December 2009′s weather was the first real white Christmas since 1968, a real freeze. I had to wait until the New Year to try out my new toys, Nikon D90 and Sigma 150-500 zoom lens. Alas 2010 was to be a fateful year for me, one that I would gladly wind back the clock of time. However, on New Year’s day I was unaware of what lay ahead and like a kid with a new toy I wanted to be out and about with it. So I headed out to Linlithgow Loch armed with my nice new Nikon 90D and super zoom lens. I was surprised at the weight of the lens, I should not have been , but I was. The Nikon felt strange and it was confusing to find that I had to do things the wrong way when I was fitting or removing a lens. I had set the camera at my usual preference Programme with a third stop under exposed dialed in. The picture of juvenile swan on the left was one of the first pictures I took with the new setup. It looked good to me at that time and it still does. So here I was with Pentax, Canon and Nikon cameras what a laugh. It was a funny day at the loch, I met fellow photographers out with their new toys and it was weird how many were sporting the Sigma 150-500. I had my first run in with the My Camera is Better than Your Camera Brigade as well. Funny when I was shooting with the Pentax cameras I never got to meet members of that nice brigade. However, as soon as I had a Nikon with a big lens I met one. I laughed to myself when he began the Canon is better than Nikon talk and smiled at the look on his face when I said I had a Canon but prefered the Nikon. (Well I had to prefer the Nikon that day – it was the only camera the lens would fit ). Honestly, there is very little between today’s cameras – even with the newest ones. Pentax, Canon, Nikon etc – they all do the same job – the difference is the brain behind the lens – the human factor. What I will admit is there is a difference between the full frame camera quality to the APS C sensor cameras, but that is only at processing stage. I continued to use the D90 up until the 17th February – A date engraved deep in my heart. We had a surprise visit from our GP at 6:30 that night – and had the dreaded news, my mum’s lung cancer had become very aggressive and was terminal a matter of months. I re-acted badly to the news (out of sight of my mum) after getting the details from the doctor. I was immediately signed off work and for the next few months, with the assistance of an Aunt and McMillan Nurses I looked after an irreplaceable icon. During this time I lost all focus (very bad pun) on photography. On July 12th at 17:55 my mum passed away, 9 days after her 84th Birthday. Her family and friends gathered together on the 3rd July to give her a big party. She got out of her bed to ensure all were enjoying themselves (well as best we could).
It seemed that year was to be my “Horrible Year” …I took a reaction to the stress I had been under – then my Partner went ill with pneumonia in August/September. It is true that you soon discover who cares for you and your real friends in times of adversity – to all of you (and you know who you are) thanks for the pulling, shoving and just plain dragging me through those months and afterwards. Thanks for making me carry on with photography and most of all thanks for being there for me. Thankfully my Partner survived her brush with
pneumonia. In light of all that had happened in the past few months we took a break and headed to the Norfolk Broads – Yes I know not the ideal place to take someone recovering from pneumonia, I know that now. I took the Canon 500D and the Nikon D90 with me. Whilst I was not yet ready to go back to photography I began to rekindle my interest again, Susan was doing her damdest to get me interested in using my cameras.. I was more interested in making sure she was getting well, between us we had a great time getting back to life. Along the way we took some nice pictures. Susan had bought herself a new camera, a Canon Powershot SX30 HSi to take the place of a Pentax K100D. She said that she found the DSLRs too heavy for her. This little camera was ideal for her. It had a powerful zoom, was light enough for her to carry and in her hands it took great pictures as can be seen by this shot of a Crested Grebe. She challenged me to do better and it is thanks to her I still have an interest in life and photography. My pictures may not be so good as hers but at least I was using my cameras again.