40 megapixel images. Where does this stop? What will happen to me when the size of my compact flash is bigger than my hard drive??
For those of you who doubt the seriousness of my problem, please recognize that my habit has all of the characteristics of other addictive diseases. I have a compulsive need to continue my behavior. I plan my life in anticipation of the reward I get by pressing the shutter release and hearing the sound that gives me the satisfaction of knowing an image has passed to the sensor. I exhibit “seeking behaviors.” I am consumed by long hours of planning things like sun angles and vantage points just to come to that one special moment when I get to press that RELEASE (they call it that for reason) and hear the wonderful slap.
My habit has cost me thousands of dollars that could have used to buy far more important things like Twinkies or FaceBook stock. It consumes huge blocks of my time and I am sure that carrying around 30 pounds of gear on one shoulder is taking a toll on my body.
I tried to quit but it isn’t easy. How do you resist the face of Ashton Kutcher enticing me with a new, brightly colored camera that makes that incredible sound. Speaking to my physician hasn’t helped either. Once she stops laughing, she wants to know how much it would cost to get some eight by tens of her kids.
I need help. And, I don’t think I am the only one with this problem. First, I need to come up with some clever name for this recovery support group. It needs to have commercial appeal so that we can raise funds by appealing to those around us who are sick of us sticking a lens in their face. Money will help us fund research into therapeutic approaches to our addiction. There may be reason to hope. The recent literature describes cameras that are mirrorless and only emit a barely audible shutter sound. Maybe they will help me get this monkey off my back.
That’s my story. Now, who was responsible for bringing the milk and cookies for tonight’s meeting???