I was going to major in art at college. The drawback to that was that I really can't draw.
I'm plenty artistic but the drawing thing, no. So after a couple weeks I decided to go into photography which would meld with the writing and I could be a photojournalist. There was a great tradition of that. Unfortunately more in movies than real life. But it was possible so I said yes.
My father had a Leica but the professor insisted on a medium format camera for the first year or something, so I got whatever it was, a Mamiya? But it only took 1 semester and I got a Nikon F. That was a really good camera and I think you can pick them up now for about 1/10th of what we paid for the body and telephoto. I think it was a 300 mm lens.
Some years later I was at a combined training event--it was entirely a nightmare, so bad I don't even want to go into it--and somehow the camera dropped. I'm sure Nikon could have fixed it but within a couple hours it was stolen. I was devastated. I lost my camera, I was stuck with the world's worst boyfriend who had two of the brattiest kids on the planet and then the truck broke down in Yonkers on a Sunday evening. Wow. How can things get worse?
Yes, I later found out that things can get very much worse, but that night will live on in the records as one of the worst.
I got a less expensive model as a replacement. For some reason every time I picked it up the battery was dead. It had one of those little disk things. The light meter always seemed wrong. I was too busy in television to bother, when I wasn't in the studio, I was in the car commuting. I stopped being a photographer and was just a writer.
Then digital came in and I ignored it. I was very busy. I got a cheap Epson to use to sell stuff on ebay. You don't talk about quality except can you see the objet you're trying to sell.
Everything went like that until I got a contract to do The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting Projects. I thought the job was to...well I thought it was what they TOLD me it was. Come up with 20 projects and some variations. And you've got 10 weeks. Okay, pressing it but I'll do it. Then I read the contract and someone is supposed to provide photos for all these projects and oh by the way it's not 20 it's 100.
In a crisis--which that was--you revert to what you know best so I knew I had to get a Nikon, whatever the budget would allow because I had to pay for EVERYTHING out of my advance (here's some advice, don't do one of these books unless you must or love being under horrible pressure). So I got a D70 and never understood it. I couldn't understand the manual. I couldn't find anyone who could explain it to me. But apparently I was doing okay because I shot all the photos for the book and that's what was published.
I don't remember why I got the D7000 other than I hated the D70 because I didn't know it. The manual was better and there was a lot more help available on the internet and I got Photoshop. Everything fell together. I worked hard with it and with Photoshop.
And then I got the D600 which is a fantastic camera. But the D7000 is great, too. And when I stumble upon what's left over from the D70, they aren't bad. A little tweak, some sharpening and they're very acceptable.
Digital cameras aren't like film cameras which you expected to have for a lifetime. Digital is semi-disposable. You expect to turn it in for the new model in 2 years. Luckily all Nikon lenses work on all their cameras because if you had to get new glass every 2 years, you'd better be rich.