I’ve had my small point-and-shoot Canon for several years. We've been through a lot together.
I’m actually more than a little surprised that it still works, and works so well. The camera was close to going belly up half a dozen years ago, and was saved by our newspaper’s then chief photographer, Max Gersh.
Along with being an extraordinary photographer and super nice coworker to boot, Max was an all-around good guy. He had a previous stint working in a camera shop and he knew things.
Picture this. One day I dropped my little camera on a cement garage floor and the lens remained stuck in an extended position. I couldn’t use it like that.
Max had some good news and some bad news. The good news was that he knew what might fix the problem. The bad news was that the fix might ruin the camera permanently.
“It’s no good as it is,” I told him. “Go for it.” We held our collective breath.
He took the camera, placed it lens side down, and SLAMMED it down on the desk. The impact freed the lens and the camera has worked perfectly ever since.
For six years now, I’ve figured that any day now, the camera won’t work – either from the drop or the fix, or from sheer age, and extended use. But so far, it keeps on shooting and my photos look as good as many people’s do with cameras that cost multiple times what mine did.
A few weeks ago I was sent to photograph a visiting big-shot politician in from out of state campaigning for a guy running for Congress. The editor wanted a quick pic of the two pols together in a coffee shop. I wasn’t to stay for the meeting they had with locals in their party.
The out-of-state big shot took one look at my little camera and said, “Is that from the Smithsonian?”
The photo turned out great, by the way. I’d stack it against any camera Sen. Hot Shot could come up with.
This trusty purse-sized machine has survived thousands of feature assignments, a day in the press pen photographing Donald Trump, and a trip of a lifetime photographing sights and scenes in Israel. It has captured Christmases at home, cute kids for page-one stand-alones and award-winning lifestyle pages.
You could say I’ve gotten my money’s worth. Size doesn't matter.
Thank you Max Gersh! This post is for you.