Taking a leap from a budget compact camera to an entry-level DSLR somehow raised more eyebrows than I expected. Even to this very day, people still make cynical comments, and snigger at the thought of a nobody like me utilizing such an expensive piece of equipment.
Act pro much?
Here is an illustration based on a true life encounter, an incident that happened when I have just purchased the DSLR quite some time ago.
(I was hanging out with a couple of friends, and I brought my camera along.)
Useless Friend: So your big camera should be able to take good night shots eh? Why don’t you show me?
Me: Nah, I will require a tripod. Else the shots taken handheld will turn out blurred.
(Useless Friend then whipped out his camera phone and snapped a picture of the street at night, and shoved it to my face.)
Useless Friend: Nah, see, even my camera phone can take such picture.
Me: Fine, if you want me to use my camera so badly, I will.
(I snapped a picture of the street. And then my friend grabbed the camera off my hands and previewed the picture, and compared it with the picture on his camera phone.)
Useless Friend: Eh, see, my camera phone picture is brighter and clearer !! Your camera sucks.
Another Useless Friend: Nolah, his camera is good. Obviously. his photography skills sucks.
Useless Friend: What is your shutter speed? I thought DSLR can go extremely fast on shutter?? Then should not have blur-shake problem and shoot night scenes. You know how to set your shutter speed or not? Aiyooo
Another Useless Friend: Using flash will also boost the shutter speed. You could give it a try. You do not even know these things. And you are using such a good camera. What a waste.
Feeling nothing short of a nuclear-scale explosion sort of rage, I held everything in with my legendary smile, and we all laughed together as if it was a joke. Was it a joke? Really?
When I was put in situations like this, it was obviously a lose-lose circumstance. If I were to elaborately explain why-DSLR-is-a-good-camera to my friends, it will just show that I was vulnerable by defending myself desperately, after being threatened by a mere camera phone. Besides, it would make me look like a jerk showing off his expensive equipment. Hence I chose to just let them inflate their ego and slip by with a plastic laugh.
But deep inside I was stabbing their eyes with a fork.
What was the problem here? It was not so much of them making fun of me that hurts. We make fun of each other over small matters all the time. We joke, and it was only natural. The line is crossed when you see the person less than who he thinks he is, and poke where it bleeds the most, his passion. When I have set my heart to something, I would give anything to accomplish it, thus I do expect a certain degree of understanding and respect for what I choose to be passionate about. I love what I love to do, and if you can’t see why or how I am in love with it, does it give you the right to make me feel foolish?
Furthermore, I was severely offended when I was looked down that way. So what if I was not a good photographer, would it be such a big thing to do as a friend to support and encourage each other to grow? It was utterly demeaning when people doubt your abilities. Consequently, it was depressing to think that people feel you have wasted your time on your choice of hobby. It was even more painful to see that people think you suck at doing what you love to do. Worst of all, all the above came from people whom I called friends.
Why take their words seriously, you ask? Darling, if I do not take people seriously, how can I expect them to take me seriously when I really need them to be serious about something? It may not strike those of you who do not know me well, but when I listen, I really listen. When I say something, I mean it. I do not take conversations lightly, and I do not treat my friends as jokes. You do not strip down a guy naked and laugh at the size of his penis. Even if that is nothing but just a joke to you.
People wont see what you see, or see it the way you see it. Even amongst photogs we have vast differences and varied perceptions when it comes to photography. But what you fail to see does not give you the right to make such a big fuss out of it !!
I know, I am letting out plenty of angst these days. I do believe that I am not alone. There are times I started to question about my choices of friends, and that was also the same moment I knew that I have lost faith in people. It is happening, I admit it, but the least I could do is to fight it, and I am not giving up so easily.
I know. My skill sucks still. But hey, one thing has got to be straight, I am improving. If you just give me time, I will make it. Dammit useless friends, mark my words, I will make it.