I'm not great. In fact, it could be argued that I'm actually not that good at all, and I'm just tooting my own horn because it's convenient. I'd believe as much; I'm one person with a desire and a love but absolutely no real given talent and, to add insult to injury, no real training beyond the bits and pieces I've read here and there about how to focus something and what an f-stop might be (still don't know) and different apertures to use (uhh, open?) and types of flashes and different lenses and oh my gods I don't know what I'm doing. But I'd like to think that what little experience I've had has shown some inborn talent.
Of course I want to think I'm good - what photographer doesn't? Though it would be rather mean of me, in retrospect, to say I'm good enough to charge for my services without having any idea what I'm doing - it's an insult to professionals who've taken classes and have combined that knowledge with years of experience to operate a slew of local businesses.
After years of relying solely on my mother's Kodak EasyShare 1012 (a camera very similar to this one, only older and without a few features), I'm beginning to get antsy. I want - naturally - something more, something solid, something with features and options and things to help me learn about what I'm doing and how to do it. Something with lenses. I want something that's both a fun toy and unquestionably a professional tool.
The downside is, as it always is, that getting the camera I'd like means a massive amount of money I just don't have. My ideal camera from Canon would, with a couple of lenses added in and some essential accessories, mean a price of well over $7,000. A similar option from Olympus with similar lenses and features would run around $4,000. Naturally, downgrading and giving and taking in places means lower prices, but when you're going to be spending a lot on a camera - or mentally spending a lot at least - you may as well get what you actually want than something you're settling for in lieu of the best choice.
Of course, none of this will be happening. I don't have that kind of money and if I did, right now, I certainly wouldn't be spending it on a camera (but I would be wishing I could!). I'd be doing something responsible.
Meanwhile, last night I gathered some juniper sprigs from the trees in my mom's back yard. Never chemical treated, and I only took what new growth the tree was willing to give. :) They've been around longer than I've been alive!