30 For 30: Day 2


Today’s photo is of my coworker and friend, Martta, on a very rare snowy day in Austin, Texas in 2010. I chose the photo not for the snow, or the fact that you’re 65% more likely to click on a photo containing a woman than anything else, but rather for the camera that took it. In those days, real cameras still took better pictures than the iPhone in your pocket. I remember…

The year is 2010. I am 30 years old.

I assume everyone went through a similar phase of wanting to be a photographer. Personally, I wanted to build a career taking photos of Natalie Portman, but of course, there were hurdles to that dream. First, I didn’t know Natalie Portman (I still don’t), so the odds of her letting me photograph her were low. Second, I only had a 2010-era iPhone, which if you recall, didn’t take the best pictures.

I remember 2010 being the year I splurged on a DSLR, a Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black), to be pedantic. That’s right, 10.1 megapixels! (If you’re wondering, the iPhone 11 Pro has three 12 megapixel cameras built in.) I bought a couple lenses and a nice bag to keep it in. Then I started taking photos.

My hard drive is full of photos of clouds, birds, trees, spiders, and various other uninteresting subjects. What do all of these things have in common, you ask? Well, they were all in my backyard. Although I loved taking pictures, I had crazy anxiety when it came to taking photos out in the world. I wanted to go places and shoot, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Another aspiring photographer wiped off the board by crippling social anxiety.

Martta was already into photography when I discovered our shared interest. Only in her company would I have ventured outside to take photos of the snow. I got some nice shots… birds flying through the snow, bright red berries sprinkled with white dust, and even some flurries. It was a nice, rare day of doing something fun at work.

I still have that camera. It has been sitting in its bag in the closet for the last five or six years. I didn’t even pull it out when Matador was born; the iPhone does just fine. I still like taking photos, but Instagram is the furthest they will go. Photography is just one of those hobbies that never progressed, and now it is much too late and time much too precious.

It was an interesting phase, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

About the author

Daniel Verastiqui

Daniel Verastiqui is a Science Fiction author from Austin, Texas. His novels explore relationships and identity in the context of ubiquitous technology, pervasive violence, and frequent nudity. His most recent book, Brigham Plaza, is now available in print and digital formats on Amazon.

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By Daniel Verastiqui

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