A New Affair

A New Affair with My New Camera

Flowering Currants Blooming for Spring at Pie Cottage

I’m Having a New Affair

Well, not quite like that. I’m having a new affair with my new camera. This is a huge step for me. I’ve been using my iPhone for years to take pictures of family, friends, fruit, and pies. But over the last six or so years, I find myself looking at my images with a critical eye, especially at food and blogger conferences.  Not that my pictures aren’t ok, but maybe they could be more.

My friends Andrew Scrivani and Kelly Cline, both food photographers extraordinaire, encourage me to take the leap and get a new camera.

Kelly suggests one of the new micro 4/3 cameras. I’ve never heard of this. Andrew points me in the direction of make, model, and a pancake lens.

Pancake? They’re for more than breakfast? Really?

OK, I do it. I order it up. Then the waiting.

All the pieces of my “kit” have been arriving in drips and drabs over a fortnight. And, yesterday the final piece, the lens, arrives.

Even though the battery is all charged up and ready to go, I can’t believe how I am putting off opening the box until late in the day. I make every excuse in the world out of fear or excitement? I really can’t say. Dishes washed and put away. Floors swept and washed. Clothes folded. Emails answered.

Finally the moment of truth is at hand. I take a small knife, the one I use to cut vents in the tops of my pies, and carefully slice open the plastic tape that has secured safely the small brown parcel on its journey to Pie Cottage. Inside sits an even smaller box, black in color. Carefully and rather gingerly, I open it up, take the the lens out and place it on the soft, black, lintless cloth that is supplied. It sits on the table. We regard one another.

The manual says to “remove the body and rear caps and attach the lens keeping the marks on the lens and camera aligned, and then rotate the lens until it clicks into place.” Never having done this before and also hearing from professionals about how careful one must be with lenses, I rotate lightly and think I hear a faint sound. That must be “the click”.

Memory card and battery in. So far so good.

Now I turn it on. All the screens start coming one after the next. Language, Date, Time…

The manual says to depress the shutter button halfway to focus and then “smoothly press the shutter button the rest of the way down to take the picture.”

Uh oh…it’s not focusing. It’s not depressing!

Did I break it?

How depressing.

Back to the manual. Do you know how small the print is in 130 pages of directions? I need a magnifying glass!

A knock at the door brings a return of a pie pan. I ask them in…well more plead with them…to take a look.


Oh no!

Do I have a lemon?

I text Kelly.

Can we chat? I can’t get the camera to work!

Patiently she listens as I read off lists of menus.

Then she shrieks. Oh no! Her kitty is pooping on the floor!

But, I’m still reading menus out loud.

She’s cursing the cat!

Try it again, Kate.


It’s got to be defective.

Bummer. Big big bummer.

Then I wonder out loud if I have put the lens on properly.  Did I really hear it click into place when I rotated it the first time?

Off comes the lens and on it goes again, but this time with a hand that is more in command.

Turn and turn and…


That’s it!

I turn on the camera. Depress the shutter button. It focuses and makes all the right little beeping noises. Smoothly down the rest of the way now to take a picture of…

Of what?


My first picture with my new camera…a little out of focus.

This is a big moment. I mean it’s the very first picture on my new camera.

I look down and there in front of me is sweet Gretapie. Out of focus as she is, this is the first image that “Otto” captures. He has a name now. “Otto” since I am working in Auto mode until we get to know each other a better. Andrew wants me to move onto AV mode by next month.

Kelly says developing a relationship with a new camera is like getting to know a new lover. Don’t worry too much about the details…just explore.

Andrew says I just had first date jitters and that soon Otto will be like a boyfriend I can wear my sweatpants around.


A new late night affair.

After a night of playing with all the settings and menus that my new love has, in the morning Otto and I go out on our first date.

It’s raining…a northwest kind of drizzle, then sun, then more rain, then sun. During one of the sun breaks, we step outside and down the front porch stairs, when I remember that Andrew says, to “wear a pretty scarf”.

Back in I run to the shabby chic dresser in my room, opening the third drawer to find just the right one.

This one? No.

This one? No.

This one? Yes!

It’s blue with pink and white flowers, pale green stems & leaves, and fringe. I think fringe is a very nice touch. I got it for 50 cents at a yard sale in Seattle at least five years ago. It’s been waiting all this time to become my photographer’s scarf.

Arranging it rather haphazardly around my neck, I think it looks rather artsy.

Now, back out the door. Gretapie is so happy.

Big black clouds overhead now. Quick now, I look around to find something that catches my eye…something to remember our first date by.

Oh, my lovely flowering currants.

Lift and caress my new friend in my hands.

Depress halfway.


Deep breath in.




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  1. Janice says

    What a great description of getting a new gadget! I loved the dating analogy! Perfect! I too, am a bundle of nerves with these things. Beautiful flower picture and Gretapie didn’t look out of focus to me!

  2. Elaine Livengood says

    Wonderful! What fun you are going to have with “Otto.”
    The world is your oyster, Kate.

  3. Denise says

    I really appreciate this post, Kate……went through some of the same angst with my new camera before our first date in North Dakota. I should have dressed better, clearly.

  4. says

    These flowering currants are so beautiful! I can’t wait to see what Otto makes of your pies, fruits, and other delicious items coming out of your fridge.

  5. says

    Delightful first day account of your new relationship with Otto. Cheers to your progress and salute to the day you get to “M” xxoo

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