February 11, 2015
I usually carry a camera with me all the time. Most of the time I have a few free hours in the middle of the day and weather permitting, I try to take a walk. Most of the time I would throw everything in a backpack. Every lens, a flash, a tripod, and all kinds of accessories. It weighed a ton yet I still trudged along. Walking a little crooked but trudging nonetheless. I was afraid I would see something amazing and not have a flash or the right lens. I now have a very nice Kata backpack my Uncle Tom gave me about two years ago when he went mirrorless. All of his stuff fit in a very small bag and he had no use for that backpack anymore. Just a Fuji X Pro1 with a 35mm f1.4 lens, a few batteries, and he was good to go.
Uncle Tom would mention the size of his bag with a smile every time we would talk as I rambled on about my latest adventure. Just a Fuji X Pro1 with a 35mm f1.4 lens, a few batteries, and he was good to go.
One of the driving reasons for Uncle Tom’s switch from a substantial collection of Nikon gear to the Fuji X Pro1 was that he couldn’t carry all that gear anymore. He had cancer and was getting weaker. While it’s been a few years since we went out shooting together, I enjoyed stopping over at his house or talking to him on the phone. Inevitably we would end up talking photography and how much nicer my pictures would be if only they were in focus. He really enjoyed bringing that up! He also would mention how much he liked the Fuji. Just a Fuji X Pro1 with a 35mm f1.4 lens, a few batteries, and he was good to go.
Two weeks ago Uncle Tom was starting to get pretty sick. I stopped over to see how he was doing and out of nowhere, he said he wanted me to take his camera home. I was pretty stunned. It just made things seem so final. He said that he was confident I would put it to good use and wanted me to have it. It took me a few days to even look at the manual. It just didn’t feel right. I talked to him on the phone a couple of days later and he wanted to know how I liked the camera. I told him I hadn’t tried it out yet and I felt a little funny using his camera. He replied that it was now my camera. I told him it will always be his camera. And his reply to that statement was pure Uncle Tom. “Why don’t you just think of it as our camera? Start using the thing.” I read the manual, charged the batteries, and tried to get a handle on how to operate a completely different camera.
That was the last time we had a real conversation. Uncle Tom died last week. I’m going to miss him a lot. A whole lot. I will always think of him when I hold that camera and remember that smile. Just a Fuji X Pro1 with a 35mm f1.4 lens, a few batteries, and we should be good to go.