Thursday, September 4, 2008

Giving Up the Ghost

So yesterday I accompanied my church school to Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire. It is one of two national parks in the United States that is devoted to an artist and it is absolutely beautiful. A sculptor, Saint-Gaudens's most famous piece is the Robert Shaw Memorial, which stands across the street from the state house in Massachusetts, and commemorates the Massachusetts 54th regiment - the first all-black regiment to fight for the North during the Civil War (this is particularly intriguing to me at this time because I just read about the regiment in Goodwins's, Team of Rivals).

The weather was wonderful, the kids were well-behaved, and I was shooting away with my Canon Rebel 300D camera. I've had the camera since 2004, and though it a "dinosaur" in this technological age, it has served me well. While taking a picture of someone besides the Robert Shaw memorial, I looked down at my LCD monitor and saw blackness staring back at me. Confused about the problem, I took a few more pictures, only to see the same thing. When I pressed the playback mode, all that was recorded in those frames was nothing but black.

After a little bit of research and fiddling around with my camera today, I have realized that the inevitable has happened: it has given up the ghost. To be more specific, I guess a camera's shutter only has a certain shelf-life, and it appears as though my shutter has reached its limit. If I wanted to have the shutter repaired, it would cost me about $300 - which is not worth it at all at this point.

So I need a new camera and, truth be told, I have been wanting to buy a new one for a little while anyway - so this gives me a good excuse. It was about time to give up this fossil (ironically, just about ten minutes before the camera stopped working, I was telling one of the students that I wanted to get a new camera).

But the problem is, I wish I had known this would happen about two days before. Timing is everything, isn't it? Just one day prior to my camera's shutter giving up the ghost, we bought a new $300 point-and-shoot camera for Camille, and an $800 computer (both of which are being shipped to us as we speak)! Needless to say, I cannot afford a new camera right now, but I cannot afford not to have a camera as autumn approaches (and Camille's point-and-shoot just won't cut it for me)!

So I'm not sure what to do.

I guess I'll start a fund raising campaign on this Blog.


Dingo said...

Sorry about your camera. Shelf life seems to be a shrinking commodity. Seriously, enjoy your new camera. The new technology goes a long way toward making up for the shelf-life thing.

However, it's kind of weird to think that a camera from 2004 is a dinosaur and has given up the ghost after 4 short years. I'm still using the same camera my dad took into World War II. It was made in 1939 and has an expandable bellows. Have to change the film in a changing bag.

The darn camera is 15 years older than I am! Then again, technology didn't change nearly as fast then.

It does take neat pictures - post-card sized. Has a portrait lens too. Instead of the shutter, I'm just waiting for the bellows to develop leaks so it is no longer light-tight.

The only down side is a little North African sand that found its way into the lenses sometime between 1942 and 1945.

Alison said...

What are the odds?? Camille is so lucky to be rid of that junk of a camera that she had (that I have too!!!!) - but that does not help you in the most beautiful season in New England. I'm really sorry - the timing really stinks.

Joelle said...

Try Ebay. I got a photo reflector (for lighting) on there for $25. It would have been $40 or $50. It works for me.

Corey said...

Did you buy a desktop or laptop? And what kind of camera did Camille get?

Shawn Brace said...


Thank you all for your comments!

Dingo, they just don't make cameras like they used to!

Joelle, I have been looking at Ebay. I may go that route, but I'm not likely to. I would probably buy a lens from there, but a SLR camera is a little bit more of an expensive item, and I want to make sure that I know what I'm getting.

We'll see, though.

Charles said...

I purchased a brand new canon digital rebel xti on ebay. Works like a charm and is a workhorse.

Like the knight in IJ:TLC

"Choose wisely" :-)

Shawn Brace said...

Glad the camera worked out for you, Charles! We'll see what I decide to do.

steve said...

Hi Shawn,

I enjoy reading your blog. I have to disagree a little on St. Gaudens's most famous work. I think this might be it:
Just think, if you had one of these you could get that new camera!

I look forward to reading and hearing your messages on 1888. My wife and I have met your dad several times at national 1888 conferences. We always enjoy hearing him speak.

God bless your ministry.


Shawn Brace said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for leaving the comment! Touche on Saint-Gauden's greatest work. I did see the sculptures for those coins as well (though not the actual ones), but I was just repeating what the tour guide told us!! ;-)

I hope that you will be blessed by my presentations on that "most precious message." And glad, also, that you've enjoyed hearing my dad speak as well.